Aberystwyth Freshers’ Bucket List

Credit: Andrew Simpson

Credit: Andrew Simpson

ANOTHER YEAR, another bunch of new, bright eyed Freshers. Here’s a list of ten things that are absolutely necessary to accomplish during your first year in Aber. Second and Third years, how many have you done?

1. Climb Consti

You see that big hill to your right when you’re sitting on the beach? That’s constitution hill, known to locals affectionately as Consti. Climb it. Whether it’s in the day to appreciate the spectacular views, in the evening to watch one of the beautiful sunsets, or at night to admire the twinkling lights of the town below… whatever the time of day, you have to climb it at least once. Trust me, it’s worth it.

2. Try a Cocktail

The Cambrian has a wide variety of individual cocktails – they even invite societies to create and name their own! They’re all a decent price, and the cocktails and their ingredients decorate the walls of the pub so you can have a good browse. Rumours are that the aptly named Death Star is the strongest of the lot, (ingredients?) so if you’re up for a challenge I’d try that!

3. Visit Borth

Borth is only a ten minute train journey from Aber. There aren’t that many shops to look in, but there are some quirky cafes and the beach goes on forever; if you walk far enough you find sand dunes. Probably not somewhere you want to visit a lot, but it’s definitely worth a trip. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even walk there. In fact, that’s probably the best way; by the time you’ve trekked up and down all those hills you’ll be very thankful for the sight of Borth.

4. Sing Along to Angels

You can’t have a night out in Aber without stopping by at Downies Vaults. Better known as Downies, I promise you that you won’t be able to sit in there for more than half an hour without Angels by Robbie Williams playing. Don’t be surprised if you hear it twice. And if the pub erupts into chaos, people belting out the words, swaying, raising glasses (word of warning: this is very likely to happen) it’s best just to embrace it. Sing your heart out. Once you’ve been there a few times you’ll soon get used to it. Same thing with Come on Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners.

5. Join a Sports Club

Coming from someone who isn’t very sporty, this might be a bit odd. But Aber Uni offers so many types of sports – there has to be at least one out there for you. Some are more serious than others, some are team sports, some train two or three times a week, some are just for fun. Most welcome beginners, but some do require you to try out. All are run by an amazing committee, guaranteed to make you feel welcome. I seriously recommend trying out a few that take your fancy and seeing which ones fit you the best. You’ll even have the opportunity to run for committee next year, giving back to the society you’ve had so much fun in all year.

6. Take a dip in the sea

Yes, I know the Irish Sea is a bit chilly. And almost all days you go down to the beach there will be a breeze. But how can you possibly attend a University by the sea without going in it at least once? My first year, we had three really good days of sun in May, so obviously we spent every minute we could sunbathing on the sand. We even brought a dingy and attempted to row up and down the bay. Okay, we should have been revising, but we had to take advantage of the sun!

7. Dress up on a social

Socials are an integral part of university. For a full social experience, you have to join in a fancy dress social at least once during the year. Whether it’s for your Sports Club, or for a different society you join, they’ll be holding fancy dress socials – so get involved. Put your creativity to the test; Aber has lots of charity shops where you can find bits for your costume, and it’s surprising what clothes you, or your flatmates, already have. For extra supplies, Poundland usually have a range of tiaras, wings, masks etc.

8. Visit Devil’s Bridge

By driving, or catching the steam train through the valley, you can visit Devil’s Bridge. The views are amazing. It doesn’t cost much to go on the little walk down into the valley to look at the bridges, and in among the green there are places where you can’t physically see another human being. The legend of Devil’s bridge is not one to miss, and of course Devil’s Bridge featured in the TV show Hinterland. Which makes it kind of creepy.

9. Cook a Roast dinner, from scratch, with your flatmates

I didn’t actually do this first year, but me and my housemates went all out second year at Christmas. Without a kitchen table, we brought down two work desks and formed a square table in the sitting room, where we’d shuffled all the other furniture to one side of the room, and hit Poundland for some decorations. In Christmas jumpers, with The Pogues blaring out of speakers, we sat down with plates full of all the trimmings – right down to the stuffing and cauliflower cheese. We even had crackers. It’s one of my favourite memories from that term.

10. Have a Lip Lickin’

The inhabitants of Aber seemed to be split on their opinions of Lip Lickin’. For some, it’s the best place to visit for greasy food on the way home from a heavy night out. For others, it’s the last place they’d go and they avoid it like the plague. I’d suggest visit it once and make up your own mind. If it’s not your cup of tea, there are plenty of other places to get an early morning fix; 24 hour Spar is another popular haunt for drunks, and you’ve also got Hollywood Pizza, Marco and a few more.