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University of Edinburgh
Loren Kerns

21 things you'll discover if you go to university in Edinburgh


Edinburgh is simply one of the best places to go to uni in the UK. The city's beautiful, there's so much to explore and the education isn't bad either! Here's 21 things you'll know if you go to university here.

1. You'll leave the bookshop feeling satisfied, having spent a considerable sum of money on shiny new textbooks for the year...
... only to discover that they are available for a quarter of the price in the second-hand shop next door.

2. You'll find yourself being talked into all sorts of weird and wonderful societies. 
Quidditch in the Meadows? Sure! Whisky tasting society? Why not?



3. 'I love the Hive!' is a phrase you will never hear...
... and yet, somehow, you'll always end up there.

4. You'll quickly learn to leave plenty of time to get between lectures.  
Yes, it may look five minutes away on a map, but that doesn't take into account the fact that you will have to negotiate cobbles, hills, Fringe performers, charity fundraisers, dead-end streets, narrow closes which seem to lead you into another dimension altogether... you get the gist.
5. There is a big difference between The Mosque Kitchen and the real Mosque Kitchen.  
And you better learn it fast!

6. Those graduating in McEwan Hall will never really understand quite what it was they were 'bopped' on the head with as they collected their degree.  
Was that really a bonnet made from the trousers of John Knox? And what was that about space exploration?

7. You'll deliberately change route to class in springtime...
... just so you can walk beneath the cherry blossom trees on Jawbone Walk.

8. The weather may be miserable for 90% of the academic year, but that only makes you appreciate the good days more.
Summer wouldn't be complete without a few long and lazy days soaking up the atmosphere in the Meadows, just like winter wouldn't be winter without at least one good snowball fight on the Cowgate.

Edinburgh in the rain

Nigel Wade




9. You'll only discover after graduating that there really is a secret tunnel under Holyrood Park all along...
... and now you really want to explore it.
10. You pity those whose courses begin in August.
Fringe envy is a terrible thing.
11. You'll watch the sun rise from Arthur's Seat once...
... and wonder why you don't do this more often.
12. You'll love spending time at the German markets at Christmas...
... just not when you actually have shopping to do or need to catch the last bus home.
13. People have a tendency to complain about the unattractive towers at George Square. 
What they don't realise is that they actually offer some of the best views of Old Edinburgh, which makes those 9am tutorials just a wee bit more bearable.

14. You'll continually forget how lucky you are to live in a city where so many of the sights and attractions can be enjoyed for free. 
Day trip to the National Museum, anyone?
15. You'll try - and fail - to solve the mystery of Library Cat.  
Who is he? Where did he come from? Where does he find his inspiration?

Jordan aka Edinburgh University's 'Library Cat' at home

A photo posted by lawrenceop (@lawrenceop) on

16. May is often the hottest month.  
It is also marks the start of exam season. Cue many grumpy days spent in the library, trying not to look out of the window as scores of uncaring so-and-so's frolic in the park below.
17. Why Not? Is the name of a nightclub, not just a response to a question...
... which can lead to many a confused debate during Freshers Week:
'Shall we go out tonight?'  
'Why not?'
'Why not!'
'Yes... but where?'

Freshers wristband came this morning! Good start to the day?? #Edinburghuni #freshers #buzzing

A photo posted by Lauren (@laurenmhari) on


18. Mice and tenement flats go hand in hand.
It helps to agree roles with potential flatmates before moving in. Who will be lead catcher? Who will wield the broom? Who is most likely to sob uncontrollably whilst standing upon a kitchen chair? These things matter.

19. Grad ball time = fundraising time = bake sale time = textbooks full of crumbs.

20. You'll learned the hard way never to look for a flat during August.
£1000 a week? Nae thanks, pal!
21. You'll graduate with mixed emotions. 
On the one hand, you are now free to go and explore the world.  On the other, you are about to leave behind one of the most beautiful and exciting cities imaginable, and you know just how much you are going to miss those hilly, cobbled streets, every last one of 'em...
Trying to make your student budget go a bit further? See Time Out's guide to Edinburgh's best cheap eats.
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