When people think about university, you often picture the bigger cities, but it might not always be so. The course that best suits you might not be in the classic student cities, or perhaps you are going to university through clearing, or through your insurance choice. If this happens you might find everything changes, from night life to options for student accommodation. Huddersfield, Colchester, Stoke on Trent and Falmouth to name but a few are all home to some excellent universities. Here are a few things to help you cope and make the most out of being in some of these smaller towns.
Firstly, get to know your campus thoroughly. Some of the smaller cities and towns that have universities are not so tailored toward students like those such as Leeds, Sheffield or Newcastle. This can make social events in town (especially on a budget) a lot harder, as there is often less going on, and it is often more expensive than those cities which know they have a large student market to appeal to. Small town universities are aware of this and try to counteract with a much more vibrant campus. It has the added bonus of being a very natural place to meet people, as you’ll often be there for classes or for your own independent study.
Try not to get downhearted about being in a small town. In fact, try to embrace this opportunity. In other words, do the local things that aren’t so generic to the student experience all over the country. Perhaps there are areas of natural beauty much easier to reach due to how you are away from densely populated urban areas. Or just simply get to know the town inside out, find all of its nooks and crannies, make it your own. People in large cities will only ever get to brush the surface. Everywhere has its own charms, and its important you focus on this rather than dwell on what you may be missing out on.
If these last two ideas have not helped and you’re not really enjoying the small town experience, then try and travel further afield at weekends or whenever the opportunity arises. Just because you are living in a small town does not mean that you are confined to it 24/7. Get to know the local transport links, and work out where it would be possible for you to go on your time off, in terms of both distance and cost to get there. This juxtaposition of going somewhere a lot larger than where you are based can really make you appreciate the little things you don’t notice so much when you’re around all the time.
Try to embrace the small, and be excited! It is still university you’re going to, it’s going to be a huge change in lifestyle, it does not matter if you are going to London or Bolton, it will be fast, exciting and fun. And you’ll learn to love the smaller things and hopefully not miss the big lights too much.