The best places that shaped my uni experience (that definitely weren’t uni)

What is it that we really remember about uni when it’s all over - three years of intensive studies, or the hot-as-hell chill spots to hang at? Michael Di Iorio reflects on the most memorable spots of his uni experience.

Let’s be real here, some of the places that shape us the most throughout uni aren’t exactly the hallways and lecture theatres, but the places we go in between classes. Together with friends and some amazing people I have met through uni, I have visited and frequented multiple spots that most definitely shaped my uni experience, and also, my life. Some of these locales were just good to sit down and spill some mad tea at, while others served the food that fired my soul throughout never-ending all-nighters. Here’s a list of some of the hottest hotbeds of comfort to seek out around and about the Central area, which have undeniably been important to me. Hopefully they can become just as important to you as well.

Glider KS Café

Located near Spice Alley, but hidden away just enough that you’ve probably missed it on many an occasion, Glider KS Café is one of the best spots to visit when you have a break from uni. I’ve frequented this little spot on many an occasion with some of the most special people I’ve met, and it never fails to impress. It’s such a reliable spot that whenever I was indecisive on where to go, I went there and knew I wouldn’t be let down at all. Also, the Peppermint Chai is quite literally the second coming of Christ, do not miss your opportunity to try it at this cosy little spot.

Big Daddy’s Burger Bar (Newtown)

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous since your terrible timetabling skills have left you with a five-hour break, then head to once of the first places I ever went to on my first ever break with my best friend Listy. This place has a whole lot of memories attached to it, and was also the last place that I went to on my last break ever, for sentimental reasons of course, but also for the amazing burgers on offer. Also, if you go on Fridays, sometimes they’ll play R&B Fridays on the televisions where Mario can host the hottest lunch break you’ve had in years.  

Guzman y Gomez and its neighbouring balcony

This balcony at Central Park Mall is one of the best places to just sit and having a D&M. The best part is that you can be eating food from one of the many options on offer just right by the balcony space. However, more often than not, I ended up sharing many a moment and revelation over Guzman y Gomez’s Nacho Fries. They’re basically the staple food of my uni experience, and so many amazing moments were shared over this meal on the breezy balcony space. I thoroughly recommend it, you won’t get tired of it ever.

Central Park

Honestly one of the most relaxing spots on this list, and the place I always came back to when uni was just getting draining af. Who doesn’t love grass? And if you don’t, there’s a little AstroTurf section for your grass-hating self to also feel comfortable. Couples kissing everywhere, friends having an incredible laugh, fashionable icons eating sushi, you’ve got everything there, and I recommend you try to accomplish at least two of those. Also keep in mind that if you do just lie on the grass, you will start to fall asleep. Make sure if you’re with someone that they can wake you up from extreme comfort. 

Tio’s Cerveceria

Cocktails, amazing décor and FREE popcorn? Sign me up honestly. I went to this bar only a handful of times across my years of uni, and to be honest, I should have visited way more often. It’s the perfect little nook to just sit and bond with your besties. 4PM to 6PM is happy hour, so if the fates decide you can have a break during this time, head on over and regret nothing - $5 cocktails! This place has always been in my mind as an incredible bar, but maybe it was just the incredible company I had with me.

The Loft UTS

Okay so I’m bending my rules just a little. Technically this place is apart of UTS, but it’s not exactly in the realm of education so I’ll give it a pass. Honestly, if you get invited to The Loft because there’s an event on, go! If I didn’t go to some of these events, I would be missing out on some of the most important memories of my life. This place is the perfect gathering and meeting spot for UTS kids, and you’ll always run into one of your legendary friends that you haven’t seen in a while. And who knows, you might run into someone new that you never expected to meet, or someone could strike up a conversation with you that changes your life forever. What I’m trying to say is, go to The Loft. It’s always got something in store for you.  

Michael Di Iorio is a finally-finished-thank-god journalism student. He has a passion for graduating, local drama and reflecting on incredible memories made with incredible people.