As of 26 April, we get to meet Glasgow again, and for many of you, for the first time. For the best part of a year, all the things that make Glasgow have been put on pause. But now, vaccines are being distributed, restrictions are being lifted, the sun is coming out… everything's coming up Milhouse. We're getting back on the world again.
Whether you're a first-year who has only experienced Glasgow under plague-ridden conditions or a final year student who's trying to soak up the last of the city before you go and take on the rest of the world, there are some things you just have to do if you're spending this summer in Glasgow. Here's my advice for enjoying this summer as restrictions begin to lift on everything we love.
Do more than just pints
Although the gut instinct is to gather around a table on Ashton Lane as soon as the pandemic is over, there are plenty of other ways to spend your money this summer. Glasgow is full of quirky nights out: you can mix vintage gaming and drinking at Super Bario, learn something new at the Science Centre, enjoy a night of comedy at the Stand or take up a life drawing class at Sloan’s. Also, being a Glasgow Uni student, you'll know at least five different people in bands: go and see them. In fact, whether it's music, theatre, art, whatever show your pals or friend of a friend is playing, just go and do it. The most fun nights are seeing people who halfway through the show you have to turn round and ask “what’s the name of them again?” Also, you'll get to do the classic GU-wanker "I went to see a band last night but you'll probably have never heard of them."
The outside world is expensive
As excited as I am for pubs, clubs, and everything in between to be open, the outside world is expensive. Before you know it, all those cheeky £5 pints add up and you're left having beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner, especially with SAAS vanishing over summer. But, of course, we all still want to hang out with our pals and go on hot dates even if we don't have the bank balance to match it. So here are a few ideas for having fun on a student-friendly budget:
For a pretty decent rate, you can rent out Glasgow’s bikes which opens a lot of doors. Not only do these make for a fun ride round the Clyde, but if you’ve got the thighs of Chris Hoy, you can cycle to somewhere picturesque outside of Glasgow with AyeCycle’s website hosting a variety of routes.
Although our planet is on fire, one of the very few upsides is that we actually get warm temperatures in Scotland nowadays. Glasgow's moniker, dear green place, exists for a reason. Get outside, enjoy the sun, bring a book, bring a football, and definitely do not transfer alcohol into water bottles, as that would be illegal.
You might have to wait a little longer before a few of these spaces open but there are plenty of free spaces in Glasgow that are easy on the eyes. There are several spots around the city that make for great days out. Whether it's round the corner at Kelvingrove Art Gallery or the glasshouses at the Botanic Gardens, checking out the Gallery of Modern Art, Centre of Contemporary Arts or The Lighthouse in the city centre, or the outdoor beauty of the Glasgow Necropolis at sunset, you’re spoilt for choice.
And remember… the brain is mean
Mental health at University is a ride, and even more so when you've got the next deadliest thing since the Bubonic Plague corrupting your life at the same time. For almost everybody, this year has been fundamentally rotten. So, of course, the anticipation for a summer of serotonin is high. But, if you are feeling anxious about seeing people again, about not knowing how to talk to people anymore, about the totally normal and expected changes your body has gone through throughout lockdown, that is fine. Returning from a year-long hibernation was never going to be an easy process. So please don't be hard on yourself when your brain is mean to you about going outside again. Although what you are feeling you might think is irrational, there's a phrase I love to remind my friends of: "There's plenty of time to be emotionally stable when you're dead." Have fun this summer, take it easy and if I could give you one last piece of advice… if Stacy's Mom is playing in Hive, you have exactly five minutes to race down to BBQ Kings to make sure you're at the front of the queue.
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