When I was deciding on where I wanted to go to uni, the two main factors (aside from the course) that I focused on were the following:
- It had to be a big city. A city I could get lost in, explore day after day and even after my first year still be finding new places.
- It had to have great night life. Every student wants the full “uni experience” and a huge factor of that are great nights out, fancy dress themes, different clubs and bars on different nights
I do think I made the right choice in city when I chose Sheffield. The regeneration of the city centre is strikingly obvious as you notice the postmodern architecture and the number of water features the council have propped up everywhere.
The city holds so much history in the red bricked walls.
Not only is that, but people up north are a lot more welcoming and friendly. Everyone you walk past in the morning says hello, even the kids in tracksuits hold doors open for me.
Over the past few months I have come to appreciate just how beautiful this city is. And it’s constantly improving.
What I love about it is that despite it being a huge city, there are serene places throughout the centre where you can escape. Take a book and get lost for hours on the grass in front of the fountains, or hide away in the enclosed Winter Gardens.
The disheartening part of it all is that in England, when you start university, you start in the most miserable season on them all.
Especially being up north, rain is part of the package, rarely a day goes by without a little downpour. Grey clouds and drizzly rain has the damaging effect of making some of the most beautiful places seem mundane and dull.
For those who don’t settle easily this can add to the doubt, and feeling of loneliness some feel when leaving home. No one wants to go out and explore their new home in torrential downpour.
Luckily this winter, we were blessed (I say blessed almost everyone else bar 2-5 year olds, say cursed) with inches and inches of powder white snow! Driving through Snakes Pass, Peak District was like driving through the mountains in the gorgeous Alps. Personally, I could live in the Alps all year round, it has to be my favourite place in the world, so naturally I welcomed the snow and the peaceful tranquillity it brought with it. This magical spell had a heart-warming welcoming effect on me, that throughout my first semester I never felt homesick or lonely, and welcomed uni life enthusiastically.
It feels like I got the whole package when I came to uni here. I feel like I’m in the heart of it all. Everyone knows Sheffield, they can locate it on a map and relate in one way or another.
It’s just what I wanted, the ‘big city life’. I’m a small fish in a big pond, just how I like it, for now.