The Tab, a shining beacon of hope in a world of censored journalism, brought the glare out from our computer screens and onto our faces in October as they announced that York is the fourth most boring university in the UK.
The publication that brought us such articles as “Which Kanye West album is your college: part two” and “Important: Which is the best smoking area in York?” may have caught some by surprise with their breaking news, yet with our main attraction being the largest plastic bottomed lake in Europe, who can truly say they were amazed? Instead of criticising their subject matter, regardless of how ridiculous it is, I’ll focus on the actual problem. Why is the University of York so boring?
It can’t be our obsession with waterfowl, the way we attend the same four nightclubs in an endless cycle, or the insular culture created by college rivalries.
It also can’t be the fact that York is inundated with tourists whenever the sun or Christmas lighting shines over the city, or that local event tickets are aimed at the big-budgeted day tripper rather than the shallow, holed pockets of a student so deep down their rabbit hole of an overdraft that they’ve surpassed Wonderland and ended up somewhere in Australia.
It definitely isn’t how, as soon as we hit mid-October, we’re buffeted by wind, rain, and questionable liquids from that pesky lake I mentioned, justifying a four-month long retreat indoors to avoid the cold. It seems us students must find our amusements away from the risk of hypothermia.
In order to stay inside, other than doing the degree we’re paying for (which actually would make us boring), why not choose a society? Learn a new skill. Sell your soul to student media for no recognition whatsoever! You potentially wouldn’t find York so boring if you went and discussed Louis Theroux in a structured environment. The winter will pass quickly when you keep yourself occupied. When the spring comes, you can emerge from your hibernation. Outside never looked so good!
I have to confess: off-campus isn’t boring in warmer months, as long as you enjoy historic sites. The Minster and Museum Gardens are free, preventing further spiralling debt, and the walls are all around us. King’s Manor is owned by the University. The Shambles, a main tourist attraction, is literally a street. There’s antiquity everywhere, and it’s amazing – but if you say this out loud, rather than people thinking the University is boring, it’s you that’s mind-numbing. I’m definitely not speaking from experience.
In this age-old city, it seems that York students are left to resort to the age-old remedy for boredom: getting so drunk that if you don’t enjoy your night, at least you won’t remember it in the morning. It’s a bad idea to self-medicate to such a degree so often, yet the consistent swathes of absences in 9AM seminars aren’t from the sesh that takes place in the library.
But why is it a problem that UoY is boring? Who cares that our entertainment is ducks, society drama, or going to the same venues for the same events week in and week out? Why is it a problem that some of us focus on our degrees?
Sure, York’s charms are of the quaint variety rather than the flashing lights of bigger cities. Our fears may be as trivial as the campus geese, falling in the lake, or that our favourite YorShop meal deal sandwich has run out. But only we, the students of the University of York, can call it “boring”. The Tab’s readership can bugger off back to their pieces on “What your choice of Brown’s sandwich says about your general vibe”, and leave us in peace.