50 Shades of Stirling University: Part 2

Good things come to those who wait. I do hope it was worth your while waiting (impatiently) for instalment number two of 50 Shades of Stirling University. Proud to have collected even more stories from over the years, all anonymous but all by ladies who spent four years studying, partying and being naughty in small town Scotland.

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My flatmate and I were keen on celebrating the end of the week at uni with a few drinks. Wearing short skirts and make up, we ended up in one of Stirling’s few cool pubs.

After a few drinks, we got to talking with a bunch of guys. We hit it off with two in particular so with no particular agenda (really!), we somehow ended up taking them home when the pub closed.

Being the good girls that we are, we kept the guys entertained but nothing more than kissing ever occurred that night. I could hear giggles through the wall so, obviously, fun was had nonetheless.

Unfortunately, the following morning work awaited but the men refused to budge from our beds. My flatmate and I had a panicked conversation in the kitchen. What were we supposed to do?

In retrospect, this is probably the stupidest thing we could have done. As our door could lock itself, we let the guys stay for as long as they wanted to while we went to work.

Expecting to come back to a flat missing most of its valuables, we were very relieved to see everything was in its right place. We’d picked a nice couple of men to take home. Phew.”

On one of the most memorable nights of my first year at uni, in AKD halls I was quite at it with my then-boyfriend against the white brick wall – only to hear my flatmate being quite at it in his room on the other side of the wall.

But the thing is there was no one else in his room… Or at least he denied having had company when I saw him in the morning. I never specifically enquired after the noises, just in case he really didn’t have anyone in his room, in which case, quite frankly, I would rather not know what he was up to!”

During my time in Stirling I was a member of a couple of wonderful societies through which I met a lot of lovely people. Of course, one of the people happened to be very, very lovely. An exchange student with dark hair, beautiful blue eyes and a smile that melted my heart immediately.

After one of the society’s pub crawls, having downed perhaps the 7th pint (which is pretty much always the magic number after which you should never talk to anyone), we got to talking quite intimately. So intimately, in fact, that after a while I found myself snogging the life out of him in a dark alleyway behind Dusk.

We proceeded to his little flat on Bruce Street, to his little room, to his little bed where I came to realise that the little things wouldn’t end there… To the point where even the little raincoat didn’t stay on and there was very little else left to depart with.

He did have beautiful blue eyes, he really did.”

Let’s just say I was definitely up for some fun that night. Having emptied a few bottles of wine together with a bunch of ladies before hitting the club, I found myself feeling ever the more giggly and mischievous. It didn’t take long for me to identify the boy I’d be chasing that evening as he reminded me of a very dear TV character. And because of my wine-induced confidence, the chase didn’t last long either. We snogged and then we snogged some more and then the lights came on to say the night was over. But was it?

We joined the crowds making their way towards the cloakroom. It seemed clear we’d be spending more time together that evening… But then disaster struck. I looked to my left and I looked to my right. He was gone! And I had no way of finding him.

Luck didn’t bring us back together that night. I walked home accompanied by my flatmate instead of the hot young man I was so convinced looked like that Gossip Girl hottie.

We sauntered into the living room to discuss the evening’s events. My flatmate too had a sad story. The young gent she’d been canoodling with had briefly mentioned his girlfriend in conversation!

I casually took off my jacket and then came the scream. As it turned out, my conquest had been very skilled at giving hickies. For the next week, I was the laughing stock of the group, had to wear a scarf and felt like I was 15 again, oh the shame. Getting told I looked like I’d been mauled by a dog or had a deadly disease were particularly low blows.”

By Scottish standards, it was a particularly hot day. Sadly, most of my friends had left for the summer so I didn’t have a reason to go outside and enjoy the sunshine. Instead, I was just slouching around the house in a seductive pair of shorts and a strappy top. As if someone was going to see me…

Knock, knock. Oh, yes, the electrician was going to swing by that day to check something. I let him in and watched him do his thing while leaning against the door frame.

I felt inclined to offer him a refreshment, considering the heat that day. We chatted briefly over soft drinks, exchanging the compulsory British, weather-related small talk. There was a moment of awkwardness as our eyes locked.

By then the drinks had been downed. He reached out to caress my shoulder and wham bam we found ourselves on the floor indulging in some very passionate afternoon exercise.

Like the scenario of a porn movie, he left as quickly as he’d arrived. Needless to say, phone numbers weren’t exchanged. It was an anonymous encounter.

And how did the story come to light? My flatmate saw the carpet burns on my arms… That was one heck of a summer’s day.”

(This remains to this day one of the most legendary Stirling stories, told and retold so many times even though the lady whose tale it is initially insisted on keeping it private. Proud to have received her permission to publish this juicy account!)

