8 Signs You Studied at Aberystwyth | Top Universities

8 Signs You Studied at Aberystwyth

By Sabrina Collier

Updated May 14, 2019 Updated May 14, 2019

Though not quite as well-known as the likes of UCL or Oxford, we love our quaint little Welsh seaside town, and its many eccentricities. So if you studied at Aberystwyth University (Aber for short), we’re sure you’ll recognize some of these…

1. You’re a member of the ‘Overheard in Aberystwyth’ Facebook group.

Overheard in Aberystwyth

The rules of Overheard in Aberystwyth are simple: if you hear something funny, share it on the group! Recently overheard items include a woman and child in Morrisons commenting that the supermarket “might not have the same food as England does”, and another person commenting “I didn't know we were in Europe”. This writer *may* have ended up as an overheard person herself once, but I’m not saying a word…

2. You still hate Bangor.

Bangor vs Aber

Every university has a rivalry, whether it’s Oxford and Cambridge, University College London and King’s College London… but for us cool Aber kids, we have a deep hatred for those punks up at Bangor University (North Wales). If you’re an Aber grad, you probably still mention this any time Bangor is brought up in conversation, and remember the intense competition of the annual Varsity sporting battle.

3. Your social media feed is full of “Aberpocalypse” news stories…


Image credit: Keith Morris @KeithMorrisAber

… And anything else involving Aber. The term Aberpocalypse was coined back in 2014 when Aber had some of the worst winter storms in decades, meaning seafront students were evacuated and there was an unusual amount of sand on the promenade road. On a happier note, you probably ‘liked’ recent news that the university’s satisfaction rating is back up as one of the top 10 in the UK and 1st in Wales (take that, Bangor). 

4. You have flashbacks of student nights out that ended with Lip Licking chicken…

Drunk student

…or other delights from the fine late-night takeaways in Aber, serving basically anything greasy, tasty and cheap enough for your inebriated self to devour after leaving one of the town’s two nightclubs on a night out. You definitely never threw up afterwards. Nope.

5. When you return, you’re baffled by how much has changed.

Confused by changes

A new bandstand? A Greggs? Another chain coffee shop? And soon to be a Tesco and M&S too? What is this madness? You love coming back and visiting Aber, but have mixed feelings about these changes. Although the increase of chain shops can be controversial, as Aber has a fantastic selection of independent shops and cafés, certain brand names are difficult to resist, and new renovations help modernize the town.

6. You still remember the struggle of the infamous Penglais Hill.

Penglais hill

Image credit: Jeanette @turbohysterics

Everyone remembers the mammoth daily challenge of taking on ‘The Hill’ to get up to Aberystwyth University’s main campus, which meant turning up to lectures sweaty and somewhat out of breath (attractive). And how handy it was that Bronglais Hospital is located on the steepest part, just when you think you can’t make it…

Also, anyone who ever had to go to the Llanbadarn campus for classes or exams remembers battling to make it to the top of the appropriately nicknamed Cardiac Hill. Speaking of hills (there are a few), you’re nostalgic for those fantastic views from Constitution Hill, and remember riding the Cliff Railway up there (and/or climbing it!). 

7. You still have about 236347 pictures of ‘Generic Aber sunsets’.

Aberystwyth sunset

They’re as generic as the obligatory plane window shot when traveling, but nothing beats a spectacular Aberystwyth sunset photo! Many of the best views can be had from the university’s main campus and the National Library of Wales, and those of us lucky enough to have a sea view with our student accommodation always took advantage of the opportunity to capture those gorgeous pinky-orange skies. Bonus points if you managed to get any sunset pictures along with snaps of the famous starling cloud, which now has a pub named after it.

8. You miss the Aber bubble.

Aberystwyth Old College

With our charming former home located over 40 miles away from the next town of a comparable size, and almost 100 miles away from Welsh capital Cardiff, it’s safe to say that Aber is fairly remote, which made it feel like a world of its own during your years at uni. You couldn’t walk down the high street without seeing someone you knew, everyone had very few degrees of separation, and lazy days spent on the beach in sunny weather were some of the best days during your time there (not to mention that the Old College looks like Hogwarts, which is always a plus).

If you’re feeling nostalgic after reading this, and have a thing for detective dramas, you might like to watch the BBC’s Hinterland, filmed in and around Aberystwyth (and see if you can find yourself in the background!).

Do you recognize any of these, or have other iconic Aber experiences to add? Share in the comments below, or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter. Or if you studied somewhere else and would like to share your own university memories, contact our editorial team.

This article was originally published in August 2016 . It was last updated in May 2019

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Written by

The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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