Why going to York was the best decision I ever made
Just ignore the geese and you’ll love it
Going to uni is one of the scariest propositions and largest challenges most of us have faced. The fear of actually having to grow up and shoulder some responsibility is a pretty overwhelming one and this played on my mind a lot on the long drive up from London, crammed in the back of a car beside enough luggage to crush my aspirational hopes and dreams. It’s fortunate then that I don’t think I could have chosen a more welcoming and enjoyable place than York to spend my 3 years as a University student.
At risk of me sounding like a ‘come to York’ ad, despite initial doubts, the collegiate system proved a really effective way to settle in, adding an element of community to first term – even as a Halifax student, a college deader than Arsenal’s title hopes. It also helps knowing people in another college, providing more variety to what you experience, and having friends in Derwent especially adds more fun/shit chanting on buses.
The club nights in York are also endearing in their mediocrity. Everyone decides their favourite by week 3 of first term and has tried to secure a spot in Clubbers of the Week by week 5.
Yet in York you’re guaranteed to meet people you know on nights out and pretty much always have a solid time, bolstered by a compulsory kebab from Salt and Pepper to end the night. If you want a massive club played by famous yet average DJs, go to somewhere like Leeds or Manchester, but if you don’t want to lose your friends every 5 seconds and do sort of want a degree at the end of your 3 years, York’s your uni.
Another big appeal is the prices. To a southerner like me, £1 Jagerbombs sound like a myth, yet in Society and Parish they become reality. On a Wednesday, you can also get £1 pints in Yates all night. You’d have to pay over four times that for a flat Amstel in London. These stellar prices extend to the on campus student bars, with Courtyard in particular being a standout. An entire article should rightfully be dedicated to how fucking amazing their nachos are, I’d come to York just for those.
The city itself isn’t too shabby either. Basing your opinion on York architecture on the outer space abomination that is Central Hall or the Eastern European jail of James’ prison block is a bad move if you’ve never walked through the shambles or past the Minster, or even visited the ghost town of Hes East. Fair enough, only tourists actually go to the Minster or walk the wall but they’re there to be pretty if you need them to, and walking along Main Street feels like jumping into a postcard from a hundred years ago.
Going to the University of York has genuinely already provided me with some of the best times of my life (particularly the YuSnow ski trip which I would recommend to anyone and everyone) and after having made new friends, joining a few societies and becoming part of a whole new community, I well and truly feel at home here.
And I guess my degree is alright as well but obviously that’s not a priority.