Life in school versus Glasgow Uni

How times have changed

Before moving to uni, you think: “How different can this really be compared to school?”.

Oh, how wrong we were. From the positives (acceptably eating your lunch alone to knowing there will be someone else that hasn’t done the seminar prep) to the negatives (from not having a generic school uniform to being unsure how to address a lecturer over email), below are all the differences we face in the transition from being a “child” to an almost fully-fledged adult. Kind of.

School dinners vs eating alone 

My soup and I enjoying some alone time

The rush of people pouring into the cafeteria, the enormous effort of pushing in line to secure yourself the best meal, the canteen’s mediocre menu offered and the mad panic to try and find a seat with your friends to save yourself the humiliation of eating lunch alone. That was the day-to-day fiasco of eating lunch at school.

School lunchtimes sucked and thankfully being at Glasgow Uni couldn’t be more different. It is no longer a cardinal sin to eat your lunch in peace – instead it is perfectly acceptable to walk into the Fraser Building, heat up your soup in the (extremely useful) microwaves and then sit, alone, enjoying your food without an onset of pitying expressions.

School uniforms vs picking out your own outfits 


School uniforms did have their pros. I mean, how do you know when I last washed my blazer? Was it yesterday? Was it two months ago? Who knows? It turned into a bit of a game.

Unfortunately at Glasgow Uni it’s slightly harder to cover up your abhorrent washing habits but that is the beauty of university life – nobody cares. Unless you are trying to get into Glasgow Uni’s Best Dressed there is really no shame in wearing a blanket with slipper socks and crocs – we will not judge.

Homework vs seminar work

Throughout my entire school life, I absolutely hated doing homework. I remember my very first piece of homework in P2 – to make a picture out of pasta – and even then I didn’t understand why we couldn’t just do it in school time.

Now at Glasgow, I traipse along to Oakfield Avenue knowing that at some point during the seminar there is going to be at least five minutes of dead air while myself and the other students stare deadpan at one another knowing that not a single person has done the reading. The tutors engage in this activity too, standing at the front of the class waiting and hoping that something may happen. It never does.

The dog-eating-homework is a thing of the past and to be honest, so is the homework.

Addressing school teachers vs addressing lecturers

Sir! Madam! Thank goodness those cringe-worthy days are over.

Formalities are out the window and colloquial chit-chat with your lecturer is now acceptable. However, you cannot expect these lack of formalities to come without consequence. Just the other week I sent an email to my course convenor asking a perfectly adequate question about one of his lectures only to recieve the sassiest of emails in return.


Everyone knowing who you are vs being a nobody

Happy with my core friends

Whether you are a stylish fashionista adorning yourself in the latest clothing or more of a comfort-is-key kind of person, chances are, to everyone else, you are just another face in the crowd. Walking around incognito is one of the best things about university life.

Throwback to high school when there was no such thing as “your own business” and everyone knew everything. 

I love nothing more than strolling down University Avenue in my very own invisibility cape – to a professor I am just a seven-digit number and to everyone else I am just another sleep deprived student.

School sleeping patterns vs uni (lack of) sleeping patterns

If you want to sleep, you go to sleep. This is the only activity that seems to have come round full circle. You have got to admit, nap time at nursery was the highlight of everybody’s day. Now at Glasgow, nap time is any time.

A few personal hot spots for a decent 40 winks have to be: the 11th floor of the library – a nice secluded spot for a wee snooze. Or the sofas on the ground floor of the St Andrews Building – you’re more on display here but you can’t argue with the comfort. If all else fails, your living room sofa is a trusty contender, far from the commotion of seminars, lectures and deadlines and perfect for a nap.

And the ultimate perk?

If I miss my lecture, no teacher will be phoning my mum to inquire about my absence.

Oh, I do love Glasgow Uni.