Festival Blog

5 Must Have Student Gadgets for 2017

As uni life beckons and we flee the nest once again to jump head first into new ventures, with fresh academic prospects and new flatmates, we’ll often find ourselves glued to our trusty phones and laptops, googling to our heart’s content and snapchatting ‘til the cows come home. And though these fair companions see us through most trials and tribulations, it’s worth giving them a break to embrace new additions to the team. This is why we’ve traveled the digital sphere this summer to gift you with the six must have gadgets for 2017.


Kensington ClickSafe Keyed Retractable Lock for Laptop

Keep your mind at ease when venturing off for coffee breaks in the library with this Kensington laptop lock. Compatible with nearly 100% of laptops, sturdy with a steel cable, and petite and portable, this bad boy has the ability to bamboozle even the most seasoned of thieves.


LED Desk Lamp

Though a lamp may not seem like a vital purchase amidst the juggling of SAAS cash, this sleek and robotic beauty will not only achieve a minimal, futuristic style to pimp out your halls room, but its varying colour and brightness options will illuminate both your exam prep and your tired mind. With five colour modes and six brightness levels, this LED is literally your light in shining armour, creating glare-free luminosity for afternoon study or evening movie marathons.


Anker SoundCore 2 Bluetooth Speaker

If a portable speaker isn’t high on your list of uni-essentials, you’ll find yourself sorely mistaken. From jaunts to Kelvingrove park to weekend camping trips with your new found uni clan, the Anker SoundCore 2 Bluetooth Speaker will provide the soundtrack to what will become nostalgic memories. With a hefty 500 song capacity and 24-hour battery, as well as being waterproof and dustproof, this lil musical number is the pioneer of portable sound. PLUS it comes with a worry-free 18 month warantee.


Rocketbook Wave Smart Notebook

The world’s first smart, microwave-to-erase-and-reuse notebook saves you forking out on bulky notebooks in WH Smiths. Not only can you resuse your entire writing vessel upto to five times, but if you download the app, you can ping over your lecture notes to Google docs, Dropbox, iCloud, Evernote, Box and email.


Minipresso NS Portable Espresso Machine

Grab your morning coffee fix and save a bunch of cash with the Minipresso NS Portable Espresso Machine. It’s lightweight, easy to carry and mess free, giving you a deliciously braw brew on-the-go.


Have you got any must-have gadgets on your mind? Drop us a line and join the Freshers’ Fest chat over on Facebook and Twitter.
















Festival Blog

Glasgow’s Subculture Crawl: Top Attractions

For those of us who are familiar with Glasgow’s affectionately nick-named ‘Clockwork Orange’, this sleek citrus beast has carried us on journeys from anxiety-inducing business class seminars to the hazy haven of our pal’s new West End flat. Its shiny orange doors welcome thousands of students from across Scotland every year, shooting us from north to south in an impressive 24 minutes, arguably faster than the time it takes to persuade ourselves to stop scrolling through Tumblr during essay season.

Eager freshers and experienced students alike are bound to board the train for a midday jaunt, or a meet-up with friends between classes. So we’ve come up with a Glasgow subculture crawl, giving you the chance to grab a Subway Smartcard and explore the cultural hubs of this wonderful city. To celebrate Glasgow Subway’s upcoming 120th birthday, here are the very best of Glasgow’s cultural attractions – enjoy!

St. Enoch: The Lighthouse

As the centre for Scotland’s design and architecture, The Lighthouse is a snazzy, often overlooked cultural hub of Glasgow city centre, only a couple of minutes walk from St. Enoch. With stunning exhibitions, gorgeous views, regular workshops and delicious coffee and nibbles at the Doocot Café, this place is guaranteed to impress during a much-anticipated Tinder date, or to astonish the ‘rents with views of the big city.


Buchanan Street: GoMA

There’s no better place to stroll around feeling sophisticated and cultured than the Gallery of Modern Art. Plonked right in the middle of Royal Exchange Square, this haunt is a mere few minutes from Buchanan Street Subway station, and boasts a colossal library, quirky gift shop and a number of eclectic and dynamic exhibitions.


