student life

Seven things that make the University of York totally awesome

After two and a half years at the University of York, I’ve got to know the place pretty well, and have got to thinking about the little quirks that I’m going to miss when I leave: 

After two and a half years at the University of York, I’ve got to know the place pretty well, and have got to thinking about the little quirks that I’m going to miss when I leave: 

1. The nightlife. Now I admit, there are not many students who would have nightlife under the ‘pros’ column when weighing up the benefits of the University of York., but I’m not most students. The city has a Reflex AND a Flares – what more could a twenty year old girl who was born in the wrong decade need? Of course, if you are slightly more modern, there are the usual haunts, such as Salvation and Tokyo, and for the real night owls, Leeds is a short train ride away. 

2. The birds. Make no mistake about it, ducks and geese rule OK? Most students tend to hate them at first, as they quack outside your window at stupid o’clock after a particularly heavy night on the sauce, playing the role of uninvited feathered alarm clock. However, come the more docile second and third years of your university experience, when you are no longer living on campus, you come to miss the little blighters. And to be fair, they provide enough entertainment to counteract the noise; watching a goose trying to land gracefully on an ice covered lake and seeing it skid into a group of ducks like a bowling ball into skittles? Priceless!

3. Central Hall, which goes by various names including ‘The Spaceship’, ‘The Death Star’ and ‘what-the-devil-is-that-monstrosity?!?’. It may have had a lick of paint recently but it’s still as ugly as sin. Yet we cherish it like a sibling who is loved and hated in equal measures; we’re allowed to slag it off but if an outsider dares to so much as look at it in the wrong way, they will have 13,000 angry students to deal with (and a few hundred ducks, geese, swans….)

4. The squishy study pods in the Harry Fairhurst building (or Haz Faz, as it is affectionately known). The ideal place to snooze between lectures, or make up for the all-nighter you pulled to meet the 9am deadline, the pods are the most sought after space on campus (which is ironic, when you think about having to get up early to reserve a place to sleep). Of course, the best intentioned people can sometimes be found actually studying there, but these are a rare breed, and often gawped at in a manner akin to animals in a zoo. God bless Haz, and all who snooze in him.

5. The college system. Considered archaic by some, the college system is actually a great introduction into university life.  No York fresher’s week is complete without drunken renditions of ‘[insert college name here] until I die’, sung whilst swaying gently with your arms around your new found best buddies (from the same college, naturally). Brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it. Plus ‘which college are you in?’ is a great addition to the mandatory name/course/where you’re from list of questions that you find yourself asking every person you meet in fresher’s.  

6. The student media. As well as award winning rags Nouse and Vision, York has several other media outlets; The Yorker is an independent media outlet business run by students, Lemon Press is the satire magazine, plus there is television station YSTV, radio station URY and a couple of other independent magazines. Not bad for a university with no journalism department.

7. The food choices. As long as you have pennies in your pocket, you will never starve whilst on campus. Three Costa outlets, two shops, The Courtyard and Lounge union run bars, countless other cafes, restaurants, snack bars, cafes, college bars and vending machines are all to be found. Makes me full up just thinking about it.