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You’re not really a Glasgow Uni student if you haven’t done these 10 things

If you can’t tick all of them off then do you even go here?


As we all know, no two university experiences are the same. However, some things in life are certain, and if you are a Glasgow University student there are definitely some experiences that are unique to you and your peers.

Whether you moved to Glasgow specifically for uni, or are a local or commuting student, there is a high chance that you will have certainly done most if not all of these things. If not, then maybe you should ask yourself how, or even perhaps why?

1. Become a Beer Bar regular

A signature Beer Bar “Pint of Fun” is a great idea for pub crawls or pub golf

As the home of the renowned “Pint of Fun”, becoming a regular at Glasgow University Union’s Beer Bar is certainly something that for many students (and dare I say, some staff) has become a quintessential part of the Glasgow Uni experience, and for good reason. A cheap pint is something hard to come across in the West End, and Beer Bar is one of those rare places where you can find one.

It is the perfect place for a quick catch-up between classes (if you’re feeling brave) and also a must-have stop on any pub crawl. Beer Bar has also proven itself time and time again as a great venue for watching sporting events such as the Six Nations and the World Cup. Cheap drinks and a good atmosphere are all you can ask for in a pub: Beer Bar has both of these. If you haven’t become a regular yet then perhaps it should go right to the top of your to-do list.

2. Failed to find a good study spot on campus – many times

Rare occasion of being able to enjoy a study spot with a view

Despite having a plethora of choices when looking for a place to study on campus, the search for a good spot more often than not ends up being unsuccessful. If one day perhaps you are feeling motivated enough to start hacking away at your huge buildup of pending assignments, spend time reading that awkward journal article or perhaps finally starting off an essay you have been dreading for ages; finding a good study spot on campus and working away for hours seems like an easy enough thing to do, right? Well, not necessarily.

Being able to locate a place good enough to study at for hours is a task in itself. The search usually first takes the form of laps around every floor in the JMS, wondering how on earth all the study spaces are already occupied when it’s only 9.30am. While the odd seat can often be found in the library, it is certainly not a pleasant experience having to circle all the floors looking for a seat under the watchful eye of the students who damn you for disturbing their train of thought as you pass. On the rare occasions when you are able to finally get a good study spot as opposed to sitting with your laptop on your legs on a JMS floor: Cherish it.

3. Firewater Thursday

Packed dance floor on Firewater Thursday

Being able to locate a place good enough to study at for hours is a task in itself. The search usually first takes the form of laps around every floor in the JMS, wondering how on earth all the study spaces are already occupied when it’s only 9.30am. While the odd seat can often be found in the library, it is certainly not a pleasant experience having to circle all the floors looking for a seat under the watchful eye of the students who damn you for disturbing their train of thought as you pass. On the rare occasions when you are able to finally get a good study spot as opposed to sitting with your laptop on your legs on a JMS floor: Cherish it.

3. Firewater Thursday

Packed dance floor on Firewater Thursday

While Firewater Thursday is by no means a perfect experience (queueing in the cold for an hour can be quite off-putting) it is certainly deserving of its unofficial title as one of Glasgow’s best student nights out.

4. Reminded your Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian friends of your superiority

The Hogwarts-esque main campus is definitely one of your points of argument against your city centre dwelling rivals

As a student at Glasgow, you will certainly be used to comments from your noisy neighbours at Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian about what is the best uni in the city. While both Strath and GCU are very much modern and well-established universities (perhaps more so than some Glasgow students would prefer to admit), everyone knows that there’s nothing better than the original.

After all, both The Times Higher Education Guide and The Guardian ranked Glasgow University as the best in the city in their annual rankings. As a Glasgow student, you certainly do well to remind your friends at rivalling universities that.

5. Spent a fortune on food

One of the many great food places around the West End

It is hard to deny that the Hillhead area which encompasses much of Glasgow University’s campus is one of the city’s, if not the country’s, trendiest areas. It boasts a wide array of coffee shops, eateries and bars which are understandably very popular with students. This is brilliant news for those at Glasgow Uni who can enjoy a rich variety of options for lunch, coffee and drinks. However, as we all have had to learn at some point, nice things come at a price.