Cowcaddens: GFT

As an independent cinema and registered charity, the Glasgow Film Theatre the nerve-centre for film buffs and quirky new releases and only a five-minute jaunt from Cowcaddens Subway.


St. George’s Cross: Antique Cave

Since it’s now become acceptable to buy a friend something old and dusty for their 21st birthday, this humble antique shop is a perfect haunt to find a unique gift or coffee table for your new pad. A ten-minute brisk walk from St. George’s Cross station, this little gem showcases the very best vintage items and antiques in the city from crockery and paintings to one of a kind furniture, as well as a number of affordable items for us cash strapped students.

Antique Cave

Kelvinbridge: Kelvingrove Park

One of Glasgow’s famous parks, Kelvingrove is teeming with families and students and young professionals seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Peaceful and serene, this spot is perfect for a study session or lunchtime BBQ, and it’s meagre 5-minute saunter from Kelvinbridge subway.

kelvingrove park_292544507

Hillhead: Glasgow Botanical Gardens

Created in 1817, these vintage gardens have been a cultural attraction in Glasgow’s west end for years, and just a 10-minute walk from Hillhead Subway. Keep an eye out for an abundance of greenery, big tropical fish and the stunning Kibble Palace.


Kelvinhall: Kelvingrove Museum

An architectural beauty, the sandstone clad Kelvingrove Museum lies a hop, skip and a jump from Kelvinhall Subway, and showcases multiple exhibitions as well as a quaint café.


Partick: Riverside Museum

The Riverside Museum marks Glasgow’s Museum of Transport, located 5 minutes away from Partick Subway and train station and home to a number of historical vehicles, ship models and interactive displays including an original Subway carriage.


Govan: Fairfield Govan Heritage Centre

For 100 years Govan has been known for its shipbuilding, with Fairfield at the centre of this enterprise. The heritage centre sheds light on the unique relationship between the people of Govan and the history of shipbuilding in Glasgow, and 10 minutes on foot from Govan Subway.

farfield heriage

Ibrox: Glasgow Climbing Centre

A 5 minute stroll from the subway station, the Glasgow Climbing Centre welcomes folks from across the city to who are keen to take up a new hobby or improve their Lara-Croft style climbing abilities. Including the Balcony Café serving up delicious healthy grub, a shop, regular day camps and tuition this spot could be the ideal way to unwind after a study sesh or mean exam.

climbing centre

Cessnock: Glasgow Science Centre

If you’re partial to the odd chemical reaction and cosmological chat, then hop on the underground and jump off at Cessnock, where you’ll find the Glasgow Science Centre within easy walking distance. As well as an array of special events and games, the science centre also features the biggest Imax screen in Scotland.

science centre_155951039

Kinning Park: RollerStop

This sassy roller disco is a wee jaunt from Kinning Park, and provides skate classes, parties, and even sports a small café. Not to mention a regular 80s pop adult roller disco! What’s more Upper Circle members receive a discount with their Subway Smartcard!


Shields Road: Scotland Street School Museum

If you’re a history buff, or you simply get a kick out of Victorian stuff, the Scotland Street School Museum is a great attraction that showcases a vast collection, a number of exhibitions and self led museum trails. Taking you through school life from the Victorian era, to WWII to 1960s Glasgow, this is a unique visit for discovering Glasgow’s hidden histories.

school museum

Bridge Street: The Laurieston

As one of Glasgow’s oldest and most famous bars, The Laurieston is situated across the road from Bridge Street Subway, and can be recognised by its signature patterned titles and old school lettering. With a rare 1960s original horseshoe bar, the vibe and décor of this watering hole is quintessentially 60s, and provides a classic slice of vintage Glasgow life.

The Laurieston

What’s your fave Glasgow attraction? Let us know over on Twitter!













Festival Blog Uncategorized

Best Gadgets for Starting Uni or College in 2016

Millennials and 90s kids alike have found themselves surfacing into adulthood with trusty companions that have quickly replaced our much loved Tamagochi’s and portable Walkman’s. These companions instead take the form of dainty digitals – smartphones, wireless headphones, Macbooks, tablets, you name it. In fact, students probably spend more time talking to Siri than they do to their own mothers. Digital devices have become the backbone to navigating our contemporary lifestyles, and they allow us to work more efficiently and find information much faster than traditional methods. Since Google has now adopted the role as personal assistant for essay writing and research, it’s natural that freshers would look for affordable, top of the range tools to acclimatise to their new academic demands and social networks. To help you choose the finest tech to aid your journey as a new student, we’ve bundled together the best gadgets for starting uni or college in 2016!

