Semester two got you feeling blue? Here’s how to make the most of it at Uni of York

This semester is going to be the one


An intense exam period, weather in the minuses, no societies running, no clubbing, flooding and then a strange period where time didn’t exist before lectures started, might not have been the most promising start to 2024. But with spring on its way and still seven weeks of semester two to go, here’s how you can make this term your term.

1. York Restaurant Week

If you’ve got a long list of York restaurants that you and your friends or flatmates “will definitely go to sometime”, York Restaurant Week is the perfect excuse to cross one of those places off the list. Running from the 11th to the 17th of March, York Restaurant Week has a range of food and drink offers priced between £5 and £30. Although a £30 meal isn’t exactly screaming student-friendly, here are a selection of offers that allow you to get your moneys worth:

Double Dutch Pancake House are offering a sweet pancake and a hot drink for £5; Middle Feast are offering a Shawarma wrap, chips and a drink for £10; Yates is offering a pizza or burger and a drink for £10; Pho is offering crackers, a main and a beer for £15; and Dusk are offering a pizza slice, fries and a pint for £10.

2. York Student Cinema

Image via Instagram

With high ticket prices and most cinemas being a bit of a trek to get to from campus, sometimes rewatching Brooklyn 99 for the 10th time seems like the most obvious form of entertainment for a chill night. Although that’s always a good option, why not spice things up this semester with a film at the York Student Cinema?

Not only is it located conveniently on West Campus but tickets are well priced at only £4 for non-members. Whether you’re wanting to rewatch an old classic such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Chicken Run (both cinematic masterpieces in their own right), or you’re wanting to watch a new release such as All of Us Strangers (emotionally brace yourself for this one) or the new Mean Girls (even if it’s just for Reneé Rapp), the cinema’s schedule this term is sure to have something for you.

3. Cheap days out

Scarborough, Knaresborough, Leeds Corn Exchange

Walking up and down the tourist-filled Shambles perhaps doesn’t have the same appeal as it did during Freshers’ Week. If you feel like you’re ready for a change of scenery, then it’s time to make the most of £2 bus tickets across North Yorkshire.

Why not try and trick yourself into thinking its summer by heading over to Scarborough for the day? Or if beaches and long bus rides aren’t your thing, why not get the train to Leeds and explore their markets and art gallery? If crowds aren’t your thing, then perhaps this is the semester to finally take that short train ride to Knaresborough and take in the view of its iconic viaduct?

4. Walks

Rowntree Park, Foss Fairy Trail

With spring starting on the 20th March, the weather has to get better at some point this semester, right?

Although it might not seem like it now, it won’t be long before you can leave the house without a coat and actually start enjoying those hot girl walks. Why not take this semester as an opportunity to explore a new walking route in York? Rowntree Park is a great place to start (don’t forget to check out Two Hoots Ice Cream Boat toward the end of the semester!) and if you want to add a little whimsy to your walks, then this is the term to discover York’s hidden Foss Fairy Trail.

If you’re wanting to explore something a little further a field, then this is the term to make the most of the walks that York’s Outdoor Society has to offer. With tickets available to non-members, this is the perfect opportunity to explore some beautiful places around York, meet new people and of course enjoy a pub lunch.

5. College events

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If you’re living on campus and you haven’t been taking advantage of any free food that your college has to offer, then this is the term to make up for it. If you’re in James, go get that Toastie on a Tuesday; if you’re Goodricke or Vanbrugh, you better be making the most of those weekly brunches and if you’re Anne Lister and you’ve yet to make it to taco Tuesday, then this is your sign.

To truly make the most of this semester, keep an eye out for any trips, deals or freebies that your college is offering. Whether that’s baking, crafting, a free exercise class or a trip to Alton Towers if you’re in Goodricke, this is the semester to truly get your money’s worth for your accommodation.

6. Live music

Billie Marten

Just because York often gets forgotten by bands touring the UK, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some great life music this semester. Not only does the Crescent host a great selection of stand up comedy acts, but they also have some great gigs coming up before the summer holidays (such as Willie J Healey and Everything After Midnight) and with Jake Bugg and Feeder playing at the Barbican this month, it’s always worth keeping an eye on upcoming gigs at these York venues.

If nothing’s catching your eye however, then make sure to make it to university of York’s Battle of the Bands final at the Fulford Arms to see some incredible student rock bands battle it out. Or, maybe this is even the semester to channel your main character energy and try out some classical music hosted by the university?

7. Picnics

Museum Gardens

Don’t loose faith, picnic season is coming! Think, in just a few months, the East Campus fields will be filled with daytime drinking and disposable barbecues. We can make it guys :,). Whether it’s making cocktail buckets, bringing paints outside or investing in a rounders bat, this semester is going to be the one to bring that picnic game to the next level!

8. Art in York

The York Art Gallery

Who needs to go to the cultural capital city of the world, New York, when you’re living in the og York? Whether it’s viewing Monet’s Water-lillies while they’re in York, viewing the Aesthetica Art Prize at York’s Art Gallery or going to the Norman Rea Gallery’s “The Grand Finale: Art of the Extravaganza”, this semester is the perfect opportunity to become an Arts connoisseur.

9. Bake

Or maybe this is the term to bring out your inner Rowan and get baking? If you’re lacking on baking equipment the charity shops of York have a big selection of cake tins and trays (especially the backroom of St. Leonard’s hospice) and if you’re lacking inspiration then it’s not too late to get involved with the Uni of York’s Baking Society!

10. Study in a new place

Davygate Cafe Nero, King’s Manor

If you’re in your academic era, or you need a little motivation to get into it, then perhaps this is the term to switch things up and discover a new study spot. Although King’s Manor gets much love in Autumn for it’s dark academia aesthetic, the experience is somewhat more comfortable as the rooms warm up in spring.

Why not explore the downstairs library as well? Or whilst you’re there, pop into the library in town for a more relaxed vibe and a cup of tea in the cafe. From your department’s library to the campus bars or cafes, there’s sure to be a study spot you’ve yet to discover.

11. Open lectures

And if you’re really in your academic era, then why not go to an open lecture hosted by the University? If you’re getting a bit bored of your course, or you just want to take your mind off something, then this is the semester to try something completely new. From science lectures about astronomy and psychedelics to humanities lectures on creative writing processes and Pre-Raphaelite art, there’s a wide range of subjects to explore. Who knows, perhaps learning is actually fun without the pressure of deadlines and exams??

12. Clothing swaps and sales

Vintage Kilo Sale York

If all of the above is failing and your semester TWO still isn’t looking up, then it’s probably time to indulge in some (sustainable) retail therapy. If it’s vintage clothing you’re looking for then don’t miss the Headlock pop-up vintage sale at SPARK at the end of March or if the BIG York Flea sounds like a bit of you, then be sure to put the 27th April in your calendar. Or, even better, get the thrill of a new clothing item without spending any money by partaking in a clothing shop hosted by the Uni’s Swap Don’t Shop (give their Instagram a follow to make sure you don’t miss out on any of their upcoming events this semester).

So, even if you’re not feeling the semester right now, go get that new outfit and hang in there: spring is coming, there are plenty of new things to try this term and it’s not too late to switch things up and make the most of what this semester has to offer.

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