City students have their say

Simon James outside Lancaster Castle.
Simon James outside Lancaster Castle.

Lancaster University students reveal their opinions of Lancaster after arriving more than a year ago to an unknown city and having to call it their new home.

The transition from home to university life is never an easy one.

A-levels are taken and in the blink of an eye students find themselves launched in to a new and potentially daunting way of life.

Fine art student Holly Robinson commented: “Living in a little historic market town means that Lancaster appears familiar and you feel right at home here.

“Lancaster has the best of both worlds – there aren’t many universities where your daily commute passes fields of sheep and beautiful lakeland scenery!”

With its quirky vintage shops, local businesses and historic element to the city, Lancaster does not appear as intimidating as other major cities in the north west, such as Liverpool and Manchester, and many students are attracted to this.

Law student Daniel-Sean Huisman said: “Coming to Lancaster was interesting for me. I came from a city even smaller than Lancaster, so I adjusted to the life quite easily.”

Simon James, a 19-year-old English language student from Northwich in Cheshire, said: “A few people told me not to come to Lancaster because there’s nothing to do… what a load of rubbish! There’s a cinema, pubs, clubs, a Sainsbury’s, clothes shops and plenty of Greggs – what else do I need?! I could happily live in Lancaster for the rest of my life.”

In contrast to many universities, Lancaster offers its students the unique opportunity to live on campus throughout their university life however many only take on this opportunity in their first year of study.

Patrick Somervell said: “The distance between the university and the town is perfect as students are still in the loop with the rest of the local society.

“Commuting to university gets me used to the practice of commuting to a full time job.”

Whilst the campus provides students with almost everything at their fingertips including banks, supermarkets and a post office, many students adore the further transition from campus to city centre.

Fine art student Ella Whittlestone stated: “Whilst first year on campus was a good way to feel involved in the vibrant student community, living in town during the second year allowed me to experience being a part of Lancaster as a whole, acquiring a true appreciation for what a charming city it is.”

Student Adam Spencer agreed: “I found that the university campus provided such a homely feeling making it really easy to settle in. After this the idea of living in town felt much easier and has so far proved to be even better.”

Some citizens may have the student population and their opinions misunderstood as history and politics student Katherine Bellamy stated: “It was incredibly easy to become a part of the Lancaster community despite many believing there is a divide between the students and the locals.”

This divide is not existent for the vast majority as local businesses thrive on the custom the student population creates. Students play an active role in the community through volunteering, student societies and the opportunity for employment they provide.

Whilst Lancaster is a small city, foreign languages student Jensen Tudtud said: “Four years of my life will be spent here in total and there is so much to explore.

“Immersing one’s self in the local community develops a citizen who is part of the wider society and this outlook will be a student’s best asset wherever they may find themselves in the future.”

Students make up around a fifth of the Lancaster population and it is obvious that they love being a part of this community. Whilst students may only have a temporary window of study in this quaint city, this experience will no doubt shape their entire lives.