Agony Lad takes on Elly Nowell

Student Life

I hate this column. This paper is helping to propagate one of the worst images of Oxford students, adding to the drivel that the gutter press produce about what should be known worldwide as the world’s finest educational institution. Why on earth do you bother?

I love waking up in the morning to the smell of BULLSHIT! Let me set you straight. Actually, the worst representation of an Oxford student was famously made by interview candidate (and non-Oxford student) Elly Nowell. In January 2012, she cemented her place in the Narrow-Minded People Hall of Fame when she had the pig-headed stupidity to write her very own rejection letter to Magdalen. Shit lass. Safe in the knowledge that there is someone raising more inane issues than you are, I’m going to ignore you and deal with her instead.

Dear Smelly Bowel or whatever-it-is,

Take your drivel-soaked overbite elsewhere. Anyone who writes a letter like that isn’t wanted here. Your description of yourself at interview as “the only atheist in a gigantic monastery” couldn’t be more self-centred. You’re not different. People who actually come to Oxford are different for all the right reasons. If anything you’re the only particle of saliva in an otherwise perfect and gigantic vat of sambucca punch. (Saliva: got its facts wrong, punch: knows what it’s talking about.)

“Being a successful student should depend on the student, not on whether or not a couple of academics have deemed you to shine in a 20-minute interview.”

It does depend on the student. But nobody has invented a student-reader where you can just scan people in and find out whether they’ve got sick-ass brain skillz. Instead, there are applications, exams and interviews — did you not know? You’re deluded if you think tutors are choosing students based on anything other than academic potential. (Although on that point I’m not sure why they chose me.)

“I spent my entire time there laughing at how seriously everything was being taken…”

Are you kidding me? We love a bit of B.A.N.terrr, but all the time? I’m surprised the tutors let you into the room. And not wanting interviews to be taken seriously: if you think an interview at one of the most academically rigorous universities in the world is going to be a chit-chat over a chocolate-sprinkled coffee with the present of a hand-knitted cardigan at the end, think again. You might have thinkseveral times to get away from that shit chat.

There is no magic button we failed to press to change our “grand formal settings” to tacky graffitied slums. Yes, Oxford looks bang tidy. If you’re scared of buildings, maybe doing your interview prep watching Downton Abbey would have prepared you for the shock that we don’t operate out of tents and caravans. You admit your decision to come to interview was “bizarre.” Is the (exaggerated) gap between “minorities and white middle class students” of which you speak the same gap you hope to plug with misinformed vapid nonsense? From someone who hopes to study law, your arguments are about as watertight as Agony Lad’s bladder after the Lad World Cup Twelve-Pint Challenge.

You told Magdalen, “Thank you for your interest in me.” Well, I can (or rather, will) speak on behalf of every sensible Oxford student and tell you that we’re not at all interested. Jog on. The students of Oxford (un)officially reject YOU, for you are the stereotype we no longer epitomise — narrow-minded, insecure, bullshitty, entitled and crying out for attention. But you’re still welcome to accept our challenge of a game of beer pong. We have many suitable watering holes that are neither grand nor formal.

Many kind regards and best of luck for a low-to-mid 2:1 at another Russell Group university of your choice,

Agony Lad

P.S. It’s 2012. Next time, send an email.

Agony Lad, it’s the OxStu lawyers here. Just wondering if you have a minute spare to pop upstairs? We’ve got an angry and self-important caller for you.

Sure thing. Is it my editor?

Agony Lad will return next week, providing he’s not been called to give evidence to The Leveson Inquiry about really hacking off Elly Nowell.Messages of support to agony.lad@gmail.com or @OxStuFeatures.