Things you wish someone had told you before you started at Glasgow Uni

You’re probably the only person who didn’t play sport at a county level

Do you ever wish you’d had a sibling or friend who’d studied at Glasgow before you did? Someone to show you the ropes and tell you inside things that none of the other freshers new? Yep, us too. Here’s a compilation of things you really, really, inevitably wish someone had told you before you enrolled here.

You’ll never just go for ‘one drink’

The usual then

Going for one drink at home really is one drink. You’ll sit at the local ‘Spoons, chatting casually to the friends you’ve known since you were in the womb, and eventually you’ll get bored of each other’s patter and head home. It’s an entirely different story at Glasgow, however. Most people know, and mentally and physically prepare for, the inevitable occurrence which is one drink turning into a mental night out. If you’re of the naïve kind, though, you will have slowly learnt that “one drink” is never just “one drink”; before you know it, you’ve been persuaded to go from a casual IPA at the Beer Bar through to Hive karaoke, warbling Spice Girls at the top of your lungs, demanding three pints of fun at the bar, before cutting some horrendous shapes on the podium, sprinting to BBQ Kings for cheesy chips, and rolling into bed at 5am after an after party. Such is life.

You’re the only person that didn’t take a gap year

Gap yah boys

Yah. I think I must be one of the very few twenty-something-year-olds that hasn’t found themselves and some deeper, spiritual outlook on life after having a gap yah. Prepare to be bombarded by flocks of enlightened students at Uni that just HAVE to spend hours telling you about their activities over the past year and showing you the tattoos that tell the tales. Give it a rest guys.

You’re the only person that didn’t play sport at a county level

Where do the couch potatoes sign up

Being an active human is difficult enough without the added pressure of being surrounded by elite athletes. Glasgow Uni offers so many sport and leisure activities but what they fail to mention is that half of the team will casually be competing in the county championships the following week. You are drawn in by “BEGINNERS WELCOME” signs, feeling secure in the knowledge that you, as a beginner, won’t be butted out by the aristocracy of the sporting world. Despite all this, the sports facilities are fabulous and who knows, you may be the next Ronaldo. Just remember, the couch potato life is an achievement that some are too busy to ever accomplish, so wear this title with pride and embrace the sedentary lifestyle.


Glasgow has a ‘reputation’

If you feel bold you can get off at Govan

Kevin Bridges has a joke about Glasgow’s reputation. He said: “When you travel down south and tell people you’re from Glasgow, they get quite excited. They go ‘Oh, Glasgow, yes, that’s really quite rough, isn’t it? Quite violent?’ You kind of get proud and you go ‘Oh, aye, oh aye…’ Then they visit the place and they’re disappointed.”

It sounds better from him but the sentiment translates. I typed “Glasgow” into Google to make this point and the top story that came up was “Armed robbers target G4S van in Glasgow”. You read something like that and suddenly feel like you’re living in Goodfellas. Then you get to Sauchiehall Street and all you hear is a busker with this mad violin thing who just plays the same tune over and over again. If we’ve got all these gangsters around then how come nobody’s shot this guy yet?

You could get a little bit more adventurous and plan on going to places where drug dealers have been gunned down in the street. You get off the subway to go looking for chalk outlines, torched cars and police tape, but at the first sign of trouble you shite yourself and happily run back to the safety of Starbucks and the “friendly” Glasgow we know and love. Next time I’ll be sure to give that busker a couple of quid.

You’ll never want to leave the West End

Try and make me leave then

Before starting at Glasgow Uni you’re always warned – “Do not end up in the West End bubble.” Naïve me always thought I would never end up like this, always wanting to explore outside the university campus. Even in first year you’ll attempt to go out as much as you can in the centre of town to defy this idea. But, alas, like everyone else you fall into the bubble of the West End. You will get sucked into the cheap drink deals and money-off food vouchers. Somehow, drinks in town will end in the Union with a Pint of Fun in hand and even a subcrawl which is destined to end in Polo ends up in Sanctuary because that’s where all your pals are. As part of a society, you physically can’t go anywhere else on a Wednesday night which isn’t Viper or you’ll let your team down. As much as you try to avoid it, the West End is like a little village in the big city, and as much as you say you “won’t be that guy” you will find yourself never wanting to leave.

The Uni is basically Hogwarts and you’ll always want to Instagram it

If you’re lucky enough to have lectures in the Main Building, then you should probably aim to leave extra, extra early as you’ll find the full Instagram potential of Hogwarts takes first place in-front of any class. Over winter, leave extra, extra, extra early because that’s when the magical fairy lights appear on the cloisters – a very tricky picture to nail but extremely rewarding.

It’s impossible to find a book in the library

I give up

Before you’d even started your first semester at Glasgow, you felt certain that you knew the Dewey Decimal system like the back of your hand. All those weekend trips as a child to find the latest copy of “Biff and Chip” had led up to this moment. But, as you took your first step into this new library world, you realised the aisles were filled with number and letter combinations only ever present in the Da Vinci Code. Finding your first book is like trying to find your way out of a labyrinth – the only prize is your sanity. And while the search for knowledge gets easier, the arena that is High Demand will never be ventured into by the weak. So for those who can stomach this quest; may the odds be forever in your favour.

You’ll develop, or know someone who’s developed, the Glasgow Uni accent

The Glasgow Uni accent is one capable of being both irritating yet endearing. For those of you lucky enough to come from outside the UK, I truly applaud you if you manage to catch every word that bounces from the twangs of the loquacious dialect. However, if you struggle to keep up, have no fear – soon you or your mates will attain the accent and it’ll become part of you, a new identity if you like. It will creep into your life slowly at first, with the occasional vowel elongation. You can’t just ask your flatmate if you can borrow their sweater, you have to borrow their “sweatuuuuuuuuuur”. Oh, and it’ll be even worse when you’re drunk. Before you know it you’ve been chucked out for causing such a ruckus when the barman doesn’t understand that you want five “jäguuuuuuuuurs”. Every conversation you have turns into “top chaaaat”. At the end of the night, you donder towards 727, with an emerging sense of pride for your new role, chanting “here we, here we…”