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Vanbrugh has a spectrum of accommodation options, ranging from Vanbrugh Palace in its tranquil surroundings, to Le Page Court at the very heart of York's main campus. The college has two excellent qualities: a lively music scene, with the Woodstock Music Festival and garage-band rehearsal spaces, and Kit Kats. Sir John Vanbrugh, whom the college is named after, was a prestigious member of the gentlemanly 18th-century Kit-Cat Club, later inspiring the branding of the wafer-y goodness that we have come to love and enjoy today. So make sure to treat your fellow Vanbrugh students with due respect, and buy them a Kit Kat.
Graduate students can live in any college in York, but if the thought of breathing the same air as a bunch of rowdy, spotty-faced, debauched freshers is utterly repellent, they can find solace in the graduate-only hub of Wentworth. First-years might give Wentworth the same attention as they would to a retirement home, but who cares? Wentworth students are still a happening bunch, especially with a college bar named 'The Edge' (open until 8pm during Spring term). And just like any other college, Wentworth plays an active role in every area of campus life; I saw at least two Wentworth students in this year's RAG parade.
"Let them hate, so long as they fear." You know you've picked a winning college when their motto was the catchphrase of a tyrannical Roman emperor, while at the same time could have easily been written by Kanye West. There's lots of great things to say about James: it's internationally cultured, sits next to the sports pitches and gym, houses YUSU and all their free condoms, and has The Lounge - the chicest student bar on either campus. I very almost picked James for accommodation in my first year, until I found their crest had the silhouette of a giant swan on it. Haters gonna hate.
Affectionately known by some students as the 'ghetto of York', Halifax has a certain rustic, rural charm that no other college can pull off. The houses of Halifax are what you'd expect Hobbit holes in the Shire to look like, only slummier. Of course, the disappointment of having Halifax as your only accommodation choice is understandable; it's like finally getting into Hogwarts but later having the Sorting Hat put you into Hufflepuff, the house that no one really cares about. But that is life. To be fair, Faxival's always great fun - after getting lost around Heslington several times and being bottled by some gypsies on the way, I honestly enjoyed my time there this year.
Deep in the snowy peaks of the very northern edge of campus lies a college known by many but seen by few. Alcuin is an aloof and altogether odd college of York, where the geese and ducks are actually rabbits, and the students thought to live a generally solitary existence turn out to have occasional orgy inclinations (sQrew block freshers: watch out for any unusual looking stains). Preconceptions on Alcuin often derive from their lack of a student bar, but unknown to most students, Alcuin will invade Derwent territory and use The Courtyard for their devious pub quizzes. Also, the naming of their social events is abysmAL.
Life in Derwent is sustained by local watering holes, D Bar and The Courtyard, where members of other colleges can witness the typical Derwenter in its natural habitat. Fondly renowned for its asbestos, Derwent's accommodation offers the real-deal, Communist-block experience. Perhaps because of these primitive dwellings, Derwenters are quick to embrace all aspects of campus life, especially sporting events and the alcohol-fuelled Club Ds. But beware of their Neanderthal nature; while they may seem docile, even pleasant creatures, the Derwenter is quick to anger if the supremacy of their college is ever in question.
When Langwith packed its bags and moved east last year, it had a bit of an identity crisis. Sure New Langwith may have some of the best accommodation an overdraft can buy, as well as playing host to The Glasshouse (which was quite lovely on that one visit I made to Hes East back in February), but the co-founding college of York really lowered it standards when it swapped historic rival Derwent with Goodricke for its neighbour. Perhaps this year will see the college live up to its legacy, and people will stop referring it to as 'New Langwith' and simply call it 'Langwith'.
Travelling to Goodricke on Hes East is like taking a visit to a desolated Rebel Alliance base on the ice planet of Hoth, except sadly Goodricke actually exists. Fortunately, Goodrickers stopped feeling so lonely when Langwith took the plunge and relocated to the wintry wilderness of York's other campus. It's a shame people don't pay more attention to Goodricke since it really is quite 'good'. Friendly and well-rounded, Goodricke even managed to trump/out-snob Alcuin's title to ensuite elite in its transition to Hes East (right until Langwith stole their thunder).
All cartoons: Brandon Seager