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From the Valley to the City- Student Life in Leeds


From the Valley...

The life changing transition from a small, rather unknown village, to a thriving, busy city, is a big choice; however, many students do it every year. Kids from all over the spectrum make the decision to move away from their hometowns in order to follow their dreams. This is something I am familiar with. My name is Charlotte; I come from a very small valley that scarcely scratches the map, and two years ago I decided to take that leap into the big city of Leeds. Leeds, to me, offers everything I have wished for in the dull landscapes of countryside; cultural diversity, lively nightlife, much more opportunities to see your favourite bands play live, and a feeling of living somewhere important.

I walk through the centre of Leeds, and I can feel the excitement pumping, nothing is ever the same in Leeds. One night you could be doing the Otley Run with all your friends, and getting to know the local pubs, another night you could be in the mosh pit banging your head like a child, to the latest new bands, the next night you could be experiencing why Leeds is regarded as such a good city for nightlife. Like any other city, there is never a dull moment in Leeds, and this is why I love it so much.

...to the City.

I am a second year English Literature student at Leeds Metropolitan University. I believe it is a really good course, but some people I know have changed their courses because they believed it was not the right course for them. Since starting university, I have learnt that it is important to listen to your heart, in a city so big, it is easy to lose yourself in the crowd, however what better opportunity to express yourself? I have met many people at university who, at first, did not think that they were capable of what their courses expected of them, and I’ve watched as they proved themselves wrong, and flourished in to a confident student who believes in their ideas. I think that, as a student, sometimes you are vulnerable to your own weaknesses, and this stops you from reaching your best, my advice is that, although you may feel like you are getting nowhere, stick at it, believe in yourself, and you might just prove yourself wrong too.

I am very passionate about music, which is another reason why I enjoy Leeds. The University Student Union provides the opportunity to watch my favourite bands, at a price that I can afford, and the atmosphere is magical. The small capacity of the SU ensures that the gigs are personal, and it gives you a chance to bond with your fellow students, there is nothing like that moment when your realise you do have something in common with the boy that always answers your lecturers questions, or the girl that sits in the corner, awkwardly. The Student Union is like a second home, it provides a relaxing environment for each student, regardless of their individual personalities. With student nights such as F*U*E*L on a Friday night; giving students with a taste for alternative or classic rock, or even a love of pop, an eventful night, it moulds together the two extremities of music taste, and blends them together like a cake mixture, never before have I seen a punk, clad in a leather jacket, with a Mohican, bopping his hair to Lady Gaga, or a group of preppy-looking girls banging their head to Nirvana. F*U*E*L, transforms into a place where it is acceptable to just let go, and be yourself, no matter what music you are in to. If that does not persuade you to visit this student night if you are in Leeds on a Friday night, there are even dancers that can eat fire, and use props such as angle grinders, for you to enjoy.

Coming from a small village, I was not used to such a diversity of people, and felt slightly out of place with my friends, who followed the same fashion trends, listened to the same ear melting music, and liked the same things. When I moved in to halls, it was such a thrill to realise that there were people that listened to the same music as I did, and liked the same clothes as I did, and suddenly, I felt like I belonged. That is the great thing about Halls, you can be sharing a flat with someone completely different to you, and you just accept what is different about each other.  Everyone came together in the evenings, and we would all go out and have fun, and share the new opportunities of Leeds together regardless of what they looked like, what music you listened to or where you are from.

I am now currently living in a house with several friends, something I find an achievement in itself, I have learnt how to pay bills, learnt how to cook for myself, and other people, and basically grown up. University not only gives you skills needed for your course, but it also encourages you to grow emotionally, and prepares you for the real life, the one you will lead when you graduate. They also say you don’t know someone until you have lived with them, which is true, I now fully appreciate the friends who I live with, because I have seen them at their best, and worst.

Written by Charlotte, Leeds Met

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