A plastic bag with “Nisa” emblazoned on it, languishing prophetically in the wind, has become a recurring motif of my nightmares. I have frequently imagined the campus as a post-apocalyptic wasteland, with nothing to suggest previous civilisation except the packaging of this ludicrously overpriced shop. In this vision, Nisa would still be open, and that dreadful radio playing Autotuned songs about nightclub pseudo-courtship would be heard by no one. As self-therapy for my paranoia, I have decided to devise a few helpful campus tips to anybody who wants to get away from the blind student loan-leeching hyper-capitalism of Market Square:
Scoop: Scoop is a very good student co-operative on campus. Their wares are competitively priced, cheaper than any wholefood shop in York. You can refill herb and spice containers for 6p. You can get humongous jars of pistachios for under £1 as well as vegetable bags with a huge selection of seasonal greens for £5. Scoop is a small trip from Market Square in Wentworth. Go through the main Wentworth nucleus, turn left down the ramp and you will find the sign for Scoop (it’s not an ideal location, but popularity will teach YUSU that Scoop really needs a better room). Scoop often stock things that are fine to eat but are past their legal sell-by, meaning you can get them for free (preferably with a small donation). You’ll be the envy of your housemates as you come home with a huge container of dark chocolate couvertures that you managed to pay just 10p for. Here’s an important tip about Scoop, and something that will get rid of a lot of confusion: they’re open from 10-6 on Wednesday and Friday, yet sometimes there won’t be anyone on shift. So, to double check, get on their mailing list ([email protected]) and check if someone is signed up for the hour you want to visit Scoop at on the Scoop Doodle poll. This will ensure that your journey to Wentworth went worthily. Edible Uni also have herbs growing on campus (for example, near Derwent B Block and outside Vanbrugh) that you are actively encouraged to pilfer.
Nightline: Nightline isn’t just a phone service. You can also visit, drink tea and chat to whoever’s on shift. You can even drink small quantities of alcohol. Put simply, Nightline is more than you might have thought was: it is a multi-faceted service designed to counter many of the problems that modern student life imposes. There is often nobody who will simply listen to everything you have to say. In a way, Nightline functions as a secular confessional, where you can detail what’s bothering you without worrying too much about Eternal Damnation. The thing I want to clear up is exactly where Nightline is. If you follow the signs around campus you will NOT find it. You will find a demolished building in Wentworth that is unmoved by your sorrows. Instead, it is in Heslington, opposite the Derwent Alumni Building on the way to the Charles, meaning you can grab a cookie pizza straight afterwards.
DramaSoc: DramaSoc have ODNs (Original Drama Nights) every Monday at 7.30 PM. They are free, and often student-written, which means they’ll be a more memorable experience. You’ll probably see The Importance of Being Earnest at some point in the future, but I guarantee that you will never again see a free play about Harry Potter becoming a Marxist insurgent.