I have come to the sudden realisation that I am now in fourth year, and my time at university is coming to an end. It really feels like no time at all since I was sitting in my room in halls crying my eyes out on my first day back in September 2014.
This year is going to be full of ‘lasts’ – last Freshers Week, last Brig issue, last lecture. But instead of feeling sad and mopey, I’ve decided to see this as an opportunity to make the most out the rest of my time at Stirling. With help from my friends at Brig, I’ve compiled a Stirling Bucket List. We’ve got until May – let’s see how many we can do before graduation!
Climbing Dumyat is a Stirling student rite of passage, and everyone should do it at least once before they graduate. Pronounced ‘Dum-my-at’ (not ‘Dum-yat’ as I called it for my first two years), this hill is deceptively high, so make sure you give yourself enough time and have suitable footwear, clothes, food and water. However, the view from the top of the university makes it all worthwhile.
One last big night out
You’ve got to make the most of student life while you still can. You won’t be able to go clubbing midweek when you’ve got a full-time job. Have one last big night out with all the trimmings – pre-drinks, drinking games, and memories that will last well after the night is over (or maybe not!)
Be a tourist for the day
Stirling is a main tourist destination in Scotland, but many students don’t appreciate this after living here for so long. Take the opportunity to pretend to be a tourist – climb up to Stirling Castle, visit the Wallace Monument, or perhaps even head to the site of the Battle of Bannockburn. There are galleries and museums worth a visit too. You may as well while you’re still only living a stone’s throw away!
Visit all those pubs and restaurants you’ve missed
I’ve been here for over three years, but there are so many places in town I have not yet been to. Whenever anyone has mentioned them I’ve responded with “Oh yeah, I should go there!” but never have. Now is the time! Places I still need to go include Nicky Tam’s, the Ground House and the Meadowpark.
Use the library
It’s amazing how many people have been at university for years and have never used the library. If you don’t visit during your dissertation year, then you never will! Getting a book out isn’t as hard as it looks. And remember to pay your library fines before you leave too!
Use your student discount while you still can
Your little student card is your gateway to discounts – and I don’t just mean on the Unilink bus. The Handmade Burger Company gives you a whopping 25% student discount from Monday to Friday. Other companies will have similar deals. Just ask – the worst they can say is no. You’ll definitely miss that card when it no longer entitles you to cheaper clothes.
Speak in front of a lecture full of people
Whether it’s to promote your society or just to reassure a group of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed first years, speaking in front of hundreds of people at a time can be a baptism of fire. It really tests your mettle, and you gain a life skill that in real life you’ll rarely get the chance to exercise under conditions you control.
Go to a SUDS play
The plays from the university’s drama society are well known as they are always of a very high standard. However, that means they always sell out very quickly! Make sure you’re on the ball and get a ticket to see one before you leave.
Have a BBQ on campus
Be like one of the smiling students on the prospectus and have a BBQ on campus during one of our few sunny days. There are BBQ sites around the accommodation blocks so you don’t accidentally set more than your BBQ on fire. Bring a football or a frisbee too for the ultimate campus summer fun.
Learn to cook
If you can’t learn to cook by the time you leave uni, chances are you’re never going to learn. Use the spare time you have to master a few basic recipes, and build on your skills from there. It’s worth it for a tasty home-cooked meal, I promise!
Get drunk with your favourite lecturer
University isn’t like school; you can call your lecturer by their first name and chat to them about your messy night in Dusk. Why not take them out for a drink to thank them for all their help over the years? You may even find out some juicy department gossip.
Go to the gym and the pool
We’re not Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence for nothing. There are excellent facilities for all disciplines. The gym is also a great way to de-stress, and because you’re a student you’ll get in for cheaper. Score!
Have the macaroni and curly fries at Studio
It’s a deliciously cheesy classic. Carb up before a big night out, or enjoy a leisurely lunch between classes. You won’t find it anywhere else, and it definitely beats the soggy sandwiches you brought from home.
Go to a university sports game
With almost every sport represented by the university and multiple matches every week, it would be a shame not to go along and cheer for your team (probably in the pouring rain). Who knows, they might even win!
Go to a live performance at MacRobert
You have a great independent arts venue right on your doorstep, so head along to check out a show on a student ticket. From dance to theatre to exhibitions, they have something for everyone.
Run around Airthrey Loch
Or even just take a leisurely stroll. There’s no better way to see the whole of campus. Take in Dumyat, Airthrey Castle, the golf course, and of course the nature. In the springtime there’s a whole host of cute baby animals too!
Win a pub quiz
Whether it’s on campus at Studio, or one in town at the Boozy Cow, Kilted Kangaroo or Brewdog, there’s loads of opportunities to win! Grab some mates. Get a team together. Think hard. Go home victorious! The feeling of triumph may fade with your hangover, but for one night you’ll be champions of the world.
Go to Bonfire Night in Bridge of Allan
Stirling’s annual Bonfire Night display is hosted in Strathallan Park in Bridge of Allan, so it’s only a short walk away from the university. Wrap up warm and marvel at the fireworks. You can even enjoy a tasty mulled cider afterwards in one of the local pubs.
Do something completely different
Do a campus run – or even the Stirling Marathon if you’re feeling brave. Join a society that you’ve always wanted to try. Or maybe even take to the stage and perform. University is all about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and trying something new. Now really is your last chance!
What’s on your Stirling bucket list? Let us know in the comments of our Facebook post!