‘Full of surprises’: A day with Glasgow student Zuzanna

22 May 2019
By Zuzanna F., Student at University of Glasgow

What does a day in Glasgow look like, you ask? Well, it's a hard question to answer. Life in Glasgow is full of surprises, so it is hard to define what you would be doing on any given day.

But, to give you a rough idea, here’s a day in my life as a student in Glasgow.

So, on this day, I go to bed after setting an army of alarms that will all spring into action at 8:00, 8:02, 8:03, and at 8:06. All four alarms fail in their mission and, instead, I wake up to a false fire alarm 50 minutes before class, with my hair oiled, and a t-shirt on my head. It takes me 20 minutes to get to uni. I’m in desperate need of a shower and breakfast.

Showered and hungry, I rush to the classes through the stunning Kelvingrove Park hearing the amber leaves rustle beneath my feet. This is when I make a decision to come here later with my camera. And so after the classes are over, I spring back home to prepare something healthy to eat because it's been four weeks of living on my own and I'm still going strong on my commitment to eating clean. That bag of chocolate cookies a week doesn't count. Nor does the daily cup of cocoa in the evening. It helps me study, okay?! Okay.

And so, after having lunch, I grab my camera and dash to the park, feeling like some Thomas Mangelsen wannabe during my close encounter with a squirrel. And somehow, I manage to befriend two girls who asked me for the pictures I took while they were feeding that squirrel with a baguette they had just bought. As I said, uni life can surprise you in the best way possible.

As I make my way through the park, hearing the relaxing hum of the Kelvin River, I suddenly feel a well-known craving at the bottom of my stomach. And so, I get up from the grass and make my way to Otago Lane where I find the answer to one of those cravings. Inconspicuous at first, the interior of the bookshop Voltaire and Rousseau is the pure heaven for any booklover. Although, you may have to watch where you step. And if you ever had a nightmare where you’re crushed by a tower of books, you may not want to get in there. But for me, that would be the most honorable form of death.

Not far from there is Artisan Roast, a rustic café where I go, clutching my new old book. On my way there, I have to cover my face from the rain that’s started pouring down again. When I enter the dark interior of the coffee shop, the steam from the coffee machine fogs my glasses and so I have to make my way to the till by following the smell of freshly baked cookies. I chat to the handsome barista, get my order, and bury my thoughts in the new book.

Although this lifestyle may not sound too exciting so far, there is much more going on in the evenings - this is the time at which the societies gather and socialise.

During my first week in Glasgow, I kept worrying that I would never find any friends and I would be all alone in this grand city. Because the truth is, a university can be a scary place if you move away to a city where you don't know anyone. And if you find it hard to just spring into a group of people and start a conversation, like I do, every day has the potential to be a challenge. So the key to overcoming the nerves and homesickness is to create a routine that will help you settle in better and quicker. It is important to find a place or people who will make you feel at home.

And that's why I joined Student Theatre At Glasgow. Every evening, I would go to rehearsals for the Wizard of Oz and then we would go to the STAG room or either to Queen Margaret or Glasgow University union to grab some drinks and relax. Or, we would have a scavenger hunt across the city and end up at the Garage - a club in the city centre.

Glasgow is this quirky, almost mystical, city whose secrets I am still discovering. But I am amazed by the exotic smell coming from the multitude of Asian restaurants that you can find in the proximity of my accommodation. Or by the beauty of the West End and the Faeries Blood Herbal Blend tea that you can get at Tchai-Ovna, a tea house very close to the university.

So, whether you join a society, find a favourite café or go to the gym (which, btw is amazing here), you will always find something new to do.

I love hanging out with people. But I also love being on my own, sorting out the multitude of emotions that ramble within my body. I need quiet evenings and time with my books. I need to call my parents and tell them what adventure I had that day. So sometimes it is good to remember to take a break from the craziness of Glasgow's fast-paced rhythm, remembering that you can always discover a new nook the next day.

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Hi, my name is Zuzanna Filipiuk and I'm a student at Glasgow University, studying English Literature and Film I'm a huge fan of Jane Austen and Harry Potter and I spend a lot of time scrolling through Tumblr, fangirling with other fans of the 100, The Handmaid's Tale and Stranger Things. In my free time you could either find me in my bed or running around with a camera OR jotting down some dialogue prompts for my novel. And holding coffee. Yes, coffee is always right next to me.