– Red

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50 Shades of Stirling University: Part 1

Red and Rosé may not lack scandal in their lives, but this has never found itself a place on the blog. Now, after a long period of silence, it seems like scandal is the exact thing needed to revive the blog.

For this series of posts I’ve enrolled the help of some of the most wonderful ladies ever to set foot in Stirling. Enjoy our anonymous tales of some of the best, some of the worst, some of the raunchiest and some of the most dramatic moments of the 4 years we spent living in small town Scotland.

(Though full of obvious references, 50 Shades of Stirling University is a much more innocent read than its namesake.)

Hey, how are you doing” said the innocent text I received one night while nursing a hangover at the old man’s pub my friend worked at. “Fine but who’s asking?” I responded equally innocently. The texter was clearly a male. I enquired as to his whereabouts and profession. “Postgrad, Union Street” he admitted. Aha, so this couldn’t just be some random chancer trying his luck. He lives in Stirling. But how did he get my number and why was he being so mysterious? More inquisitive texting ensued, and he began to call but never once plucked up the courage to speak instead of breathing heavily or playing Bruno Mars. “I don’t know who you are but I’ve got your number saved as Best Ever,” said the final message I was ever to receive from him. Though he continued to call, his true identity remains until this day a mystery.”

I kissed my boyfriend’s best friend on the dancefloor at Fubar. He wasn’t my boyfriend at the time, we were just dating. Does that make it ok?”

We Stirling students are so lucky. Who else has a forest and mountain range made for midnight canoodling on the doorstep of their halls? On those long, chilly Stirling evenings there’s nothing more romantic than a late night stroll and a hilltop kiss and cuddle with the one you love.”

I was having a lot more sex than I have now when I was at Stirling… I was in a long term relationship with a boy who still lived at home so we only saw each other on the weekends and holidays. The waiting and frustration led to some pretty wild times. And what is still the best sexual experience I’ve ever had.

J had come over for the weekend in my second semester when exams were about to start, meaning we probably wouldn’t see each other for the next 3 weeks. Classes had ended so we could give each other our complete and undivided attention.

He was my first, as was I his, which made it really easy to suggest new things. Positions, toys, food… you name it, we’d probably tried it in some shape or form. That night J got me into porn. Holed up in our private room at Murray Hall, in blissful ignorance of all the university’s rules and regulations, we sat down together on the lowly chair provided by Residential Services to watch a couple in action in a bath tub.

Of course, one thing led to another. Suddenly, J grabbed me and lifted me onto the fake granite worktop that I used to plough away at my essays. Little did I know it was great for ploughing something else altogether…”

Stirlling University girls

My then-crush had slept with both of my flatmates. It seemed only appropriate that I sleep with his flatmate.”

She couldn’t possibly be…It was too crazy to believe. And yet…Miss X`s fingers shook as she studied the test stick with the horrible blue line that was trying to tell her she was pregnant.

A baby! When? How? …The night of the barbecue had been the wildest she’d ever experienced; the one night when she’d decided to be a free spirit – to sleep with a man and leave him in the morning without a backwards glance. She’d planned to be bold and seductive. Miss X would be like the women her age she most admired – sophisticated and utterly in control.

It had been a brilliant idea in theory. She’d flirted and danced and let herself be free. She’d even found the right man. He was tall, suave and handsome. And unlike some of the others there his breath didn’t smell of the awful combination of garlic and mint. He was gorgeous and she was mesmerized. He made love to her so tenderly, so perfectly, that once it was over she`d wanted to know him. She felt so disappointed that she never would. But they’d agreed…

Miss X swallowed the fear that rose in her. She chewed on her lip, her heart beating like a drum. She set the test stick down and decided to head to the doctor’s…”

So I know this girl who contributed to breaking the bed of one of the university football team’s most prominent members.”

The moment I was sure it wouldn’t work out was when he touched my foot in public, at a dinner party that he arrived an hour late for, with 5 drunk friends in tow instead of the 1 sober one he was invited to bring.”

It so happened that I lived on the ground floor of university accommodation, right next to a path that most people had to take to get from halls to lectures. This very interesting geographical location had a great impact on my romantic encounters, most of which happened through my window, overlooking the path. In retrospect, how very old-fashioned.

So, when I liked a guy and he would get to know where I lived (most of the time I would “subtly” show them on the way back from class), he’d knock on my window every time he passed, and we’d have some silly, uncomfortable converstation. Only a few times did I dare invite a boy in and only a couple of times did that end with more than a cup of tea. Oh, those good old innocent days!

