How to survive Murano: The fresher’s guide to managing the madness

A manual to surviving Glasgow’s most… interesting student halls


It’s that time of year again, when students around the UK have just arrived at university for the first time. Full of excitement and ready to embark on the next stage of their academic life.

If you’ve ended up at Murano, we’ve assembled this handy guide for you to make the most out of the infamous Glasgow halls, from our writers and ex-residents.

Don’t be too quick to judge

St Patricks (:

Murano is arguably the most famous of Glasgow’s student halls and by far its largest. If you ask most previous Murano students, they will mostly speak fondly of Murano. It can get a lot of stick but it’s a place that you will begrudgingly love and that will forever hold a special place in your heart.

This brings me to my first piece of advice – don’t judge a book by its cover. Murano is undeniably not the prettiest or most modern student accommodation. But it does the job.

The appeal of Murano is most definitely the people. Whether you are there for the wild flat parties or the general social appeal, there will always be something going on. I met friends for life in Murano and I will always treasure the memories that I made there.

Things you should bring

My very messy Murano room

Firstly, buy a pair of sliders or flip-flops. While some flats will be clean, it’s surprising how quickly flats get messy with ten people living in them. With everyone adjusting to living alone, hoovering often becomes an afterthought. Sliders are easy to put on and are a lifesaver both in your flat and trekking to the laundry room.

Secondly, you will need a dressing gown. Unless you want to be getting changed in the shower rooms or make the walk to your room wrapped in a towel, a dressing gown is a must. It will also get cold in your room in the winter and a nice fluffy dressing gown and blanket will keep you cosy.

Finally, if you are a light sleeper, ear plugs would probably be useful. As Murano tends to be quite loud… all the time.

Getting from A to B

Another thing Murano is famous, or more rightly infamous, for is the hills to and from. And trust me, its reputation is very much warranted. Prepare to finish your walk home from campus sweaty and seriously out of breath.

One thing I would say in relation to the location of Murano is use the buses. I cannot stress this enough – you will spend an absolute fortune on Ubers if you don’t. Murano is in close proximity to a main bus route that takes you right into the city. These go up to about 11.30pm.

Anyone living in Scotland under the age of 25 can get a Young Scot card and anyone under 22 is entitled to free bus travel. I recommend that non-Scottish students apply for that as soon as uni starts. You can technically get the bus to Byres Road as well, but, with the route being unreliable, you’d probably get there sooner by foot.

Socialise, socialise, socialise!

Funky sunglasses are a must

Another thing I will say about Murano is that you get what you give. By that I mean you will love Murano but only if you make the effort to put yourself out there and make friends.

Don’t get me wrong, moving to a new place not knowing anyone and trying to make new friends is incredibly daunting. It’s important to remember all of your fellow Murano residents will all be feeling the exact same.

It’s unlikely that everyone you befriend during Freshers’ Week will be your best friends, but it is important to participate. I didn’t end up friends with the people I met in Freshers’, but I have them to thank for so many wonderful memories and if it wasn’t for them I probably wouldn’t have met the people I have in my life now. It won’t always be easy but I can promise you that it will be worth it.

Loneliness is normal

One of Murano’s prettier moments

My final piece of advice for you is that being lonely is normal. However many friends people have or however glamorous their life looks on their Instagram story. Everyone will feel homesick and lonely sometimes. Just know it will get better.

So to all of this year’s Murano students, look after one another, make friends and most importantly enjoy this year while it lasts because it goes so fast.

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