15 Things You’ll Only Understand If You Studied at SOAS
There are some things only a SOAS-ian can understand.
1. Nobody has ever heard of SOAS.
Cue the perplexed looks, confused frowns and questions about what the hell it stands for.
2. And you’ve definitely been asked the kicker: “Is that just for Asian and black people then?”
No. No it’s not.
3. Being fully prepared to queue for a long time to get some free food from the monks.
The community of Hare Krishna monks living nearby bring free rice and curry every day, plus cake for afters. Most people make a small donation, but homeless people and very broke students are welcome to a free meal.
4. The intense race to get to library books before anyone else.
The problem with studying non-mainstream subjects at a relatively small university is that books can be limited. Sometimes there’s literally only one copy, and you have to sprint to the library to make sure you get there first.
5. And the even more intense rivalry between you and UCL.
The theory goes that UCL is trying to take over SOAS, but the latter will not be shaken!
6. Constantly being reminded of the university’s obscure claims to fame.
You’ve only heard that Nirvana played their first London gig in the SOAS JCR in 1989 about, what, 23430 times?
7. Knowing you’ve settled in when you refer to someone as a SOAS-ian.
8. And you’ve learnt the words to the theme song.
9. Suffering from political discussion fatigue.
All the intellectual conversations are great and everything but sometimes you just want to gossip about the Kardashians without relating that back to feminist theory.
10. And honing in on any stray Tories.
It’s no secret that SOAS is very Left leaning, so even the slightest right-wing opinion sticks out like a sore thumb.
11. Never being more than a few meters from a languages student.
You can learn 52 languages at SOAS, so if you haven’t just walked past at least 10 people flicking through their flash cards and swapping stories of their enlightening year abroad adventures, are you really at SOAS?
12. Getting caught up in endless strike action.
SOAS is pretty effective at campaigning for better worker’s rights for all its staff, but this does mean disruption during the year. Messy students + cleaners on strike = garbage tip campus.
13. Becoming slightly claustrophobic in the library during exam season.
14. Always wishing you had more money to fully take advantage of the uni’s great location.
Your student loan just doesn’t support the Russell Square life.
15. And being a SOAS-ian till you die.