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Top 10 Signs You're at a British University

VO: Richard Bush WRITTEN BY: Kimberley Payne
Student life… isn’t it amazing? Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Signs You’re at a British University. For this list, we’ve compared British universities to ones in other countries, to really highlight the most weird and distinctive parts of being a British student. So if you’ve ever studied at uni, chances are you’ll seriously relate to at least a few of these. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Signs You’re at a British University


Student life… isn’t it amazing? Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Signs You’re at a British University.

For this list, we’ve compared British universities to ones in other countries, to really highlight the most weird and distinctive parts of being a British student. So if you’ve ever studied at uni, chances are you’ll seriously relate to at least a few of these.

#10: Library or Pub?

During your time at university, there will come a point where you have to actually study. You’ll have that one day where you’ll wake up and you and your friends will commit to a stint at the library to get some work done. But you’re in for a surprise: every other student has had the same realisation, and the library is packed. Once you’ve searched the library for a seat, you’ll lose all motivation and end up in the pub. We all know it’s where you’d rather be, anyway.

#9: Unexpected DJ Sets

Anyone who’s gone to university in the UK will have something to say about the particulars of the night life at their respective uni. It might not always be positive… but it’ll be something. One thing you can guarantee at any British university however, is a random celebrity appearance on your nights out. Whether it’s a DJ only a handful of people have heard of, or an old washed up act from the ‘90s, they usually put on a pretty good show, even though you might not remember it the next day.

#8: Beans on Toast

Students are perfectly capable of cooking, despite all the ‘simple and easy’ student cookbooks that might suggest otherwise. Problem is, you probably just can’t be bothered to cook. That’s the real reason why lazy recipes reign supreme among students. They’re cheap and quick to make and, no matter what mood you’re in, you’re always happy to eat beans on toast - or chicken nuggets. Sometimes the simple answer is the best answer, and when you’re low on money and energy, comfort food is always the answer.

#7: Lecture Friends

Friends you meet at university will be your friends for life, but . . . you’ll meet so many people across your time at uni that you’ll find yourself losing track. You might even have that one class that includes your lecture friend. Who’s that, you might ask? A lecture friend is a person who you met on day one, talked to because you found yourselves sat together and, three years later, you have no idea what their name is and you’ve never talked to them outside of lectures since. But hey, at least they were always there for you when you needed to complain about class.

#6: Student Protests Every Other Week

Students love a good protest, as they do have strong opinions and they’re not afraid to share them. Sometimes though, protests might involve rather strange topics, or students might find a bizarre way to protest a relatively conventional issue. Life at university is never boring: there’s always something going on, something to debate; and you’ll meet some of the most interesting people, at the strangest protests. Bizarre the events might sometimes become, you can’t fault anyone for standing up for what they believe in, and you have to admire their determination for change.

#5: Communal Teabags

If you moved away to study at university, you’ll know all about the ups and downs of having flatmates. Just like any household, there are items that need to be shared between everyone. Toilet rolls, bread, milk, tea bags, the list goes on. The problems start when you need to decide whose turn it is to buy them. There are simple ways to do it: say, everyone chips in and sets up some sort of rotation, but realistically you’ll probably end up waiting until the last second to see who gives in and buys it all.

#4: Not-So-Fancy Dress

Americans seem to go all out for their party nights and their fancy dress. British universities, on the other hand, not so much. We don’t have big extravagant parties, we have naff club nights and half-arsed fancy dress. You might even find universities who have big bag nights, where you make a fancy dress costume out of bin bags. If that doesn’t scream student night out on a budget, we’re not sure what does. Our nights might not be as grand as an American’s, but we still have the best time.

#3: Sports: Who Cares?

You don’t need us to tell you how enthusiastic Americans are about their sports. In some states, college sports are an even bigger deal than professional sports. In the UK, we really don’t care that much. Every university has sports teams and people that are part of them, love them. But they don’t gather huge crowds at their games and the universities rarely paste their name everywhere to encourage supporters. At most British universities, you’ll probably forget they have a sports team at all. Where is our team pride!?

#2: Societies

Every university has a long list of societies. They’re usually founded by students, and run by students. If you’ve ever done Freshers Week, you will have been to society day, where these groups try to enlist you to their society. There are some wacky societies out there and they vary widely from uni to uni. In the UK, you can guarantee that almost every university will have a “Harry Potter” society, and at least a few that have something to do with drinking. It’s the British way.

#1: Freshers Week

Our introduction to university is massively different to an American's. We don’t have fraternities, nor do we have the up-beat and overly enthusiastic introduction to the student life. We have freshers week. It’s a week of introductory classes, during which you’ll normally be hungover, if you make it there at all. Your priority will be partying; and, if you’re unlucky, you’ll end up with freshers flu. It’ll knock you down for a week or two, but you haven’t experienced uni life until you’ve had freshers flu. Sounds awful, but you’ll love every second.
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