University Memes

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By Amelia Guttridge on 16.2.2024

University Memes


University memes have become a meme. Created on the third of February by two Kent University undergraduates, Sammy Paul and Thom Maarseveen, the Kent Uni Memes page has gained almost 5,500 likes so far. What began with Sammy and Thom creating their own memes has rapidly become dozens of Kent students creating and submitting their own memes, with varying results. The only problem seems to be the fact that nobody is entirely sure what a meme is.

According to the creators, many people seem to think that a meme is “a pretty picture with words on it.” This is not the case. Memes are actually a very old concept, used to describe the spreading of an idea or a symbol through cultures and can be shared by images, speech, gestures or similar methods. Current internet memes such as ‘Conspiracy Keanu Reeves’ and ‘Scumbag Steve’ are specific pictures or screen captures, which people add text to in order to apply them to different situations; in this case, university. They pre-existed and will outdate Kent Uni Memes.

So why make a Facebook group about them? “Seeing as I pretty much think in memes, I thought it only right to share my pearls of wisdom with the world” says co-creator Sammy Paul, only slightly ironically. Given that Thom is studying Computer System and Engineering and Sammy is a Youtuber, both spend an inordinate amount of time on the internet. Basically, they know this stuff. How do they feel about the fact that university memes have gone global? “It’s crazy but that’s memes for you. They circulate super fast. Pretty much ALL THE UNIS have one now.” ‘ALL THE UNIS’, they tell me, is actually a meme itself. (Don’t worry if you don’t understand why. You’re probably with the majority.)

Given that they obviously know a lot about memes, how do they feel about the quality of memes being put on the page? Do people really understand it’s all about? “We’re kind of caught between two groups of people,” they say. “The die hard trolls who think anything that isn’t 4chan (seriously, don’t worry. I have no idea what 4chan is. I’m also advised not to find out), is scum, and the people who pronounce it as ‘me – me’. So we try to hit a middle ground, thus pleasing nobody.”

Finally, I ask them how they would best describe memes. The answer they give me is simply: *troll face*. I guess it’s a geek thing. (At this point I should probably point out that I live with, and am very good friends with Sammy and Thom. They don’t mind a bit of casual abuse.)


  • Re: Rant. Whichever way you dress it up these memes are genuinely cringe-worthy at times. I think most normal and new people like to make themselves feel better by saying ‘well it doesn’t matter if i don’t get it, i can pretend i do and my hard-nose attitude might make me look like i get it when i really don’t’. It’s funny that they’ve adopted a new appreciation to University students. A group of people who for the most part epitomise the idea of ‘group mentality’ by way of if the majority feels this way or does this thing then it must be the right way to do it. I doubt you’d be disagreeing with me on this if you thought you weren’t in the majority. These Facebook groups are nothing but a small group of people patting themselves on the back after all.

    You’re right about one thing, things evolve and change but in this case it’s more like evolving at the back-end of the pack than at the front. People are picking up on memes just now even though they’ve been around for many, many years, slapping around new (but not unique) contexts and saying ‘hey guys isn’t this funny and relevant to us’ even though it’s not really very clever because it is inherently projected at such a small amount of people. Memes from which these facebook memes derived are known world-wide. These facebook memes are known to such a small sub-set of people in comparison and probably a good reason why they’re looked down on in comparison to the initial meme’s context.

    By Moot on 18.2.2024

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  • Dear Moot

    Your metaphor doesnt follow through, surely the old guy on the dance floor is the “seasoned internet user”? Your comment, in my opinion, seems like that same old man going into venue and getting annoyed at the fact that they dont play disco music and have multi coloured dancefloors. Times have changed, and while you were probably watching key board cat the meme has evolved. Im sick of this traditionalist internet culture, where only certain people can enjoy certain things. Also, I dont understand your differentiation between “seasoned internet users” and “normal people”? surely most university students are seasoned internet users? Or have you been around since the internets first inception, cause I guess that would give you more authority and more claim over the internet? The internet belongs to everyone mate, thats one of its primary factors. How ignorant is it to say that “ordinary people” cant take memes and make them “relevant to themselves in some way”. If culture didnt evolve, memes wouldnt exist in the first place, then what would you do with your saturday evenings? Sorry we dont play disco music old timer, but if you dont like it you can gtfo.

    By Rant on 18.2.2024

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  • I don’t think there’s any allusion here to the Kent page being the first one; I believed the title and opening sentence would reflect that. Apologies for any confusion.

    By website-comment on 18.2.2024

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  • This is quite a good thing you’ve ‘invented’ that Florida University came up with three months beforehand.

    By Anonymous (Yes That One) on 18.2.2024

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  • University meme Facebook groups remind me of that stereotypical old guy you always see when you go to clubs. To the young people the old guy sticks out like a sore thumb. He’d like to think he’s the same as everybody else on the dance floor but he simply doesn’t fit in because he’s entering a territory that he doesn’t belong to. That’s kind of how the more seasoned internet user looks at normal people trying to take the concept of memes and think of it as relevant to them in some way. You just seem weird. It’s like taking pride in being stupid really. Like the old guy who thinks everybody is laughing with along with him but in reality they’re just laughing at him. Not to mention using everything out of context far, far too often tends to cause the burning white hot rage of a thousand angry suns in some.

    By Moot on 17.2.2024

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