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Alternative University Culture

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, same old’ mentality of some of my friends. With all due respect to them, I just really, really didn’t fancy going to clubs filled with 18 year olds in fancy dress, listening to the same stuff as everyone else, and pretending to fancy the boys just because they were ‘popular’ – at least not three times a week!

Yes, I was a bit older – but only by about two years - and I can’t say I acted it, so it’s not like I thought I was above anyone. I was just a bit of an oddball I guess, always looking for something a bit different. As a pink haired, music loving cheerleader, I had my feet firmly in a fair few social groups. What I really loved, however, was heading out to special ‘niche’ rock clubs, and finding friends with the same, pop-rocky musical obsessions as me.

If you’re in University and you’re bored of the same two or three clubs that the entire course seems to go to, don’t worry – there are other options! You might like to head down to an alt club, like the ones I mention below (they’re still ridiculously popular – check out Uprawr in London and Birmingham, for example, but you can find similar venues up and down the UK), and have a dance with your mates to a mix of rock, metal, emo and party anthems. It’s full of cool people (and, undoubtedly, people who think they’re cool…), but it’s an exciting, cheap environment to have a ton of fun with friends new and old.

It can be hard to find friends who have the same interests as you in a new City; however, you can always try inviting a friend from home and go together first, and try to make friends while you’re there. Failing that, join the University Rock Society, or get involved in bands, because the gigging culture tends to tie in nicely. You could just do what I did the first time I went to a rock night in London – post on the Facebook event! You’re bound to find someone lovely to take you under their wing! Ironically, I still go to clubs like this at least once or twice a month, so whilst I did say some stuff gets boring after a while, I suppose when you find your place, you just feel at home!

If you’re not into that kind of alternative, there’s still a whole host of other things you can get into! Why not step outside the student district, and find a classy cocktail bar like this one where you can bring your own alcohol to be made into creative concoctions, or an indie venue with something a little bit special about it? Of course, you don’t just have to drink – there’s tons of other stuff you can do as well. Hitting up restaurants seems so underrated, but eating is the best, and then there’s loads of quirky activities you can do, too. Doing something touristy can seem a bit lame, but you’d be surprised how much you take for granted in your own City, sometimes – so why not book a ticket for that big, bright open top bus? You could even hop on a train to a nearby town or beach and explore – the UK is tiny, after all!

Then there’s awesome stuff going on that you’ve probably never even dreamed of being relevant these days like seeing a magician like Oliver B, heading to a Burlesque Club, or even catching a play at the theatre (with student discount, obviously!).

There’s so much more to University than the clichéd student nights that are more than likely held at your student union. Don’t get me wrong, these are a rite of passage, but University is about forging your own path – not the path everyone else expects of you. If you’re feeling a bit lost, or even just looking for recommendations, Liberty Living are always on hand to give a bit of advice.

Liberty Living provides student accommodation in 17 university cities across the UK, including student accommodation in Birmingham, student accommodation in London, student accommodation in Manchester plus many more.

Posted on 22nd September 2015 by Claire L.

Claire Louise Sheridan lives and works in Peterborough. She recently graduated with a degree in English and Communication Studies from the University of Liverpool.

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