Things you’ll miss about the University of York

Not every club has a VW campervan on the dancefloor

Your time at York will probably be exactly what you’d expect for 19th position in the league tables: ambitious, enjoyable, but still somehow worse than UEA which is by all accounts in itself the definition of mediocrity. Still, however bad life gets and however hard your future employers rib you for not getting into Oxbridge, there will always be the things you miss that made your time at York just so good.


Campus fowl are perhaps the defining aspect of York uni life. Whether it’s seeing the rare black swan, or getting attacked by a maternal goose, the wildfowl are EVERYWHERE. They shit where you’re walking and wake you up in the wee hours. God forbid you bring arms to one though, killing one will get you a lifetime ban from the university, but murdering a fellow student would allow you to return post-sentence.

They’re watching you. And they’re waiting

Kicking people out of rooms you’ve booked in the library

It’s unlikely that in postgraduate life you will ever be able to replicate the smug satisfaction of ceremoniously removing people from a library study room that you’ve booked. Of course you will have ignored the fact that you were vacant for the first 2 hours and 50 minutes of your booking, and the poor soul occupying the room will have almost correctly assumed you weren’t coming. Better still are the moments that you remove people under the pretence of a booking in the name of a friend, a fact you will struggle to corroborate without the confirmation email, and be left red-faced and clammy.

The lake

Despite being a rumoured environmental hazard, the lake is an unfaltering element of UoY life and will of course be missed. You know it’s man-made but nobody else would. It smells when the sun comes out and its home to some of the wildest birds you’ll find outside of Salvation on a Friday night.

50 shades of grey


Never before has a man captured the hearts and minds of a campus in such a way. Through his tenure as Derwent Chair and on to the YUSU Presidency, he has inspired many and bought joy to millions (exaggerated) more. Tirelessly campaigning for our students, he will be missed. Fortunately, we have this fine piece of art to remember him by.

Talking about Willow

Nowhere else in the world could a grotty old ex-Chinese restaurant provide such stories. Not a day goes by without sleep-deprived second and third years reminiscing about the “club”, its chlamydial prawn crackers and cheesy tunes.

It promised so little and produced so much

Browns sandwiches

In the sleepy village of Heslington there is a beacon of carby delight, a cheery outpost beyond the grey drab of Derwent. More choice of fillings than there are days of the week and a plethora of other comestibles to enjoy, Brown’s is truly an institution.

College sport

If there was one way of establishing which college was best, other than attendance to social events, quantity of dangerous material in the structure of the buildings and concentration of campus wildfowl, college sport would be the way to decide it. The thrill of the College Football Cup and Vase, the trials and tribulations of collegiate tennis and the veritable hilarity of college volleyball all add up to a very important aspect of uni life.

Derwent down to a D

Efes pizza

Once you’ve graduated, statistics suggest you may go to live and work in London. There, a walk home from a night out may be punctuated by gang violence and the homeless, whereas in the relative safety of York your walk home can only be interrupted by the warm embrace of the takeaway. Efes is the obvious choice, sitting bang in the middle of the walk back to campus, ready to grease you up for the remainder of your journey.

There are no words for the joy this brings me

Derwent’s asbestos

It’s the college you love to hate but realistically that’s only because you wish you were a member. Its sports teams are the best, its social life incredible and its architecture….leaves lots to be desired. Nestled next to the beauty of Heslington Hall and the Lake, you’d be forgiven for forgetting its walls contain the highly carcinogenic asbestos we’ve all heard so much about.

The juxtaposition?

Tiki Bar

It is rare to find something truly unique about a club these days. The sweaty heat, shit tunes and misogynistic sports teams tend to blur into one and it’s difficult to pick out a defining feature. Enter the Tiki Bar at Kuda however and you are greeted with a VW campervan. Without question or hesitation it is fallen upon by us in our droves, whether it be to try and light up in secret or to finger your housemate in relative privacy. The Tiki Bar is a haven of all sins and some nights we’d rather/we’ll never forget.

Imagine what those seats have seen


The campus porters are in general a beacon of hope amidst an otherwise poor level of university staffing. They are the heroes York deserves…they’re silent guardians…watchful protectors…the Dark Knights. They are the first port of call when literally anything happens to you in halls: faulty fixtures, sinister sexcapades and horrifying housemates, and they still give you a smile when you’re still collecting your post two years later. If you’re lucky in later life you may end up with a concierge in your apartment building, but until then the crushing mental weight of collecting your own post and fixing your own light will make you miss those wonderful porters.

Campus media

When you leave university and become a proper adult, you would be forgiven for thinking that news outlets are still very relevant to your life. Hideous stereotyping and tabloid bollocks will not help you get by. However, whilst still lurking in the innocence of university life, nothing can be more relevant than campus media. Whether it’s stories about a duck on the loose or which clubbers looked most attractive outside of Revs in any given week, Nouse, Vision, Lemon Press and of course The Tab will be there to fill the void in your life left by the work you insist you’ll have time to complete just prior to exams.

The best of a bad lot