1. Why are the toilets in the library SO horrific?
Somehow the toilets in the library - especially on the ground floor during exam season - are worse than any scene you’ll find in Drapers on Hail Mary night. No toilet seats, no locks, sometimes no doors, and all manner of unidentifiable liquids in and around the blocked toilets. If you ask me, make the extra trip to Arts Two where you can wee in relative comfort, or start practicing your hovering skills.
2. What exactly is lurking in Regent’s Canal?
The stretch of Regent’s canal next to the university is lovely and cleaned regularly - but follow it north along its unlit towpath, with its interesting array of… erm... unusual individuals, murky waters and the occasional floating fox corpse and it can be a less than attractive destination. My bet is there’s a reason the Loch Ness Monster can’t be found, and that’s because it migrated here.
3. Why did my school schedule a seminar on the top floor of the Bancroft building 30 seconds after my lecture on the other side of campus?
The Bancroft building’s staircase is no joke - it’s huge and winding and there’s a stampede every hour that threatens to sweep you all the way back down again. Forget a QMotion membership, just puff up this with the complete works of Shakespeare strapped to your back once a week.
4. What happened to Fur Coat No Knickers at The New Globe?
For Queen Mary graduates, The New Globe is tinted by the warm glow of nostalgia. Cheap drinks, rude bar staff, floor that your shoes stuck to, collapsing chairs, vomiting rugby players, overcrowding that meant it was, on occasion, shut down by the police - the perfect student dive bar. Now it’s refurbished, clean, and boring. Bring back two skittle bombs for £5! Current undergrads - you have no idea of the delights you missed out on.
5. Was it intentional to make the library overlook an enormous cemetery?
The 19th century Jewish Novo cemetery is a fascinating piece of history - one of only two exclusively Spanish and Portuguese cemeteries in England. The presence of the graves in the centre of campus is certainly a reminder of our mortality - great for keeping us grounded, not so great when you’re crying in the library at 7 in the morning on the day of a Tort Law exam and happen to glance out of the window to be confronted with the inevitability of your death.
6. How have I survived so long on nothing but Dixie Chicken?
Ah, Dixie Chicken. The saviour of the drunk student, the tired student, the student with 99p to their name. You know there are better fried chicken and burger shops, but you’ll always come back to Dixie Chicken and its unflattering strip lighting. Maybe mix it up and eat a banana once in a while.
7. Why didn’t I bring a packed lunch? (You, in the Sainsbury’s queue at lunchtime).
If you’ve migrated to Sainsbury’s you’re probably a second or third year student, but not a postgrad because by then you’ll have learnt to pack a damn lunch. The Sainsbury's queue starts outside the front door at peak times, so the trick is to join at the back and be prepared to grab items in order as the human conveyor belt shifts three sides round the store towards the tills. Think fast.
8. Is Hail Mary actually fun?
Everyone says it is, but everyone also drinks red beer like they’re trying to forget the night before it even actually happens.
9. Will I survive the night bus home?
Going out in central London has its perks, but trying to get home after the tubes stop running is one hell of a challenge. Night buses are full of the oddest, drunkest people you’ll ever meet, and you might fall asleep on the 25 and wake up in Ilford. Or get off at the ‘Queen Mary/University of London’ stop instead of ‘Regent’s Canal’ and have to trek miles across campus to reach Pooley House. So happy about the night tube.
10. Will the animal-based stress busters be back every exam season?
From rooms full of puppies and bunnies to miniature farms with shetland ponies and goats, Queen Mary has put on some excellent pre-exam events. Lets hope they keep doing so, because FLUFFY THINGS!
11. Is it ok to feel conflicted over the gentrification of Mile End?
Gentrification is notoriously bad news for locals, but on the upside Mile End now has a Starbucks, a Co-op and a “dessert stand” called Sugar Cube that sells waffles and churros. And only five years ago, where the lofty heights of Scape now stand, there was a run-down car dealership. (RIP Roasters and Budgens).
Maybe it’s the East London location, but Queen Mary seems to have a disproportionate amount of hipsters. It’s all pretend glasses, neat moustaches and hairstyles that look like they’d be more appropriate on a member of the Peaky Blinders. Great excuse for a Cillian Murphy GIF though.
13. Why does nobody know where or what Queen Mary is?
It’s a Russell Group University AND part of the University of London, but say ‘Queen Mary’ to someone who doesnt live in London and most of the time you’ll be met with a confused look that gets even more befuddled if you say it’s in ‘Mile End’. It can be exasperating having to explain for the millionth time.
14. How many people get actual work done in the Hive?
The Hive is great, but except for the occasional last minute group project most people use the Hive to keep their lunch away from the rain. And QMUL students are very friendly, so sometimes you’ll sit down with a whole essay to do, and come out with a handful of new friends. But maybe only seven words of actual essay.
15. Will we ever learn that a trip to Westfield is not Fun but actually a very bad idea?
So one of the biggest shopping centres in Europe is one tube stop away - but that doesn’t mean it’s a good place for a casual browse. Unless you know exactly what you’re buying you’ll be sucked in for three hours and emerge angry and dishevelled with aching feet, a headache from the screaming children, a McDonald’s in one hand and an odd multicoloured knitted vest in the other that you bought in a panic in a sale.
Life hack: if you need John Lewis or Foyles, get the DLR from Stratford to Stratford International and save your feet and your sanity by using that entrance - theres a great craft beer place there too!
16. Why did we choose to live in such an expensive city?
All of our money goes on rent. Immediately. A shoebox room costs the same as a palace up north. And pints cost £5. BUT we do get to live in one of the major capital cities of the world, we have Vicky Park on our doorstep and Queen Mary has an amazing multicultural vibe because of its London location. We have the Tube, the museums, the galleries, the Thames. And once you’ve left, you’ll always nurture a weird fondness for the grime of Mile End station.