In the past few weeks I’ve been involved in an Open Day and an online chat room event with prospective students. One of the questions I’ve been asked most frequently during those events has been about colleges and what being part of a college means so I thought it would make a good subject for a post. The college system at York is a real selling point of the university, for me it set it really apart from the other ones I was looking at and I hope it will for you too!
About the colleges
There are eight undergraduate colleges in total. The type of accommodation in each college differs (some are en-suite, catered, etc.) so make sure you keep this in mind when having a look. You can read more about the colleges and the accommodation they offer on their websites here: https://www.york.ac.uk/colleges/.
Benefits of being in a college ( I was part of Halifax College but these apply to whichever college you’re a part of)
- 1. Fresher’s Week!
Fresher’s Week is a time of excitement (and maybe a little nervousness) for all first years but right from the start your college is there to welcome you and ensure you settle in. You go straight to your college when you arrive and they are on hand with lots of willing second and third years to help move your things into your new home. Then in the evening you meet your STYCs (Second and Third Year Contacts) who have been assigned to your flat/ house and will come out with you most nights in the first week to help you find your bearings (and show you which bars have the best/cheapest drinks). Your STYCs can also help you show you round town in the day and to just give advice about any worries you have. All the Fresher’s week events are organised by your college and in my experience of having been both a fresher and a STYC are a lot of fun. The college teams work extremely hard to make sure everyone feels at home in that first week and there is always someone to talk to if you have any concerns.
2. College Events
Even after the craziness of Fresher’s week, the college still organises plenty of events throughout the term. In my first year in Halifax these included:
- Quiz nights
- Free smoothies
- A house Christmas meal at the local pub
- Various bar crawls/ events usually joined up with other colleges
- Faxival- a summer festival
Plus many more so there is still plenty of opportunity to do things and meet new people even after Fresher’s week.
3. Support and Community
If you have any problems or issues throughout your time at York, even after you’ve moved out of your college accommodation your college still offers plenty of support and is your first port of call.
And finally, community. There is such a huge amount of community spirit in all the colleges, for most people their college becomes a part of your identity at university and that college pride never leaves you! Being part of a college community means it is so easy to talk to people and make friends as people are always integrating between houses/ flats and this sets you up so well for your second and third years.
I have found the college system to be a really beneficial part of my life at York and feel it has added a lot to my experience. I will be at the next department open day so hope to see some of you then 🙂