While the oat lattes to accompany your study session and the panini for lunch may seem like a good idea at the time (no doubt, they will taste amazing), looking back at the transactions from your Apple Pay later is when the regret sets in. Similarly, forgetting to bring your own lunch and having to spend the earth on a sandwich and a coffee from the JMS sandwich bar is also a costly mistake. The moral of the story is that (most days, at least), you should learn to bring your own food. Food in the West End on a student budget is no joke.

6. Sprinted to the St Andrew’s Building for a class

Perhaps the worst thing to read on your timetable is that your next class is in the St Andrew’s building; bonus points if this is directly after a lecture in the JMS. Thankfully, most points on campus are relatively quickly accessible from each other, but this perhaps makes the humiliation of having to run through the hoards of students on University Avenue and all the way down Gibson Street (often in treacherous conditions after a typical spot of Glasgow rain) all the more soul destroying.

This already dreadful situation is often made even worse by having to leave the lecture early in order to make it back up to the main campus in time for your next class. All around this is a dreadful experience which will become the very bane of your week. You are not truly a Glasgow Uni student if you have not at least once cursed the existence of the St Andrew’s building.

7. Sanctuary (RIP) or Hive Wednesdays

Hive plays host to a variety of student nights

Being a member of a sports team at university comes with many perks; the fleeces to wear around campus in order to flex your sporting prowess, the ability to make new friends and also to keep fit. However, if you were to ask a member of a sports team at the uni, chances are they would argue that the best part of it all are sports socials. Previously, a number of sports socials would eventually end up in the now departed Sanctuary, which was certainly an experience to say the very least.

Nevertheless, the classic clubbing spot for Glasgow Uni students on a sports or society night has always been Hive. It is hard to find a student at the uni who does not have a story or experience which owes its roots to the place. Whether you are a die-hard Hive fanatic or someone who curses the very existence of the place it is hard to argue that it is a place you will forget in a hurry.

 8. 727 after a night out

Often one of the best parts of a night out is the food you get afterwards.  There are many options across Glasgow, but none really come close to the 727 on Great Western Road. While waiting in the queue here for ages after closing time at Kitty O’Shea’s can sometimes be a pain, it is always worth it in the end.  The 727 is tried, tested and loved by generations of Glasgow students and will most likely continue to be so for many years to come.

9. Spent hours at the park

Despite being Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow is lucky to enjoy a wide variety of parks and green spaces, largely focused around the West End. Certainly ideal if you’re a student at Glasgow University. The most popular choices for students in this area tend to be Kelvingrove Park and The Botanic Gardens, both of which boast both natural beauty and impressive man-made structures such as ornate fountains and glasshouses. As the warm weather begins to set in, hundreds of students flock to the parks to bask in the rare bouts of Scottish sun and hide from the fact that exams are on the horizon.

This is certainly an experience that every Glasgow student already has, or should enjoy at least once. Sitting in the sun all day with your friends could end up being some of the best memories you make at University.

10. Thought you would always have class in pretty buildings

Unfortunately, the majority of your walks to class will not look like this

Finally, Glasgow University is renowned for having one of the most beautiful campuses in the country, containing various architectural styles throughout. It most famously boasts a breathtaking gothic revival main building which draws many visitors, not least for a photo opportunity in the iconic cloisters. Undoubtedly, when choosing to dedicate the next few years of your life to Glasgow University, the thought of having classes in charming old lecture halls will have crossed your mind. You cannot be blamed for thinking this, after all the university’s Gilmorehill main campus is very impressive and is certainly a pull factor for many prospective students.

However, upon arriving at uni, you will realise that the majority of the time, this is not the case. For the majority of classes, students will end up in uninspiring structures such as the brutalist spectacle that is the Boyd Orr, or its similarly dull companion the Adam Smith building, dreaming of a lecture in something which does not just demonstrate different shades of grey at every turn.

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