Living in Leamington Spa…Is it exactly what I expected?
They say you don’t appreciate something until it’s gone…
If you are a first-year student unsatisfied with the fact that you may have to take a 10-minute walk from your accommodation to your class, think about the 30-40 minutes bus ride you may take next year, when leaving off campus. But let’s not start this blog in a negative note. The transition from on to off campus is not at all a bad one. In fact, many students prefer it over living on campus, and there are certainly a lot of reasons to do so. Therefore, based on my own experience, here are some points to keep in mind when looking for accommodation for next year.
Why Leamington Spa?
Let’s stick with the obvious, stereotypical answer: great student life. Honestly speaking, in the first year, I was one of the crowd and I thought about how amazing it will be to have all these bars and pubs at a stone’s throw away. Even more honestly speaking, now that I’m here, I’m thinking about how amazing it was to save one and a half hour of sleep instead of daily running for the bus to make it to my lectures on time. I guess one can never be satisfied with what it has. Indeed, Leamington has a great variety of places to go out to, but if you make a habit out of that, sooner than you think, your pocket will get much lighter from all the money spent on drinks and meals. This is not a valid reason not to choose this location anymore, I’m rather just inferring the fact that your daydream about spending your days bar crawling may not reflect the actual reality. However, I’m not absurd and I also enjoy taking advantage of the restaurants every now and then because…it’s Leamingtom, isn’t it?
In addition, if you enjoy long, lazy walks around the wooded area in the campus, then you will love Jephson Gardens in Leamington. It is a beautiful Victorian inspired park in the center of the city, with lots of colourful flowerbeds and interesting sculptures to just walk around and admire. In sunny mornings, it’s truly a breath of fresh air.
“Do you live in north or south Leamington?”
“Really? How come you are still alive?”
Yes. We’ve all hear the “stay away from south Leamington” stories. Well, in terms of their validity, the peripherical area may indeed be less appealing for students and it might not be the ideal place to move in, but this doesn’t mean that everything that’s considered south Leamington equals a danger zone. I live in south and I am more than happy with the location. The neighborhood seems very family-oriented, with many children around, nice houses and a generally quiet atmosphere, but not in the creepingly quiet side. I’ve never experienced a sense of unsafety on the street, so when you look for houses, don’t opt the south out completely. Additionally, because it’s a relatively small town, getting to the central part should not take much more than 20-30 minutes walks and ever less if you get the bus.
Another massive advantage of living in south is the fact that you always get a sit in the bus. By the time the bus gets to the station next to the Church, it can get full so that the driver sometimes passes by without stopping to pick students up. Obviously, turns into a bad start of the day so keep in mind that next year, you may have to get to the station way in advance so as to make it to your lectures on time.
“A house for how many?”
The number of people in the house. Very important. We are 7 people, which has its ups and downs. Of course, when you want a lively atmosphere, 7 people can make it happen. However, when you don’t synchronize on “let’s have a party”, things can get a bit frustrating for the ones who just with some quiet time. This is not very different from living on campus. It can get a bit chaotical in terms of cleaning too, as 7 people will make a lot of mess, so we are trying to stick with a cleaning rotation and just pray that there’s not going to be a house party the night before our turn.
I want to study, but not in my room and I can’t be bothered going all the way to campus. What do I do?
No, the answer is not “watch Netflix instead”. There is the learning grid in Leamington designed for the university members and for the ones that are too lazy to take the bus to campus – just like me. However, in contrast to the library, the it’s not open 24/7, so all nighters must keep in mind that it closes at 10PM on week days and 5PM during the weekend.
As freshers start looking for accommodation at this time of the year, I hope this helps you consider some key aspects and hopefully, you will find ‘your dream house’ – or, more realistically, a decent, cozy place to spend your next one/two years in.