Microsoft surface Pro 3: From £639

Microsoft surface pro 3

Since lugging a laptop around campus on top of heavy textbooks can make you feel like the donkey that carried Jesus and Mary all the way to Bethlehem, Microsoft have come up with a tablet-laptop hybrid that’s as easy going on your shoulders as it is on your bank account. A multi-functional device, the Microsoft surface Pro 3 is a favourite among the tech savvy, providing a light 12-inch screen with sharp display and design, 5MP cameras capable of 1080p video recording, and note taking with use of the Surface Pen, allowing you to scribble down lecture notes and save you from losing them beneath pizza boxes in your room. It’s the ideal alternative to a laptop, but it provides better perks that suit reading and note taking.

Cambridge Audio G2 Mini Bluetooth speaker: £80


The Cambridge Audio compact Bluetooth speaker is a perfect companion for bbqs in Kelvingrove Park between classes or cheeky pre-drinks at your new flat. Including a four-speaker array and 10 hours of battery life, this stylish little speaker can blast both meaty bass notes and smooth highs.


Tefal TT552842 2 Slice Toast ‘n’ Egg ‘n’ Beans Toaster: From £35


As many freshers will wake up in halls, keen to scoff anything that’ll get rid of their pounding headache, this mean breakfast machine lets you do just that in very little time and with very little mess. With the Tefal toaster you can rustle up a decent meal in four minutes allowing you to poach or boil eggs, cook baked beans and whip up delicious golden toast, muffins, bagels or a mid-afternoon crumpet – whatever tickles your fancy. Ideal for tasty student grub on a budget.

Kensington ComboSaver notebook lock: From £19


This Kensington combination laptop lock ensures that your laptop stays safe when you’re out and about, securing it with private information and easy push button design. It’s tamper resistant and easily lockable, preventing potential thieves from running off into the sunset with your exam prep.

Toshiba 500GB Portable USB 3.0 External Hard Drive: From £33


To avoid losing that essay on the Bronte sisters that you spent a week working on, an external hard drive is a good investment. The sleek and small design of this Toshiba external hard drive means it’s easy to fling in your bag to easily transfer files when you’re on the go, simply by plugging it in to the USB port.

Way Surge Protected Extension Lead With 4 USB: From £26

extension lead

Whatever kind of student accommodation you find yourself in, there’s no bigger stress than searching for a plug socket where there is none. If you want to bust out those straighteners, your laptop, phone, sound system, vape charger and new Ikea lamp simultaneously then this surge-protected extension is your solution. This Way Surge eight way extension lead is lean and compact, and comes with four USB ports for easy charging for mobile devices.


EC Technology 22,400 mAh External Battery Pack: From £20

 battery pack

Imagine you’re on your way to a friend’s flat warming, and your navigation skills are far from perfect, trusty Google maps will be leading the way to your safe haven where vodka jelly shots await you. But what happens if your phone battery dies and you’re stuck in a weird part of town you don’t know? Having an external battery pack in your bag means your phone will be brought back to life with minimal effort and no cash spent on expensive taxis. Available in a sassy red and black, the EC technology external battery with its multiple USB ports is compatible with iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, iPad and most smart phones.

Have you got any must-have gadgets on your mind? Drop us a line and join the Freshers’ Fest chat over on Twitter!

Festival Blog

Scotland’s 7 Best Haunts for Clean Eating

Nowadays it seems like the clean eating fad has sprouted not only in the humble plains of our Instagram feeds, but in the most unlikely of places (Greggs introducing falafel salads and gluten free options is somewhat disturbing), and yet whether this surge in healthy eating is fad or not, it’s definitely not a bad thing when it comes to improving our lifestyle and over all well being.