Anyway, this window situation caused me many sleepless nights and some disturbance. One of the innocent window romances turned into a more frequent one. Unfortunately, the boy seemed to forget that I also had a phone. Most of our communication happened through the bloody window! Sometimes I would receive a very drunken 2am guest knocking on my window, or sometimes, if I wasn’t home at the time, I’d be told that he made the effort but I wasn’t there. I don’t remember receiving a single call. So when I started wanting things to go further than random window-dates, I just kind of sat there waiting. Making a long and not so exciting story short, the relationship didn’t progress.

I spent an awful lot of my time at that bloody window. Although it did come in handy at times: boys and friends bringing candy, music, light drugs or even eggs (!), and leaving them on my windowsill, late night discussions with strangers and bizzare aquaintances made through it, in the end, I stopped thinking that living on the busiest path was cool. It felt more like living in a corner shop. 

Still, every time I pass it, the memories of first year come back to me vividly and it will always remain my campus window.”

As of two weeks ago, one of the most gorgeous boys in Stirling is single courtesy of me. Take good care of him ladies.

(Don’t forget to read Part 2 😉 )

Stirling University Reunions

They say the friendships you make at university are friendships for life. As cheesy as it may sound, one year post graduation I still find myself spending most of my time with the wonderful friends I made throughout my 4 years at Stirling Uni.

So far Stirling reunions have taken me further than just Edinburgh. London, Dundee, Prague, Amsterdam… And two weekends ago I hosted my own mini reunion.

I was joined by Miss Working Journalist and Miss Arbroath for a weekend of dining, drinking and general merriment. What better reason to serve afternoon tea? No tea for us though – we stuck to Cava…

boozy afternoon tea

… and then we went for a spot of Pimms in the surprise sunshine at the lovely Teuchters Landing on the Shore. Seafood being their speciality, we decided to give oysters a go. At £1.80 a pop we wouldn’t have regretted it even if we’d had to spit them out. Fortunately, we didn’t! Have you ever tried one served with wasabi?

Stirling University reunion

Cheers to many more reunions to come, like the one with Miss Redheaded Lithuanian in Iceland this November!

– Red

Stirling Graduate Story #1: The Broadcast Journalist

Miss Working Journalist is a 2010 Stirling University graduate in Film, Media and Journalism. Read her story on landing a full time job in the radio industry.

I remember sitting in Introduction to Audio and Visual Production, hearing the great Tim Thornicroft and the even greater Les Mitchell introducing themselves. This was the reason I’d come to Stirling. Ever since that open day. Ever since I felt my heart leap as I took in that gorgeous campus. Ever since I was given the Film and Media Department tour, I knew I was destined to be in that room one day.

As Tim and Les were going through what the course entailed, Les piped in with the following… “And you must get some work placements sorted out because employers won’t take you based on the experience you’ve gotten here.” Oh and how right he was.

Me, I was sitting smugly. By this point I was already helping out every Friday at my local radio station and had joined the student station, Air3 where I went on to become the secretary.

I know that some of you reading this will think “Hey, I’m amazing. I’m the top of my class. What do I need work experience for?”  I’m afraid you couldn’t be any more wrong. I wouldn’t be where I was today with out my work placements.

I started at Wave 102 in Dundee. Landed the placement just by e-mailing. I got to write news scripts, edit audio clips and do interviews. None of which I’d been trained to do by my university. This job then led to paid work at Kingdom FM in Fife. Or home as I liked to call it. There I got to work with two of the most amazing journalists I’ve ever come across. One of them was even kind enough to give me a full time job.

To even get to that point I had to work really hard. Many freelance positions aren’t advertised. So it’s best to put yourself out there on a plate. I fired my CV out to every radio station in Scotland, regardless of distance. I received 5 replies. So for about a year I was sent all over the country. Got to know areas like Dumbarton, Falkirk and Aberdeen. I would recommend it, as I’ve been told this makes me stick out as a candidate because it shows I’m adaptable and can pick up an area in a short space of time.

And a year and nine months after all the hard work, the experience, the millions of CVs and cover letters, the getting to know many new faces, moving away from the parents, living it up in a gorgeous cottage and making some friends for life… I was poached by a bigger station (Tay FM in Dundee).

So even though I didn’t learn the majority of skills I use on a daily basis at uni, it gave me my grounding. If I had the chance to fill out a UCAS form again, I’d still put Stirling as my top choice.

So to those of you reading this that are still studying or have yet to find that graduate job, don’t worry. You’ll get there – you’ll just have to work for it.

