You WILL be chased by at least one goose.


When you set off for the University of York you're expectations were pretty high. Every family friend you told was quick to say how lucky you are, and how beautiful the city is and how you were going to have the best time. While they were definitely not wrong, the most important things you learn at York are probably less related to how The Shambles is so quaint (and looks like Diagon Alley) and more to do with how not to get mauled by an angry Canadian Goose. 

Here's the 17 lessons from the University of York that will really stick with you:


1. The geese are not your friends

When you first arrived in York, you may have mistakenly believed the geese/ducks to be “cute”, maybe you even used the word “adorable”. You were wrong, so wrong. You will quickly learn that they are the spawn of Satan and have absolutely no problem trying to gouge an eye out. Oh, and don’t even think about trying to take a picture of one of their babies if you’re at all fond of your fingers.

Tell me he doesn't look like he wants a fight.

2. Speaking of waterfowl, don't plan on sleeping during mating season

Duck sex is loud, and surprisingly violent. It’s not uncommon to see around 5 male ducks chasing a clearly terrified female duck, but don’t try and help her. From past experience, if you let the female into your kitchen she will repay you by crapping on your wall and flying out. Oh, and definitely don’t expect the ducks to go about their business quietly, they couldn’t care less that it’s 6.25am and your hangover’s just kicking in. 

3. Central Hall may look like a spaceship, but it's actually far less cool

A lovely example of the beautiful 60s architecture knocking around the campus. The spaceship on the lake is the home of your exams, and as you will learn with much dismay, your graduation. But hey, the Minster’s overrated, right?

4. vanburgh paradise is definitely not a paradise 

Apparently there’s plans to refurb, doesn’t change the fact that they called this concrete jungle a ‘paradise’ though, does it. 

5. hes east seems to have been accidentally placed 2 miles further away than it had to be

When you first walk to Hes East you’ll be surprised as you reach the entrance at how little time it took from Hes West! However by the time you’ve trekked down the miles of yellow brick path and empty space they DEFINITELY could have built on to your destination you’ll understand the dismay of all Langwith, Goodricke and Constantine students. I mean, look at how far in the distance that is from the path entrance!

6. The only thing worse than hes east is halifax

Because nobody actually chooses Halifax and at least Hes East is on the bus routes. 

7. york > Lancaster

You could happily go through the first half of your first year and feel relatively little of any emotion about Lancaster. However, come April that will change as Roses fever hits campus and suddenly everybody and their nan will be telling you how YORK IS BLACK AND GOLD. Which is fine, because York is infinitely better than Lancaster, obvs.

SIDENOTE: Shoutout to the Roses promotion videos, which definitely don’t take the competition too seriously at all. 


8. derwent is universally disliked

It’s been said before and I’ll say it again – Derwent = Slytherin. If you actually like Derwent then you’re most definitely in Derwent and most likely sporting this outfit:

9. waking up with one of these bad boys on your face was a rite of passage

The new intake of freshers will never know the joys of £1 shots and sweat-riddled free prawn crackers, or the pain that only comes from a combination of the after-effects of the above and the shame of having Tommy Fong’s light shone in your eye as you slept across the chairs through Five’s iconic ‘Keep On Movin' ’. RIP Willow – gone but never forgotten.

10. Your lecture theatres and accomodation buildings look nothing like this

And you will never set foot inside Hes Hall either.

11. only weak people order a double

Otherwise why would trebles be available for the same price as singles?

12. Meal deals can solve anything

Hungover? Tired? Bored? Sounds like you need YUSU Shop’s finest Arghi Bhargi sandwich, some Salt and Vinegar McCoys and a bottle of Ribena. Or the Courtyard Classic Panini – ‘nuff said.

13. september is a lonely month for you

You will stare longingly at your phone screen as you watch the horrendous “REUNITED!! WOO” My Stories play out from all of your friends at home and wish it was you photographing your friend vomming into a gutter. However, as it’s only the 10th of September you’re gonna be waiting at least another two weeks. Alone. Yay. 

14. The lake is off limits

It won’t take long for you to hear the rumours that the campus lake is the dirtiest in Europe and various amounts the university supposedly pays a year instead of cleaning it. While these are unconfirmed, the fact that there is apparently around 6ft of duck poo at the bottom should be enough to deter you. Basically, it may look pretty from afar but unless you want Hep C, you don’t touch the water. 

15. hes east is a wind tunnel

If you live/have lectures here you will quickly learn not to bother with your hair. Or an umbrella. Or to mind when you nearly get blown into a lamppost. May the odds be ever in your favour.

16. It's the university of york not york university.

York University is in Canada. If somebody could send this memo to every friend/relative/old teacher/employer now please so we don’t have to fight the urge to scream it in their face every time that would be fab. 

17. week 10 comes around too fast

And Week 1 never seems to come fast enough. Because once you’re at York, you will never be ready to leave but ALWAYS ready to head back.

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