What is the Glasgow ‘university experience’?

Here’s everything I’ve learnt after a year at Glasgow Uni


What truly is the ‘university experience’ that we all imagined before starting our courses? People have always referred to it and praised it as what every student wants. When most of us think about it, the first things that come to mind are drinking, living away from home, kissing random strangers, and possibly being the most hungover we will ever be.

However, a lot of people haven’t experienced these things and there is nothing wrong with that! But, it does leave questions… Are we truly able to express ourselves? Make lifelong friends? Be incredibly hungover and somehow still function? What actually is the Glasgow ‘university experience’?

Drinking and friendships

According to the hallways of almost every high school, the uni experience involves drinking, and I mean drinking, not a bit but a lot. I can definitely say that I haven’t ever consumed as much alcohol as I have whilst being at uni, and how pints in between lectures are now a regular occurrence.

A lot of viewers answered the poll on  The Glasgow Tab’s Instagram, and the majority of responses were about drinking. One viewer said: “Getting drunk until midday remembering you have work, doing the work at 3am.”

This is definitely something I am guilty of, especially due to the number of days off from university with the recent strikes. Not my greatest moment but fun nonetheless.

Money struggles

Another student said: “Money stresses, pretending to not be hungover and lying to your parents.”

Now, touching a bit on money struggles, definitely! Although SAAS was a great help, I did have to apply for a job part-time so that I could afford to sustain myself. And, almost a year later, I am still working there as I love it and will probably have to for the rest of my education.

And being hungover and pretending you aren’t to your parents? A hangover is something I am yet to fully experience, touch wood, but I can imagine trying to pretend you aren’t in front of your parents is like trying not to cough in a lecture after Freshers’ flu. Whilst these are pretty funny experiences for people, this is not always the case.

A student wrote in and shared their experience with alcohol during their first year, they shared that it almost felt like they had to drink to make friends, or felt pressured to, which caused them to fall into a ‘toxic’ friend group. And led to them struggling with issues surrounding alcohol which they had previously struggled with.

There shouldn’t be pressure to drink in order to make friends, if that were the case then we would have all lacked friends in primary and high school. Obviously, this isn’t 100 per cent true for all kinds of friendships but it is a shame for the ones that rely on this. You deserve friends and relationships because of who you are and how you treat others, not how fast you can neck a pint.

Dating and finding yourself

University is the time to explore and find out who you are and what it is you like. This can be through dating, music, or clubs. It is a time for people to experiment and try new things, music, art, food etc. It is a time which urges you to learn and be interested in your self-growth, as well as exploring sexuality.

Some students said that being at university helped them figure out their sexuality, and some talked about “Realising I am queer af.”

Truly it is amazing that when we have left the confines of high school and home, we gain independence and can truly be ourselves without feeling restrained. I myself have taken part in this idea, I have grown incredibly as a person, much more than I sought possible. Honestly, my old self wouldn’t be able to recognise me.

Another interesting expectation is that you will go to uni and definitely hook up with a lot of people and that you should definitely be single when heading to university. This is just an absurd one for me, during the year leading up to uni, this was all that I heard. I was single at the time and still thought it was a foolish misconception. Confidently I will tell you that in the summer before university started, I met my partner and we have been together ever since, and not once did I question going to university in a relationship. There are obviously exceptions to this, as a lot of people won’t be able to do long distance, while others know it isn’t going to work when they are at uni.

As well as most people want to experience what they’ve been told they will. Some of you who wrote in had some experiences in this, one person writing: “When I brought a man home and he pissed the bed and wasn’t embarrassed.”

I know you just made the same face I did when I read that for the first time. It is personally enough to put me off everyone just in case this happened. But most importantly, I want to know if you ever met him again?!?. Whatever, you choose to experience in uni is completely up to you and you shouldn’t feel negative if you don’t experience everything all at once.

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