A student walking through two colourful sets of book shelves in the library
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Glasgow’s Declassified Uni Survival Guide

By Ciara McAlinden

In five easy steps, any of us can fit right in on campus this year

It’s a brand-new year at Glasgow Uni, and a lot of things have changed since the last; we have a fancy new building, we all have to wear masks in the library and, for some reason, against the wishes of all students and God himself, the Fraser building apparently doesn’t do pizza anymore. While we’ve gone through many changes and a highly irregular year, there are habits, traditions, fashions, and attitudes that act as an unstoppable force against the immovable object that is Glasgow Uni. And what happens when those two eventually meet? A Glasgow Uni wanker is created. In this comprehensive step by step guide to the life of a student at Glasgow, I’ll make it easy for you newbies to fit in with the crowd, and remind the rest of us of the essentials.

Step 1: Spend your student loan wisely. In this case, “wisely” refers not to a freshly opened savings account, nor does it entail batch making packed lunches to save on food. To put it simply, a chunk of that loan has to go on a North Face jacket. 

“But Ciara”, I hear you cry, “it’s not cold enough to wear a puffer jacket!” You’re right – but being a Glasgow Uni student isn’t about comfort, or about dressing for the weather: it’s about wearing a winter jacket in the heat of early September and then wearing shorts in December. Want to really boil your socks off? Go buy a tiny hat as well. You know those beanies that hardly cover your ears? The ones that are too warm for summer, but not warm enough for winter? From what I’ve observed on campus, I think that’s the uniform for attending the GUU. 

Step 2: Stay hydrated! Oh wait, you don’t have a Chilly’s water bottle? How are you supposed to let the lecture hall know that you’re drinking water if you don’t batter your £20 metal water bottle off of the desk every five minutes? Hydration really isn’t that fun or important if you don’t have one…are you sure you want to use a sports bottle? Well, okay then… enjoy trying to hear the lecturer talk over the sound of everyone else’s Chilly’s bottles, I guess. 

Step 3: You’re not at school anymore, so you can pack away your things whenever you like! Here’s a neat little trick I’ve learned to make yourself known as one of the cool kids: when it’s approximately three minutes till the lecture ends, put your belongings in your tote bag as loud as you can, and bring out the three essentials: tobacco, skins and filters. Lay back in your seat, and roll up your Amber Leaf nice and slowly, before just sitting with it in your mouth. If the lecturer still has the audacity to be talking after you’ve rolled a messy cig, a great way to spend your time is to secure your tiny hat and puffer jacket to brave the bitter cold sun of September that we discussed earlier. 

Step 4: Accept that your tastes might change over the course of your time here. University is a great way to meet new people who like the same things as you, but it’s also an opportunity to discover new interests. My tastes have changed so much that I’ve entirely changed my degree! There is one constant that we all encounter in our time at uni, though, and that constant is the EDM guy. This isn’t one specific person, but rather a character in place at every student halls, in every lecture theatre, and at every after party. Although it’s healthy to expand your taste, just remember this: you don’t have to pretend to enjoy yourself when EDM guy hogs the AUX.

Step 5: Grab your GU mask, and have fun. Pick your favourite union, best lunch spot, lecture seats, and find your people; yes even you EDM guy. This year we are all getting used to campus all over again, if not for the first time, so just take the time to get settled and you will find your own niche of GU wanker in no time. Trust me, it’s unavoidable. 


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