A comprehensive guide on how to spot the students from each of Liverpool’s universities

Alexa? Play Stereotypes by Blur on Spotify

Have you ever seen The Breakfast Club before? You know how each one of the students has their own very niche vibe that differentiates them perfectly from the rest of the group? Now imagine that, but across the whole of Merseyside – we can spot a LIPA or LJMU student from a mile away, and we’re hoping that this not-so-definitive guide can assist you in making out your Hope students from your LMAs when you’re walking around Liverpool One. When you’re on a night out, everyone always seems to dread the infamous “so what uni are you at?” interrogation. And don’t be mistaken, the Uni of vs John Moores beef isn’t a myth, guys.

1. University of Liverpool

You’ll be able to spot a Uni of Liverpool student in the wild almost immediately, because they won’t hesitate to let you know within five minutes of meeting them that they did an EPQ at A-Level and got into their first choice Russell Group. If they’re not nipping to Tesco at 11pm in their pyjamas to grab a sweet treat, they’ll be wearing the classic combo of a black North Face and white linen trousers (and Adidas Sambas too, most likely). Their Spotify Wrapped this year was forcefully invaded by The Beatles for the “culture” and if you ever end up at the Invades Races, you’ll be bombarded by lads in brown shoes and Schöffel fleeces. They love a trip to the Sydney Jones just to post an Instagram story of them catching up on their readings from six weeks ago – it’s the quadvods in Hatch on a Wednesday social night that are stopping them from becoming academic weapons, they promise.

2. Liverpool John Moores University

Hey everyone did you know I’m on the LJMU rugby, and football, and cricket, and table tennis team? What do you mean you could tell because I wear my uni sports jacket all the time?

John Moores students are normally the ones to get all competitive about unis because they’re always ridiculed for being known as the Uni of Liverpool rejects. They’re also suckers for Wednesday night sports socials, and if you ever see a massive group of burly looking boys walking to Concert Square dressed as babies or sumo wrestlers, you can bet your first born child that they’ll be LJMU students. The gym doesn’t count for them if they don’t put a photo of their pump on their Snapchat Story, and the Windy Weekend Warriors will be trying their hardest to mingle with the “rah no way” Uni of girls at Invisible Wind Factory whilst wearing one of those neon pink Nike t-shirts. If they’re not in LEVEL, of course.

3. Liverpool Hope University

Read this next part in a David Attenborough-esque tone. Hope students seem almost impossible to bump into on a night out in Liverpool – it’s like they’re an extinct breed of 20-somethings that live so far out of town that we never come across them. We do wonder sometimes how they react when someone says “there are three universities in Liverpool?”. If you do ever miraculously meet anyone from Hope, they’ll probably be quite happy to tell you that their village-like campus is a lot more picturesque than the urban jungle of Uni of and LJMU.

4. Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts

Doc Martens platforms. Split-dyed colourful hair. Always carrying a guitar case. Knows the Hamilton soundtrack off-by-heart. LIPA students are probably the most recognisable of them all – they probably all had an aggressive emo phase at 13 and have now matured into carrying crystals everywhere and only drinking oat chai lattes from indie cafes. Beware if you ever enter the Arts Bar on Hope Street without carrying a tote bag and some basic knowledge on Radiohead – you’ll be ripped to shreds. However, they’re arguably some of the coolest and creative people you’ll meet on your travels around Liverpool. They’ll often ask to see your Top 4 on Letterboxd and always have some kind of secondhand vintage book in their uni bags that they will inevitably never read (it’s just for show).

5. LMA

Nobody really knows what LMA stands for, or even where the campus is, but their students have a similar vibe to the LIPA kids. You’ll know if you follow someone from LMA on Instagram because they’ll always be sharing posts about their upcoming performances to their stories; they don’t pop up on the Liverpool radar that much, and you’ll never meet them at random pres, but LMA students will probably be seen frequenting quirky cafes in town where they’ll be working on screenplays and developing games. Pretty cool hobbies that nobody at UOL or LJMU have time to do because they’re at Disco Spoons every night.

But don’t get us wrong, these are all silly stereotypes that we’ve come across on drunken nights out, and we don’t mean any harm. Liverpool has the most weird and wonderful inhabitants, and uni students definitely add to the magic of the city. It’s all love really x

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