My name is Josh and I’m a first year Business and Management undergraduate at York. This is my first time studying at university level, my first time having to make new friends from scratch, and my first time living away from home. I absolutely love it here. As a student who came through clearing, I think the fact that I love it here speaks volumes as to the quality of both education, opportunities, and support that York offers. York took a chance on me that day, and I took a chance on them. It is the best decision I have ever made and one that will shape my future. Deciding which university is right for you is hard decision. To help you try and imagine what life is ACTUALLY like here, I’ve written this blog about what turned out to be a very cold Wednesday for me.
I woke up to snow and a lot of it. The day before March and it is 2 degrees outside. I have never felt so lucky to live just a four-minute walk from my lecture theatre. Most first years live on campus as part of a college. I am a part of Goodricke College and as a Business and Management student this is amazing. Goodricke is on Campus East, and thankfully so is the state-of-the-art Law and Management building. York, like Durham and Oxbridge, is one of the few universities to be collegiate. This makes meeting people so much easier than it would otherwise be. EVERYONE is nervous at first and that is completely normal. However, the college system provides a support network which is so much more personal and means that the people you live near are the people you participate in extracurricular activities with, thus you are able to form strong connections with a variety of people very quickly.
Today I have a two-hour accounting lecture on Investment Appraisal Techniques. My lecturer always uploads the lecture slides a few days before the lecture. This gives me the opportunity to look through the topics that will be covered and do some background reading, ensuring that I get as much out of my lectures as possible. My favourite place to do this is in the study zones in the new Piazza building. Each module is different, but for my Accounting module each lecture is followed by a seminar in which we work through questions based on the techniques we have acquired in the lecture. These are so helpful. The seminars are small groups of around 15 students working with the lecturer and this provides so much support in my study and certainly helps when approaching exams.
One of the most important things for me when deciding on which university suited me best was the extracurricular opportunities available, as well as the quality of the course. York offers so many opportunities to broaden my skill set around my degree. After my accounting lecture, I got the bus with some of my course friends over to Campus West. There are buses every 7 minutes so the wait in the cold was short. The journey only took a few minutes (although it was hard getting off the bus, braving the elements once again). I left my friends who were heading to Courtyard, a bar on campus, for some food. Understanding how tasty Courtyard nachos are, it was almost impossible to leave them. However, I recently began a LFIM (Languages for International Mobility) Mandarin course, which consists of a single two-hour lecture each week, and for me this falls on a Wednesday. As a complete novice, learning Mandarin is quite a daunting undertaking but learning in a small group with a friendly tutor makes it so enjoyable.
When the class had finished I had a cold walk over to D-Bar, ANOTHER bar on campus (also serves THOSE Nachos). I am a very sporty person and am involved in a wide variety of sports here at York, but one of my secret passions is chess. During the Freshers’ Fair held during the first week of the first term I joined the Chess Society. My chess ability is average at best, however it is a game I enjoy playing. My friend who lives in the flat next door meets me there. He has managed to beat me every week in the last two terms. I think the score stands at 19-0 which is embarrassing. I really enjoy Chess Society as it gives me the chance to play casual chess whilst mixing in a social group I would never usually be in. My confidence has improved so much, and our games are getting closer, although I still can’t beat him.
A quick refuelling back at my accommodation is needed. Cooking up my ‘pièce de résistance’ – Pork Caesar Salad – is also a chance to catch up with my flatmates and have a moment to just sit and relax after what has been a busy day. However, it is not over yet. Wednesday in York is not only a student night, it is the night of the sport socials. Socials are usually themed and involve a lot of interaction between different teams. As a patriotic member of Goodricke Football’s First Team, this is the social that I usually attend. It is hosted in the Nucleus, a social hub for the residents of Gooedricke. Much like a common room you might have had at school or college, it is well-equipped with facilities such as pianos, games consoles, board games, and ping pong, to name just a few. This week’s social was themed as ‘Sports Day’ with a dress code similar to a PE lesson in primary school. The football team combined with the Goodricke Netball Team for some friendly competition and some socialising before ultimately heading into town to an event held each week by the students’ union. Coming from Leeds I understand what a good night out entails, and was very enthusiastic coming to university to combine both commitment to my study with the different social aspects of university. I have found York has surpassed my expectations in this sense whilst also providing a safe and supportive environment in which I feel I’ve flourished.
I hope that an insight into an average Wednesday for me will help inform what is a very important decision for you. Whether you choose York or not I wish you the best of luck in the future. I hope wherever you decide to go you will be as happy with that choice as I am here at the University of York.