10 experiences you’re bound to have if you study at Bournemouth University

If you haven’t struggled up zig zag walk we can’t be friends

From your first step as a fresher to your final walk on the graduation stage, you’ll encounter everything Bournemouth has to offer. From tinnies to TOFs to tearful nights in the library: Every night holds an adventure and perhaps a cautionary lesson or two. These are the 10 Bournemouth experiences every student has had, or will have.

1. Out of breath zigzag walk after a beach walk

Bournemouth beach: Gorgeous; scenic; calming. The walk from the square, through the gardens, past the Crispy Duck van (is this van good? Please let me know): All lovely. The walk up the Zig Zag after? Hell on earth. Like, seriously. The worst part about this treacherous climb is you ALWAYS get to a particular bench and think you’ve made it to the last “zag” of the “zig zag” but you’re only half way. I promise you this is the BU experience you’re bound to have, will pray to avoid, and will face every time expecting it to get “easier”… nope.

2. Munchie versus MEGA debate

Whether before, during, or after your night out, a guaranteed BU experience is the ultimate kebab debate. I promise you will have this debate at least three times during your BU experience, and at least once will end up just going back and burning your frozen chips in the oven. I have seen physical alterations regarding the best kebab in Bournemouth, and these two are seemingly the go to. Key points to take away? MEGA: Closer to student accommodation, you walk up the hill for it so you basically burnt it off so no hangxiety, cheaper. MUNCHIES: Closer to Revolution (RIP) and taxis, no hill walk, you will be told one price and charged another.

3. Ice skating at the Xmas market

The Bournemouth Christmas Market is an annual highlight of your BU experience. But the best, most Instagram-able moment, is the ice skating. SKATE Bournemouth never fails to provide a magical , experience (although momentarily denting your savings). The smooth rink, paired with the Alpine Bar, is a guaranteed smile and if you don’t do it with your course mates first year, you’ll be dragged out by your house mates second year. This experience will be all over your feed from mid-November to Boxing Day so avoid the FOMO and enjoy the Christmas magic. Just beware slipping up will take you a foot in the air and slamming back down on your butt. There will be spectators and they will laugh (another true, deeply personal story).

4. Beach day graduation

The experience we’re all dreaming of (and praying for), graduation day at the beach! The thought all your hard work and sleepless nights before deadlines will accumulate to a day celebrating your success is an experience in itself. But knowing there will be a photo of you in your graduation robe on the beach on your Grandma’s wall, framed proudly next to your finger painting is the BU experience we all deserve. This experience is a tear-jerker but the monumental experience you’re bound to have if you enjoy your BU experience and finish your dissertation on time.

5. ASDA Maccies

This experience is so likely even my mum has qualified for it: a hungover ASDA Maccies. The walk there will 100 per cent leave you feeling worse than you did when you first woke up, but I live by the knowledge that McDonald’s will cure anything. No matter the amount of alcohol you consumed, or even if you just finished an awful exam and need a serotonin boost, sitting in the ASDA Maccies, silently eating a Big Mac with your mates is a guaranteed BU experience.

The best part about this experience is you will degrade yourself further each time you go, the outfits looking less comfy tracksuit and more pyjama, or worse the outfit from the night before.

6. 100 false fire alarms

Student accommodation has its pros and cons. Some have more cons than pros… However, the common denominator in all these cons are the incessant false fire alarms which seem to only occur between 2am and 4am. You can thank your flatmate for burning their post-Cameo Wednesday toast in the freezing cold street after being shepherded down by a stranger in a hi-vis. Or worse yet, ignore the fire alarm until you start to become genuinely concerned and hallucinate smoke, throw on your ratty dressing gown and make it half way down the stairs before it stops and you march back up to bed. The sound haunts your dreams, but at least you know they’re working…

7. Varsity Day

Athlete, sports fan, or just a Solent hater, Varsity Day is a brilliant annual experience at Bournemouth University. Picture this: Bournemouth Uni versus Southampton Solent, competing head to head in every sport each uni has to offer. A win is a point to the corresponding university. Most points win (duh) and the tension builds to the final match of the day, when the pressure is on and the crowds are roaring.

This experience is brilliant for everyone partaking or spectating, a sense of community vibrant throughout. It’s a brilliant way for BU Sport to finish their seasons and for our final years to wear their jersey one last time (cue the tears). This experience is a must and will be a highlight of your university experience.

Photo by Saffron Cave

8. Freshers’ Week (every year)

I think the true act of maturity is not going to any events during Freshers: Thus far, I am failing. Opening and closing at Cameo, this week drags out into a month (and sometimes a half) of drunk laughs and so many photos with people you’ll never see again. All your usual events (all of which you will also experience, so consider this a two in one) but with the umbrella “Freshers’” to allow extortionate ticket prices, extortionate drink prices, and a lot of free t-shirts.

These events include – but are certainly not limited to – Toast Tuesday (Freshers you will live, eat and breathe this event all year), Cameo Wednesday, Suddenly Funk or Alt Thursday, Lollipop Friday (the best night IMO), Saturdays are a free for all, and Snakebite Sunday (PopWorld is legendary). These events are each an experience in themselves you’re bound to love and hate, but Freshers’ Week is an experience you literally can’t avoid.

9. Getting stuck in a lift

I’d like to stress I enjoyed staying in first year student accommodation. I made some of my favourite memories and some awful meals. BUT the lifts are not reliable. At all. Not even a tiny bit. This is, again, a common factor in all the accommodations. The lifts will only work on the most irrelevant days or the days you escape home. Being stuck in a lift or finishing a long day at uni or a big night out and realising you have to walk up eight flights of stairs is a BU experience moulds your character.

When my parents raved about the skills and lessons I would learn at university and living with strangers, I did not expect one of those to be patience with a lift. Or the ability to walk up said eight flights of stairs without needing an inhaler at the top (Side note: I have lost this skill since moving into my ground floor bedroom this year).

10. Harry Ramsdens

The best part of any seaside trip is the fish and chips. The best part of a Bournemouth Beach walk is Harry Ramsdens’ fish and chips. The ultimate BU experience. A hot girls’ walk down to the beach for a HUGE portions of cheesy chips is the best way to spend your Sunday. You will consider yourself a regular by semester two and expect your order prepped for the moment you step foot in the takeaway section. Then it’s sea views as you enjoy the best fish and chips in Dorset. Harry Ramsdens is an experience you will undoubtedly enjoy, even if just for the friendly lady behind the counter.

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