Everything you only know if you lived in Derwent College

At least we’re all friendly…

Derwent is one of the oldest colleges here at the University of York. Opened by the late Queen Elizabeth II, it isn’t just the royals who seem to frequent our beloved college. Famed for its party atmosphere and home to the world’s longest mallard, the aptly named Long Boi, you are sure to stumble across a hungover resident or a gaggle of geese during your time here. Whether meeting a friend at The Courtyard (home to the best burger deal) or visiting for a seminar, actually living in Derwent is an experience so unique that only its inhabitants, old and new, can truly understand. Here’s everything you know if you lived in Derwent. 

Sesh central

If you were anything like me, a cheeky Tuesday on the bevvies was never a rare sight. The “I’ve got a 9am, I can’t!” never holds up as the lids crack open and you make your way through the blocks, recruiting friends and heading to the best (I might be biased) flat party destination- D Block. Here you can dance the night away and wake up the next afternoon ready for a Wednesday at Salvos, having missed all your seminars for the day. Prinks at Courtyard, of course.

Long Boi

Our resident celebrity, verified on Insta and loved by every Derwenter. His elongated stature means he looms over his peers, and he waddles about the lakes here to find the Derwenters who keep a stash of bird feed they bought for him at Nisa. He would give Kate Moss a run for his money the amount he is snapped by us. He is the OG BNOC.

Debrief at The Courtyard

We’ve all been there. The never-ending two-hour seminars (three if you’re unlucky, or a history student) or the morning-after debriefing with the flat. Whether a coffee or a Corona, it is the best place to see familiar faces and rehash what happened. Spotted an ex? Fell down the Kuda stairs? It will all get dug up at The Courtyard. 

Hes Hall appreciation

Heslington Hall is rich in history, having first been built in the 1500’s and used as RAF headquarters in the Second World War. But it is now the hot spot for grad pics, with candid hat-throws and proud diss-poses taking over Insta during May and June. Every Derwenter, however, will reminisce about spending their summers sprawled on the grass outside the Hall, sipping on a bev and reading the notes they missed last week. Studying never looked more appealing.

Never-ending staircases

The path to the top floor of any block is a long one. It isn’t quite the yellow brick road, but they can sure look like that after some people can’t quite make the toilet and spew what can only be described as a mix of pre-game pasta and vodka (and shame) It’s safe to say I never helped clean that up…

Formal fanatics

Get your tickets bought and your gladrags on because the Derwent formals are on a different level. Whether hosted at the York Railway Museum or a swanky hotel, they are the best times to get pissed on prosecco and dance until the sun comes up, if you don’t break a heel that is!

Kitchen nightmares

Disgusting kitchens are part of any Uni experience, but with the larger flats in Derwent, biohazards are an all too common occurrence. From mouldy meat to maggots in your food, us Derwenters pride ourselves on making a mess and telling each other we’ll clean tomorrow. We never do. 

The friendliest cleaning and maintenance staff

We all have that one person we saw on a morning and had a lovely half hour chat with as they made sure our kitchens were tidy (they always were on inspection days!) and gave our floors the once over. They are the people who make Derwent the community what it is and I can safely say that without them, Derwent would lose its charm. Shoutout to our old D Block caretaker, you were the best.

The resident tabby

It’s a red flag if you don’t like animals, especially if that means Derwent’s very own friendly feline, Timothy. Now, he has a different name for everyone who meets him but his presence outside Circuit Laundry (bane of my life in first year) is appreciated by the masses. 

Circuit laundry

It feels like a swear word. Derwent’s tiny, hot, noisy and often busy laundry rooms strike fear in anyone who has the pleasure of using them. My local, in B Block, would leave you feeling traumatised as you found your wet laundry thrown on top of the washer when you were thirty seconds late. It was hell. 

Derwent till I die though x

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