Almost everything is different this school year, but some things never change.
One of those tried-and-true constants? College kids arguing about whose school is better.
The generations-old debate has made its way to TikTok, where students have posted thousands of videos flouting their school’s campus. The goal: Decide which university has the “best” campus in the country.
Nearly every video is set to the song “Campus” by Vampire Weekend, which was chosen for pretty obvious reasons. The track also features a series of dramatic, stop-and-go beats, which TikTokers are using to flash between images of their schools.
It’s a trend that comes at an uncertain time for college students, many of whom are currently attending classes away from their campuses. Often, the posts harp more on nostalgia than anything else.
“Yep definitely miss this place,” one TikToker captioned her Cornell University-based video.
Naturally, the debate has gotten pretty heated. With students weighing in from schools ranging from the University of Miami and Hawaii Pacific University to Georgetown University and The College of William & Mary, almost every region of the country is making its case.
Then, there are TikTokers like Rutgers student Hannah Lynn, who used the trend as a big, ironic self-own.
Fun and games aside, there is something deeper — and slightly more problematic about the current campus battle. As many TikTokers were quick to point out, the videos glorify beautiful, wealthy universities while demeaning smaller schools and community colleges.
Additionally, as TikTok user goblininfluencer points out, there’s a sense of Ive League elitism involved in glorifying old, legacy-filled campuses — places where students from upper-class families are notably over-represented.
The song “Campus” was ironically written about Columbia University, one of the eight Ivy League schools. However, as Vampire Weekend has stated in numerous interviews, its music is often mocking or commenting on the image associated with “elite” universities.
love your school & it should be a place where you’re happy but keep this in mind bc some of these vids r missing the point ##vampireweekend♬ Campus by Vampire Weekend – _alt.music_
TikTok is likely never going to agree on an answer either. Most videos comments are filled with comparisons like “this is way prettier than Colgate” or “UT Austin could never.”
Check out In The Know’s article on why Burger King is gunning for a Michelin star.
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