In the last few months I’ve found myself munching down on foods that I had never before heard of, foods that sound like they’re named after exotic dancers (chia, quinoa, kale etc.). This is because I got sick half way through my third year, but found that changing my diet made a huge difference not only to my energy levels but also to my mentality. As much as it’s easy to succumb to the seductive qualities of snacks such as the Oreo variety, or in my case Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups when cramming before exams, foods that actually stimulate your brain and provide slow releasing energy are the best options to combat both raging hangovers and study sessions. So here are the 7 best haunts for clean eating in Scotland!


This petite sushi restaurant nestled in the nook of Edinburgh’s West End boasts authentic Japanese dishes, with fresh ingredients and a bustling atmosphere that attracts locals and tourists alike. If you’re a fan of fish and vegetarian options, Sushiya’s humble 22-seat eatery serves up mouth-watering tempura, sashimi and noodle bowls to fill your bellies and warm your souls. With an array of traditional dishes at reasonable prices, this is an ideal haunt for a protein packed lunch or healthy take away.


Highlight: Great for pescetarians and seafood lovers.

19 Dalry Rd, Edinburgh EH11 2BQ


Union of Genius

Many students are all too familiar with situations where our bank accounts don’t quite match our voracious appetites – especially after a study sesh in the library when our only bodily sustenance is a battered sausage from the night before. Luckily, Union of Genius delivers top-notch tasty food, with hearty and healthy ingredients and an emphasis on gorgeous soups and vegan breakfasts. With nearly 100 different soup recipes and options as well as soup sliders, this place is well worth a visit when you’re looking for guilt-free comfort food.

Union of Genius

Highlight: Soups and vegan breakfasts.

Forrest Road, Edinburgh EH1 2QN


Urban Angel

With a wooden clad, rustic interior Urban Angel conjures up images of vintage bistros and Italian delicatessens. Yet the classic is contrasted with the contemporary with exquisite brunch dishes such as avocado and ricotta on grilled granary, and home made gluten free kedgeree. Its ethos of delicious food is combined with fair trade, organic and locally sourced ingredients.

Urban Angel

Highlight: Locally and ethically sourced produce.

121 Hanover St, Edinburgh EH2 1DJ


Prep Fitness Kitchen

If you’re struggling to find the time to rustle up healthy foods on a budget when dashing from classes to the gym to the union, then Prep Fitness Kitchen has got you covered. It emphasis on low fat, low calorie meals that are bursting with vitamins and minerals allows you to munch down on foods that aid fitness lovers and book-worms alike. Popular plates include the king prawn peanut butter satay and the cashew beef tabouli.

Prep Fitness Kitchen

Highlight: Prep meals for healthy and quick lunches.

22 Bath St, Glasgow, Glasgow City G2 1HB


Tchai Ovna

Hidden among the dusty books and Fleetwood Mac records of the West End’s notorious Otago Lane, Tchai Ovna is the ultimate chill-out spot to grab a herbal tea and a spicy, fragrant dhal. Allowing you choose your tea by country, alongside a vegan and vegetarian friendly menu, the stress-free vibe of this authentic teahouse makes for a perfect place to relax with a book or have a laid-back lunch with friends.

Tchai Ovna

Highlight: Over 80 varieties of delicious and healthy teas.

42 Otago Ln, Glasgow, Glasgow City G12 8PB


Avery & Co

Avery & Co’s warm and friendly atmosphere is apparent as soon as you stroll through its doors, with homemade cakes and hearty brunches as well as nutritious, fresh and natural local ingredients; this restaurant provides the pinnacle of healthy dining in Dundee. Its meals vary from creative vegan options like carrot hummus and crisp breads to Mexican options like soft flour fish tacos.

Avery & Co

Highlight: Low fat, natural and seasonal ingredients.

34 S Tay St, Dundee DD1 1PD



The always-popular Martha’s is a regular jaunt for city center folk looking for vitamin packed meals with a homemade flair. Its culture-crossing techniques span a myriad of continents, with generous lashings of ginger, turmeric, sumac and tahini. Whether you’re on the prowl for healthy hangover food or you need an energy boost before you start round two in H & M, this pleasant eatery provides healthy fast food for as little as £1.50.


Highlight: Breakfast egg pots.

142a St Vincent Street, G2 5LQ

What’s your favourite healthy nosh spot? Let us know over on Twitter!

