Hello newbie student, with any luck this is the start of the journey which will eventually earn yourself that coveted piece of paper that will enable you to justify the four years of laziness, alcoholism and poor life decisions you are about to embark on. At a guess you are here for one of three reasons: you may be a local, Glasgow born and raised, and with a love of your home town so great (or of your Mum’s cooking you decided to stick around for another four years). If this is not the case perhaps you got rejected from St Andrews? Maybe you had images of ‘accidentally-on-purpose’ spilling your Chai Skinny Latte on Prince Harry, a situation obviously diffused by the sudden realisation you are soul mates. Cue a Royal wedding and Princess title by the time graduation comes around? No? Maybe that was just me. Alternatively perhaps Edinburgh gave you the boot? If that was the case, don’t worry, they’re largely a bunch of snobby English anyway. If neither of these fit the bill, I’m guessing you probably came for the music scene, if this is indeed your reasoning you will not be disappointed, there are hundreds of gigs on every week to keep you satisfied. What may in fact disappoint you is the realisation your student budget may not be the bottomless pit it might feel like in Freshers’.
Whatever the reason was that brought you here, a massive well done. You have picked well, and now you have pleased your parents and other relatives back home by surviving your Highers and A-levels and giving them something to tell the neighbours, get ready to disappoint. Prepare yourself for the big bad world of Uni.
Quite ironically your new found independence will in fact reduce your mental age. You might not see it now but soon you will be aware of all the alternative uses of a wheelie chair, have covered a car in cling film and discovered the joys of bin Jenga. You see, the joy of finding your freedom is the realisation that all those things you wanted to do as a child are finally possible.
You will no doubt have been shipped off to halls armed with a cook book but you may as well accept the inevitable and start using it as loo roll now. Once you realise quite how much washing up is involved in cooking you instead opt for the classic ‘one pot’ meals (eaten in the same pot they were cooked in). If you play your cards right you might never need to unpack your plates. Aside from the frozen favourites (found at ridiculously good prices in Iceland) you will also need to stock up on bread. Toast will prove one of your staples. It provides a quick snack or meal for anytime of the day or night, and the basis for so many beautiful meals. Beans on Toast, Spaghetti hoops on toast, and of course the holy grail of a good night out – the drunken Cheese Toasty. Trust me, toast is an invaluable investment.
Drinking. You might not want to, you might not expect it, but chances are by the time you leave Uni your liver will be hanging out your rear end. Glasgow is great for heading out. No doubt your Freshers’ week will revolve around the events at the University’s two unions, the GUU and Queen Margaret Union. Make the most of the nights there as this is where you will meet most of the people on the other end of all those mystery numbers that will forever linger in the depths of your contacts. The ones you’ll spend the rest of the semester spotting round campus awkwardly unsure of whether you danced with them, pulled them or accidentally spilt a drink on them. Either way you will have the best week of your year in these places so make the most of it.
Societies. So the Fresher and GUSA fairs are the best places to scout these out. You’ll get all excited, enticed my intriguing displays, you might never have picked up a lacrosse stick before you come to Uni yet suddenly feel inspired to give it a shot, or you might be convinced that you are a born member of the GUAVA society. Either way, you will sign up to far too many that you will never ever go to the first meetings of, no matter how much you promise yourself. It’s a given. Regardless, try stick to at least one. You can’t pick your flatmates, and the people on your course might not all be to your taste but the one place you will be sure to find people who share an interest with you is through a society. The free pens are a catch too.
I envy you, you are about to embark on the most exciting year of your life so far. Come June you will be packing up your room having completely forgotten about your Princely destiny, you will have met hundreds of new people, some you might know forever, some you will hope never to see again. You’ll have more horrific pictures than you thought was possible floating round Facebook and you’ll have perfected your own ‘no hangover’ routine to enable you to juggle your hard life of drinking on ‘school nights’, failing this you will have chosen a perfect lecture hall spot to avoid the critical eye of your lecturer. You really do have it all to come. Of you trot then, go get yourself a pint of fun – DOWN IT FRESHER!