What I wish I knew before starting University of York

No one can prepare you for the amount of geese shit you’ll step in

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When I first applied to University of York I guess I didn’t really do much research as nothing could prepare me for my first year. There are many unique and iconic York features that they seem to miss from the website, but here’s what I wish I knew before starting at York.

Your college is now your new home…you may have thought that your accommodation was simply the choice of having a double bed or a shared bathroom but no, you are now immersed into the Goodricke life, chanting that a certain college has asbestos and you will be Goodricke till you die.

This young fresher has still not removed his Goodricke T-shirt

Chants are a BIG thing… your head is pounding after those first few drunken night bus journeys into town, but if it’s not the hangover, it’s the cheering chorus of your college chant before slating another college (Derwent of course) that unites you all before piling 24 of you on to the back seat in a desperate attempt to break last night’s record of 18 on the back seat.

Geese become a part of the everyday life… everywhere you look there is a feathered creature of some kind whether it be the iconic Canadian Goose or a Mallard Duck chilling outside Derwent they are EVERYWHERE and they are not easily startled by students. Their arrogant dominance over the whole of campus is intimidating and threatening, but get used to it because they won’t move.


Hes East is pretty boring… There is a reason that it has a rep for being a desolate newly built wasteland where the only living thing is apparently the bunnies that settle themselves during the spring and summer. As an ex occupant of Hes East I can confirm this is a true statement and that during windy seasons the walk over to West is like being transported into a vast and violent wind tunnel with no escape. Freshers, always take the bus.

There is a society for everything… – with approximately 200 societies this year there is a society for anything from Taylor Swift appreciation (SwiftSoc) to FetSoc, to societies that bond (not that sort of bondage) you with your course friends.

Saturday Night outs are the worst mistake you will ever make…York on a weekend is infested with boisterous stag do’s, screeching hen’s, and creepy locals all absolutely wasted, any club is plagued by the old and should be avoided at all costs, especially Pop World. Have a night in, chill, save yourself for Sunday Rev’s before kick starting your week of seshing: Kuda Tuesdays, Salvos Wednesday, Fibbers Thursday, and Mansion Friday.

Stick to the weekdays Freshers

The North/South Divide is an actual thing…A long time ago, York was the capital of the North and it was in fact the capital during the Viking period… A thousand or so years later and the North/South divide is a hotly contested debate that you cannot escape, if you are from the North you are bold, brave and proud and make everyone know it, if you are from the South don’t kid yourself, you are basically hated for your accent and southern sayings, and if you are from the ‘Midlands’ stop pretending you are Northern, you belong to the South.

York is a good uni… I underestimated how good York as a Uni is, you have the Oxbridge and Durham rejects (if reading this guys you’ll come to realise that getting into York was a blessing in disguise!) with the average hard working students who did well in A-levels and have got into the 2nd best Uni in the North (go us). But it’s not the awards or the statistics that make York a good uni, it is the devotion to your college, the mix-match of stunning Hes Hall with the brutishly grey Derwent block, the sweaty nights spent singing ‘Come on Eileen’ in Fibbers that make your experience at York truly unique and amazing.

York is actually quite nice if I may say so