Why I chose to study in Leeds and live at home
Hi, I’m Megan, a second year Law student at Leeds Beckett. In this blog I’m going to be talking about the reasons why I think Leeds is the ideal city to study in when you are a live at home student who commutes to university, like me.
When I first started looking around universities, I only knew two things for certain; I wanted to study in a city, and that I would be living at home. I wanted to study in a bustling city centre because I grew up in a small countryside village and wanted to experience student life somewhere vibrant, brimming with life, opportunities, and lots of other students. My choice to live at home was driven by the fact that I had recently secured part-time work which I wanted to continue alongside my studies and so it was easier to commute there from home. Given this, I formulated a list of questions to ask myself and consider when researching universities.
Can I get to uni easily?
Studying in a city which is easy to travel to and around is important for all students, but it was the one thing I could not compromise on. After a full day of lectures and studying I needed to know I had a relatively short and straightforward commute home. It was essential that the city I chose to study in for at least the next three years of my life was very well connected for public transport which could be relied upon to get me home at the end of each day. After all, nothing spoils your evening more than a lengthy journey home on multiple buses and trains that are overflowing with the after work rush hour crowd. With Leeds city centre being staged around the central train station, with countless buses, coaches and taxis available at your fingertips, it was clear to me that Leeds would be an easy place to get to on a regular basis.
The train station has many direct trains to other areas of the country enabling a lot of journeys to be completed on a single train, regardless of where you live. I cannot emphasise enough just how easy this has made my commute to campus.
How close are the buildings within the campus?
Leeds Beckett has two campuses, one in Headingley and one in the city centre. I’m based at the city campus here and it is very central. Although some of the buildings are in different locations, due to the fact that Leeds is a relatively small city compared to others, I never have far to travel even if my classes are in different buildings. The convenient location of the city campus means that if I have a spare hour or two between sessions, I can easily grab some food and then go to the library or even the gym as everything is under one roof (or close enough).
Can I find a job?
Like me, some of you may want to have a job or gain work experience during your studies. Leeds is home to thousands of businesses operating in the area, with many retail and food outlets offering part-time employment tailored to the student community and lifestyle. This also makes it easier for you to find work experience and future employment as the vast opportunities are all a stones throw away. It’s not just the quantity of businesses either, it’s the range. With a mixture of international firms, family run companies, and high street stores (among many other types of businesses) you’re sure to find an employment role that suits you and your schedule.
Will I have a social life?
A concern of mine when I decided to live at home was that I would be detached from the stereotypical ‘life of a student’ since I wouldn’t experience living with my friends or classmates. However, studying in a city like Leeds with such an active nightlife means that I can easily partake in social events outside of my course. Social events range from a night out in Leeds city centre exploring the pubs and bars with my classmates as well as going to events like socials hosted by the Students' Union on campus, and even events which link to my course such as guest lectures. Also, the numerous cinemas, restaurants, shops, and gyms mean that I have made the most of studying in the city when enjoying some down time from my studies.
The last thing I have to mention is not something I considered when applying for university but something I greatly appreciate now I am immersed in it. It’s the collaborative coexistence of all neighbouring universities. Leeds is home to multiple universities which are all very close to one another. This has created a friendly comradery between the student populations of all the institutions. As a Beckett student, I have attended different events by neighbouring universities and I have never felt out of place or as if I shouldn’t be there because all the other students there were in the same boat as I was. Having so many students in one city is both astounding and comforting because you know that you have something in common with a lot of the people you see on the street. Having experienced this, there’s no other city I would rather study in.
Overall, I chose to study in Leeds because it is a city with a direct train line making my commute simple, the universities have central campuses, there are an abundance of opportunities available to you, and the students have created a brilliant and welcoming community to new starters.