Festival Blog

10 Reasons to get to Freshers’ Festival

By Mina Green

As the most anticipated sudent event of the year, Freshers’ Festival boasts live music, dancers, DJs, freebies and competitions. Not to mention thousands of merry students and freshers alike, mingling in their own euphoria with a belly full of Papa Johns.  Taking place at Glasgow’s famous SECC on 23rd-24th September 11am-5pm this festival encompasses the perks of studying in Scotland. If you’re looking for a two-day craze packed with awesome people, good vibes and giveaways from your favourite restaurants and clubs, then this is the event for you. Actually, the question should be: who is the event NOT for? (it’s no-one, btw).

Meeting other students

Freshers’ Festival is open to all students, and 8,000 of them graced the SECC last year with their joyous presence and made the event a highlight of the academic year. Students from all over Scotland attend, so it’s a great way of meeting new people from different universities and cities and expanding your friendship group beyond the carpeted comfort of halls. Sometimes socialising can be daunting, especially if you’re moving to a city for the first time. Freshers’ Fest is a hub for good banter and great laughs and new friends.


Freebies and discounts

Exhibitors ranging from restaurants to nightclubs to retailers man their stalls with warm hearts, big smiles and of course lots of free stuff. It could be samples, tasters, free t-shirts or jelly shots. Massive discounts will also be available, making your year fun and your bank balance proud. Browse the stalls to your heart’s content and take advantage of the freebies, while getting to know new businesses in your city.

Competition prizes

Last year’s competition prizes included the actual Inbetweeners car, a Macbook, holidays and a Lambrini all-night pamper package. The best way to ensure you have a chance at winning any of the fantastic prizes is to get yourself along to the event! Who knows, you could be the lucky winner of one of our mystery prizes!


Food and drink

It’s often impossible to be fed, watered and entertained in a city if your pockets are empty and you used your last fiver on a 12 pack of Budweiser. But at Freshers’ Fest you needn’t worry. Some of the exhibitors include Pintos Mexican Kitchen, Bread and Butter, Yo Sushi and Steak and Cherry.  On top of that. this year Papa Johns will be giving out free pizza ALL DAY, so embrace your freshers’ 13 and get intimate with your favourite grub.


Music and Entertainment 

Mains stage acts will include DJs blasting your favourite tunes while you stuff your face with pizza and swing your hips dramatically. With thousands of new friends, a constant stream of freebies and the best of Scotland’s music scene you’d be bonkers not to attend. I mean what’s better than a mean sound system to compliment your mean posse? As well as music, we’ll be bringing you all kinds of attractions to get you super psyched for your new life in the big city! With fashion shows, dancers, rap battles, cheerleaders and even yoga taking to the stage in previous years, you can be guaranteed we’ve our sleeves full of surprises for 2015. And the best part? It’s all FREE!



Whether you’re just about to embark into the big bad world on the scary job hunt, or are just wanting to think about the future (even if it feels like light years away), Freshers’ Festival will be showcasing some of Scotland’s best employers. This gives you the chance to ask for some careers advice and get tips on how to crack your chosen industry. Who knows, you might discover a career route you’d never even have thought about before? Note: we don’t have any lion tamers coming, so please don’t be disappointed.

Clothes and Merchandise

Sassy tote bags, key rings, starter kits, hoodies and more. Those moving to Scotland to study for the first time may have underestimated the weather’s capabilities, but fear not! With handfuls of cosy cotton delights advertising your favourite clubs you’re sure to survive the winter.



As well as being a free event with all kinds of expense-free goodies, travel to and from the festival will also cost you nothing.  Shuttle buses will be taking you to and from the SECC to make your day even more hassle-free, especially for new students who aren’t familiar with the location.

Like a bus

VIP tickets

These are FREE and guaranteed to take your festival experience to a whole new level of awesome – with all area access, free food and drink samples, access to the ‘watering hole’ and a plus one, so you could even take your new date. Grab them online before it’s too late!



Elated, well-fed and little bit tipsy, you’ll be soaking up the chill vibes and sweet energies of your peers at this shimmering shindig. After all, Freshers’ Festival is a two-day party overflowing with good people and rosy cheeks. Could you ask for more?