Love C xxx

(Listen out for Miss Working Journalist’s incredibly sexy radio voice on Tay FM and visit her very own blog where she shares her thoughts on all things girly rather than work – Miss Red)

Graduation, Stirling style

Stirling university graduationWe get robes and they’re cool! Apart from that graduation isn’t the classiest of affairs at Stirling as the ceremony’s held in the university’s tennis centre. Nonetheless, the atmosphere was brilliant last Thursday with lots of smiley and relieved faces dotting the room. The four years at Stirling have had their ups and downs but one thing’s certain, uni life will be missed.

After receiving our diplomas, being hit on the head by a cap by the Chancellor and having shaken the principal’s hand, it was time to head outside for some picture taking. You really couldn’t ask for a better backdrop than Stirling’s drop dead gorgeous campus with its loch and mountains.

Everyone then ventured over to one of the academic buildings for an informal drinks reception. At this point food and a tipple were much appreciated and luckily for us the uni caterers had done an amazing job of setting up the buffet.

Stirling does organise its own grad ball on the Friday night after all the grad ceremonies throughout the week but I was a rebel and went out for a nice meal and looots of drinks at Mediterranea restaurant with friends instead that happened to be far less expensive and probably just as fun. We ended the night at our place dancing to some cheesy tunes and some of us – conking out on the sofa.

– Red in Riga

Stirling’s Epic Bridge of Awkwardness

Stirling University bridgeStirling Uni is home to quite possibly the most awkward bridge you’ll ever have to cross. Linking the two sides of our precious on-campus loch, the average student will have to pass over it at least a couple of times a week.

Whether dashing to class in the morning or crawling back to halls after a late night’s drinking session at the Students’ Union pub, or a library visit if you’re good, you’ll find the bridge is never empty. There will always be just one person coming towards you that you do not want to see or, God forbid, make eye contact with. It could be someone from class who you kind of know but don’t know well enough to say hello to, it could be someone from your first year in halls who you met at a party and had great banter with but haven’t ever spoken to again or it could be someone you got cosy with that night you don’t remember at Fubar/Dusk/The Red Room. Unfortunately, no matter what, it just will be awkward but, rest assured, we all know the feeling!

Luckily, the scenery around the bridge is stunning with views across the rolling Ochil Hills, the loch and its shores so faking a sudden fascination with wildlife isn’t too difficult.

Before setting foot on the bridge, quickly scan everyone walking towards you to see if you should start gazing into the distance and admiring the flora and fauna…

– Miss Red

In Stirling Eurovision Trumps Revision

We admit to being fans of the one and only Eurovision. Not only did we watch the final on Saturday but also both semi-finals during the week.

I’d say the final is a special occasion – it only happens once a year! So Miss Rosé, Miss Working Journalist and I made our way to Miss Lithuania’s in Glasgow to celebrate it in style.

Drinks and food were had as per usual when we ever-hungry ladies get together. Miss Lithuania is lucky enough to live in a family house and has a table, that to us Stirling students renting table-less flats is the utmost luxury!

We got ever so slightly jolly and danced around the living room once the show came on. Each of us had our favourites in the competition and each of us had a Top 3 potential winners list. For the first time ever I actually guessed correctly and was the only one who mentioned Azerbaijan (Miss Working Journalist already checked flight prices for next year – £500 minimum).

Here’s a wee commentary on some of the most memorable acts and funny incidents of the night:

Is Romania’s performer or Dave the ex-binman from Newcastle Tom Cruise’s twin separated at birth?

Do Jedward have genitals?

Eric Saade from Sweden, you will not be popular because there is only enough space in the world for one Justin Bieber and it’s already taken.

Greek men are hot. So are Danish guitar players. And members of British boy bands. Spanish ladies have very nice legs.

We’re slightly afraid of Russian men now if they think “gunning for a girl” is the thing to do.

Lithuania, if you want to sing in French, make sure you choose lyrics that actually mean something significant.

We predict Moldovan hats may become the IT accessory of the season. As will unicycles.

Georgia, Linkin Park were big in the 90s and early 2000s. You may also want to think about changing your stylist…

France, don’t waste such good singers on Eurovision! Although kudos for trying to raise the standard of the show.

For an extra laugh, we sincerely recommend watching the subtitled version of the show so you get an “even better” impression of the performers and their songs. Seriously, does anyone check their lyrics with a native speaker?

Albania’s Aurela Gace will “dab her lips with your morning dew” and Bosnia’s Dino Merlin wants to “keep it running on serpentine” while Latvia’s Musiqq “will love you with luscious thighs”. And in Ukraine… “When you look into my eyes sun is touching mountain top”.

The person transcribing Graham Norton’s comments got it terribly wrong when he or she decided to rename the UK’s very own Blue… Blew. Oops-a-daisy!

Can’t wait for next year’s show…

– Miss Red