Adjusting to life off campus

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First year is such a new adventure; you’re on your own, living away from home and enjoying your independence for the first time. Yet, we don’t always realise how lucky we are to live on a university campus and literally have everything we need seconds from our doors. First year soon ends though and then you’re off to live in the big wide world. Or rather, Lancaster city centre.

Whilst living off campus is great and it definitely has its perks, travelling is certainly not one of them. We’ve all enjoyed this scenario: you’re at the bus station waiting to go to campus, and the dreaded 2A pulls up. No one can actually enjoy getting this bus, and if they say they don’t mind it, they’re undeniably lying. Most of the time, you have to stand on a heaving bus for half an hour which results in being late for your lecture – fun times. Last year I lived in Grizedale and when faced with the prospect of a seminar in county main, this would dampen my mood for hours, moping round proclaiming that I had to go “all the way to County!”  You don’t know how jealous I am now of the people who only have to walk up and down the spine to make their 9 am lectures.

Although I do have a huge gripe with my journey to and from university, life away from campus certainly has more advantages than disadvantages. As much as there is on campus, it is so refreshing to live merely minutes away from the town centre, and that said, only minutes away from clothes shops (a particular bonus for me!). You’re surrounded by shops and pubs, and it certainly is fun feeling like you live in society again rather than constantly being in the campus bubble. Everything seems to be cheaper too, instead of living in Central you’ve got Home Bargains and Sainsbury’s on your doorstep. Not to mention the cheaper nights out, no more last-minute taxis home, what’s the point when you live practically next door to Sugar?!

It’s also great to get more involved in the city; there are lots of events going on in Lancaster that you neglect if you don’t live directly here. From the firework displays at the castle to the Christmas light switch on, every event is always packed and it certainly pays to get into the community spirit of things.

I would say that living away from campus definitely helps you appreciate town more, just perhaps not when you’re stuck on campus all day because there is literally no time to come home between lectures. I for one am now a huge fan of the library, it’s gone from something I generally avoided during the first year to become my second home. Who knew how much you’d eventually love the silent work room.

There’s so much to occupy everyone on campus, and it might actually take everyone to move away to really understand just how much there is going on. Enjoy first year and your time living on campus, but don’t dread moving away. You’ll definitely be tired, but you’ll probably have an even better Lancaster experience because of it.

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