string(10) "birmingham"

These are officially the scariest things you can encounter as a Birmingham Uni Student

When they said uni was an experience, they really meant it


When people tell you that uni is an unforgettable experience, they’re not only referring to the silly sports night costumes, wild house parties, or student kitchen calamities. There are countless other crazy, strange, and potentially terrifying experiences that plague all uni students.

Of course there are the classics, like falling asleep (and snoring) during a 300 person lecture, but these are nothing to a student in Birmingham.

From the silence of the library to the queue for Circo, here are eight things that are guaranteed to terrify any Brum student.

1. Saying goodbye to your degree less than a week into freshers

Legend has it that walking under the Old Joe clocktower as he chimes means that you will fail your degree.


Given that Joe chimes every 15 minutes and is literally NEVER on time (despite that being his job), this rookie mistake is way too easy. Do yourself a favour and never get caught out.

Unless you want all the A-level torture, endless stress, and mountainous student loan debt to all be for nothing, avoid walking under Old Joe at all times. Even if it IS the tallest freestanding clock tower in the world, it is just not worth the risk.

2. Running out of eggs

It’s common knowledge that students can survive on caffeine, garlic bread, and pot noodles. However, visiting any Bristol Road supermarket during a Brum egg shortage will really show you what true egg dependency looks like.

When the egg crisis hits, panic rages across Selly. Students realise they may have to live without their trusty fried eggs or spaghetti carbonara. Before you know it, Aldi’s egg aisle has transformed into a deadly battlefield.

3. Joining the back of the dreaded Circo Monday queue

It’s Monday, 9pm, and tensions in Selly soar as the race to get into the legendary Circo Monday begins.


The concept of queuing for hours on Bristol Road is enough to make a Brum student’s blood run cold. Hordes of freshers swarm into Selly, excited for a break from Broad Street. This means that arriving a second too late could mean you are doomed to wait outside, surrounded by other impatient club-goers. As the temperature drops, not even the warm glow of Subway can save you. The Circo queue is a UoB student’s worst nightmare

4. Losing your mates at Fab


The concept of queuing for hours on Bristol Road is enough to make a Brum student’s blood run cold. Hordes of freshers swarm into Selly, excited for a break from Broad Street. This means that arriving a second too late could mean you are doomed to wait outside, surrounded by other impatient club-goers. As the temperature drops, not even the warm glow of Subway can save you. The Circo queue is a UoB student’s worst nightmare

4. Losing your mates at Fab

Then add Saturday night crowds, booming music, and some drunk buddies hooked on tropical VKs, and you will find yourself clutching onto your friends for dear life. Just one wrong move and you will spend the night running from room to room hoping to find someone you vaguely recognise in this fresher infested labyrinth.

5. Getting too close to the Vale Lake

This picturesque lake at the centre of the Vale has featured in thousands of “wholesome semester one uni” photo dumps.

However, between the shocking rumours about what lies at the bottom of the lake, or stories of a friend jumping in and becoming critically ill, taking an aesthetic Instagram picture is the closest many of us will ever get to it.

Who knows what really lurks beneath the murky surface. Trollies? Sharks? Whatever it is, perhaps it belongs in a box labelled “dangerous biohazard”. Don’t forget the stench, which is enough to haunt even the dirtiest “didn’t have enough time for laundry” of freshers.

6. Not being prepared for a fire alarm

Thanks to some shockingly bad cooking skills and general fresher chaos, most students in uni halls have endured the dreaded fire alarm.

You understand what panic truly is when the alarm sounds in the early hours of the morning and you’re dressed in pink fluffy pyjamas with a green face mask on. Or worse, when it interrupts your shower. Dashing outside and seeing familiar faces returning from their night out is something that you will never live down.

*Extra points for descending the stairs from the top floor of Chamberlain tower.

7. Climbing the stairs by Sports and Fitness to the Guild

No need for leg day with this killer stair and vertical path combo. Looking up at the impossible climb from the bottom step sparks intense fear in even the bravest of gym bros.


Truly, nothing is more relieving than finally reaching the top (even if you are dripping in sweat and gasping for air), you’re a champion.

8.The library during exam season

Forget the struggles of finding a seat. During exam season the library is so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. As soon as you move, cough, or even breathe louder than normal, all eyes are on you.

Don’t even think about answering a call, eating an apple, or simply sneezing unless you want it to become one of the most embarrassing moments of your life. Be certain that hundreds of moody and over-caffeinated students will glare at you for simply existing.

When you’re sat on the third floor of the library, suddenly surviving in the movie A Quiet Place seems like a walk in the park.

Related articles recommended by this author:

• Just 10 fun and booze-free activities that students can do in Birmingham

A fresher’s guide to being an academic weapon: University of Birmingham edition