10 York Life Hacks


Settling into university is always difficult at first, but it’s important to pick up healthy habits when starting out your first year.

Below is a list of the top ten things you need to do to set your first year on the right track.

Order maple syrup bacon pancakes at the Courtyard

I’ve never done this but they have pancakes and they have bacon for burgers so get them to make it!

Climb Central Hall

Climb up the outside of Central Hall if you find someone you fancy, before it gets too late in the year

It’s a good view and you’ll look knowledgeable about campus and also spontaneous and rom-com esque.

Go out with third years

Go out with some third years from a society but don’t bring your housemates. Remember all the bars and everything then take your flatmates on the same night out. Slightly sociopathic but effective.

Go to Bison Coffee

Bison Coffee is more romantic for dates than anywhere on Campus and it’s not very far. Go down Retreat Alley and keep walking as if you would to town. Their peanut butter brownies are amazing, they do good coffees and you are unlikely to bump into anyone you vomited on in Fresher’s week.

Research societies

Research societies before Fresher’s Fair, find out where the stalls for each society you want to go to will be—we will be in the Media Tent outside on Vanbrugh Paradise—and then you can make a beeline for those without being harassed by other societies. Walk with purpose and pesky society committee members are less likely to bug you. After you’ve signed up for everything you meant to, then you can get your free Domino’s (though they will text you for the rest of your life) and have a leisurely amble.

Buy a hipflask

Take a hipflask out with you. I come from a town near London and am used to nightclubs checking my bag for alcohol before I go in. York nightclubs don’t do that. Save money on bevs and spend it on fancy dress instead.

Don’t go overboard with fancy dress

Don’t buy expensive fancy dress costumes from the many shops they have in York. All you need are a few staples, for example facepaint and some cat ears or whatever, stuff you can wear for multiple costumes. I still have a ‘Sexy Sailor’ outfit from First Year which I only ever wore once and am now too mature/embarrassed to ever wear again.

Get a free toastie

Find out when the Christian Union gives out free toasties or other delicious food in your college—James definitely has free toasties—go down with your flat and enjoy. The Christians won’t bug you too much about God, the most they will do is ask you to ask them a Jesus question or try to get you to come to prayer group. It’s worth it for free food.

Carry bread with you (no, seriously)

Bring bread around with you and secretly feed the geese who live near your college. The York folklore will mean that your flatmates are scared of the geese, so once you’ve tamed them they’ll think youre bloody Bear Grylls/queen of the geese and bow at your feet.

Keep hold of your YUSU diary

Take that free YUSU diary you get around with you and write in important society events (socials or elections) in it, as you’ll get busy in first year and it’s important to get involved as soon as you can. The friends you make in societies are the ones you’ll keep for life.