Being at University isn’t always about studying to get a degree. It’s also about making the most of the ‘student experience’. I would say York offers the best student experience you can possibly have. From colleges and fantastic societies, to the beautiful city, you will never even have the chance to be bored!
First of all, there is the collegiate system. I am a proud member of Derwent College (which from a completely unbiased perspective is by far the best college!). Your college is where you will live but also where you will meet the funniest people, go to the most amazing events, and even get free food, which will soon become your favourite phrase. Not to mention, it feels like Hogwarts and you will become fiercely defensive of your college’s reputation.
I can hear you saying, well Beth, loads of Universities have colleges. Well enquiring reader, I can tell you that this isn’t the only thing we have to offer. As a city, York is a thriving social centre, with everything from the best clubs in the country, historic streets (shout out for the Shambles!), and now three shops dedicated entirely to Harry Potter. There is never a dull moment and there is always something entertaining to do. York is also very proud of its Viking heritage, and holds the ‘Jorvik Festival’ each year. Here you can watch Viking battles, see their tools and weapons, and even try your hand at archery! Also, York is known as the ‘chocolate city’ because Rowntree’s was founded and is still based here. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth (like me!), then there are so many places for you to satisfy your chocolatey needs.
For me, societies are probably where most of my free time goes. I have been able to fully immerse myself in student life by being on the committee for University Radio York (URY) and the Debating Society. This year in URY, I became head of speech. I host a weekly film review show (Screen), and have directed, casted, edited, and produced several radio dramas and documentaries. I have also gained valuable work experience in journalism. But I have also had so much fun doing it and made so many memories. I participated in a live commentary on the full BAFTA ceremony, which was exhausting but something I would never have had the opportunity to do anywhere else! I’ve met incredible people and some who will be friends for life. It’s a great way to relax and just have fun with your mates.
I am also an active member of the Debating Society, which has given me the opportunity to improve my public speaking skills and participate in some really funny, lively conversations. We have also just hosted our annual Debating Competition, where I have learnt a great deal about event planning and organisation. It is something I would definitely recommend doing while you’re a student.
They say it is also important to find time to relax at University (though I think sometimes I may miss my opportunity to do so!). For me, my housemates are vital for this. Whether it’s just chilling watching films and playing games, going out for University club nights or making amazing meals, I know when I come home from a stressful day, I can just chill in my house with some of my closest friends.
Finally, it is important to have a good time at University. You will probably only get one chance to be a student so make the most of it! Join random societies, learn something new, spend all your money on Harry Potter merchandise in town, and just enjoy student life.