Festival Blog

10 Lessons Glasgow Freshers Must Learn

By Mina Green

Ah, Glasgow. Such a cosmopolitan city – known for being violent yet amicable. As Kevin Bridges once said ‘you might get the shit kicked out of you, but you’ll get directions to the hospital’. As a city with such a bold reputation, it’s important to paint the town red (but not literally) and make your contribution eventful, especially during freshers’ week. Here’s a list of 15 things you’re bound learn when discovering Glaswegian culture.

Chips and Cheese is a delicacy

Deep-fried, succulent, and seeping in a stringy yellow glow, the potato has never been so degraded yet so delicious. If you’re out on the town and need some stodge to fill your belly and soak up your bad life decisions, I guarantee this will become a classic midnight snack in no time. And if you’re feeling cheeky, you can always add a battered sausage for an extra dose of delicious/heart attack.

Chips and Cheese

Nice’n’Sleazy’s is not sleazy

Contrary to what this bar name suggests, Saucheihall Street’s Nice n’ Sleazy is probably one of the friendliest/dingiest/now hipsterish bars in town, and definitely one of the least sleazy, well, as far as bars go. The £3 white russians are invigorating and help keep your stomach lined (sensible drinking?) and the eclectic mixture of live music makes this joint a great visit for a fresher.

Nice N Sleazy

‘Rain’ is synonymous with ‘weather’, and vice versa

A drizzling blanket of depression is a constant companion when you live in Glasgow. Going abroad and experiencing sun will seem alien and you’ll panic at your lack of wet sleeves. This dreary companion will eventually become comforting (that, or a serious Stockholm Syndrome situation develops).


You’ll see Kevin Bridges or Frankie Boyle at The Stand

The Stand’s Tuesday night ‘Red Raw’ tends to showcase a hefty mixture of amateurs and professionals. Whether grimacing awkwardly or literally giving yourself stitches from laughing, for a mere £2 the wonderful Kevin Bridges or Frankie Boyle may grace you with their presence.

Kevin Birdges

A part-time residency at Barbeque Kings or Best Kebab is inevitable

Stumbling out of Bamboo on a Sunday night then Viper on a Monday, eating at these joints will become a late night ritual. A convenient and encouraged option for before-home munchies, Barbeque Kings and Best Kebab will seem the centre of Glasgow’s culinary delights.

Best Kebab

Ashton Lane is the epitome of glamour

With its sparkling lights and cobbled-ness, Ashton Lane looks like it’s been sliced straight out of a Parisian movie (or so we Glaswegians think). As a fresher you will frequent the ‘fanciness’ of Ashton Lane to indulge in Vodka Wodka’s promos (jolly rancher anyone?) as a sophisticated alternative to Driftwood’s 79p vodka and cokes.


Kelvingrove Park has all the nature

Slotted perfectly between the rustic architecture of Glasgow’s West End and the urban buzz of the City Centre the park proves great for general frolicking. For Strathy/Caley students a trip to Kelvingrove Park is exciting and adventurous and a chance to soak up all the nature. For Glasgow Uni students it is a chance to soak up all the nature. It’s a great place for a BBQ or picnic in the rare occasion the sun makes an appearance.


How to understand Glaswegians

Especially if you’re an international student, learning how to respond to a Glaswegian with something other than ‘sorry, can you repeat that?’ will become an envied skill. Bonus points go to the student that can decipher drunk Glaswegian – a whole different level of confusion.


To drink Buckfast as a last resort

There’s always at least one bottle littering student halls just waiting to cause havoc. A drink fit for monks, this treacle-like sugar-bile will definitely become embedded into your organs at some point during fresher’s week. As a student of Glasgow, swigging this luxury beverage from the bottle will be a rite of passage.


Deep-fried mars bars aren’t really a thing

As Glasgow is famous for its deep-fried mars bars you’ll come to learn that the deep-fried sticky treat isn’t a regular choice for most chippy-goers. Most people living in Glasgow have never tried it, it’s a mythical snack that you don’t dare ask for.

Mars Bar

What else have you learned living in Weegietoon? Tell us on Twitter @FreshersFest