Tag Archives: City

The Secret Side of a Student

Before I came to university, I saw it as this one big party. Everyone had said how uni was the best time of their lives and all my friends who were already at university seemed to be having the time of their lives from what I saw over social media. I was getting up for work everyday whilst they got to lie in until 12pm, I was sitting at home most nights whilst they dressed up and went clubbing or had fun nights in with all their friends.

I couldn’t wait to start university. However, it turns out it’s not all it was cracked up to be.

I don’t think I am completely alone when I say university isn’t as wild and as fun as everyone tries to portray it to be. I have spent a lot of nights miserable in my dingy little halls of residence room, wishing I was joining in the fun that everybody else seemed to be having. Don’t get me wrong, I have had some good nights out, but I didn’t build the friendships I hoped I would. Back at home, everyone kind of felt like acquaintances, my friends here at uni also still do. They even make my friends at home feel like long term, deep down friends – at least acquaintances at home were familiar with me and I them.

Living alone is nice, but I do miss my mom and the comfort of home a lot. I am a very independent person and not the type of person who has grown accustomed to some fancy life back home, I did not even think I would miss home at all, but I do. It’s not even just the house and my mom I miss; I am one of the unfortunate ones who – despite being in a flat with eleven other people – doesn’t have a close bond with all their halls mates, so I miss even just company and talking to people where I live. It’s so isolating. Cooking in the kitchen is lonely and even when someone else is too, it’s just awkward. Everywhere is grubby, which was expected of student living, but it’s not exactly home when you don’t even want to sit on the toilet seat because of the germs and dirt…

I think maybe I am just unlucky, that’s all university experiences ever are: luck of the draw. Yes I have friends, but there always feels like there’s some sort of barrier in the way. Even when I do have free time (which is a ridiculous amount sometimes, who thought I’d be wanting more lectures to fill up my lonely time?) it’s hard to find a time when everyone else is free too, or when anyone else actually wants to do something. It’s not that I don’t gel with the people I’ve met, but more I just don’t feel I fit in with people here. Then again, I never feel like I fit in anywhere.

People like me may have come to university in a city they love thinking that this would finally be their calling, their place to be, where everything would finally start falling into place. It has turned out to be the exact opposite, I don’t think I am alone in saying I have never felt more lost or dropped in the deep end than I do now. Sometimes I feel I don’t belong here, but I need my degree and I love the city, but it’s not a comfortable feeling when you don’t feel like you belong or when the path you’ve chosen doesn’t sit right with you.

Some say they met their closest friends after the first term, some say second year is much better as living in a house with your friends is much more comforting than halls of residence when you don’t click with everyone. I guess we’ll see but all I am saying is don’t believe everything you hear before you’ve tried it out.

A Weekend in Leeds (a little late, I know)

My sister goes to university in Leeds so I decided to take a little break away from life where I live and go to visit her this weekend. I’ve been before and really enjoyed it and I think it’s a great city to visit (or even live!) so I’ve decided to do a little post on my weekend for anyone who’s considering going/wants somewhere knew to go or is simply interested.

I arrived on Friday late afternoon and first of all we go for food at a place in the centre called Trinity Kitchen, it’s in one of the main indoor shopping centres and in the ‘kitchen’ are a range of food places from pizza to Vietnamese cuisine. My sister and I chose a little Mexican-y place and had burritos and nachos, the burritos were great with a range of fillings inside; you can choose your mean (or go veggie) and that’s with rice, beans/vegetables, salsa, cheese and a choice of guacamole. I do have to admit however the nachos were slightly mediocre. Then we went to a bar called Roxy’s; an upstairs bar, with a chilled atmosphere filled with pool tables, beer pong and table tennis and of course seats for those of us who aren’t as energetic! There was a decent range of cocktails there and a better than average range of flavoured vodkas – which is great for me as I love vanilla vodka! Once we finished our drinks we headed home for a night in with foodie treats.

On Saturday I headed to the art gallery, which was a bit small, but I suppose that’s because I’m from Birmingham and Birmingham art gallery is a large one to compare it to. What I loved about it was that for the first time ever I went to an art gallery because I wanted to and I appreciated it all. There was some really thought provoking pieces that gave a lot for me to think about. I think the section I enjoyed the most was the art from 1800-1900, maybe I’m a sucker for classic art because it’s so precise; it’s all there, where as modern art is usually hard to grasp the concept of.

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After the art gallery, I met my sister and we went to a sci-fi and comic book fair in the town hall. That was fun and there was a good selection of comic books for a good price along with figurines and posters etc. I’d recommend going to the fair if it’s on whilst you are there, there’s also a nice little comic book shop in Leeds which unfortunately I didn’t get chance to look  during my stay.

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When it got to lunch time, we went for food at a boat themed pub/restaurant called Dry Dock. It’s basically a pub that is a boat (but no where near any water as I had mistakenly assumed it would be) There’s a beer garden on top of the boat which is lovely to sit on a nice day, however it was far too cold so we sat below deck. It was not like a pub I’d ever been to and felt like a bit of a novelty being there as it’s so different to any pub that I’ve ever known! My chicken, cheese and bbq burger with chips and coleslaw was a decent lunch and my sister really enjoyed her burrito too. The foods not Jamie Oliver, but it hit the spot and was really decent for a small price of £5.95.

In the evening, my sister and I went to a flat party, so I can’t give you too much information on night life, however I do know from previous experience that there are tonnes of cocktail bars/bars which are pretty spectacular and I know from my sister that the range of clubs is pretty good too.

On my final day, we went to a business park- for lack of a better word – where there’s a large range of places to eat (including an American diner called Rosie’s  which I’d highly recommend; the food and general theme is fantastic, not to mention the big yellow bus inside the restaurant!). Anyway in the business park is a bowling alley where we had a game of bowling and after played some pool. The bowling alley is quite big and there’s a range of amusements including a fun little photo booth. As a young person I feel there’s not always a lot for us to do in the day time if your bored of the whole shopping thing and this was a perfect past time an I really enjoyed it.

All in all I’d definitely recommend anyone to go to Leeds for a weekend/day out, because I can guarantee it’s got something different there to where you’ve been before or where you live.

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Goodbye, for now, Leeds!