Everyone goes to university for different reasons. Yes, getting a degree is top of the list, but for many people, university means so much more than just study.
It’s often one’s first real experience of independence – a first time living away from home, sometimes the first time in years that you’ll make completely new friends.
Drinking culture is now ingrained in many people’s experiences of university, and while there are plenty of options to socialize without drinking, nightlife is still a priority for many people when considering which university to go to.
As a fresher, I definitely drank less than my fair share.
I didn’t particularly like my housemates, and so didn’t see much appeal in going out clubbing. Going to socialise with sporting clubs, or meeting course friends out was difficult, as I didn’t live in halls, and so had to always get a taxi home alone.
In my second and third years, I really enjoyed the nightlife of my university city. I was living with great friends, and we had loads of fun getting all dressed up for some double vodka lemonades. But more than anything, it was the people who made it all so good.
I’m now studying my Masters at Durham University, and go out considerably less.
While there are enough clubs and bars here for a good night out, there’s much less choice than York (where I was for my undergraduate) and everything shuts a lot earlier.
At the moment, this doesn’t make a difference to me: I don’t go out nearly as much as I used to, but if I do want to go on a night out, I still can. I do find myself wondering what my university experience would have been like if I had studied here as an undergrad.
The Student Room rates the Imperial College, London as the university with the best nightlife scene. Located in South Kensington, it’s not surprising that there’s such a variety of clubs and bars available to students.
In fact, the top 5 universities for nightlife according to The Student Room were located in London, with 11 of the top 20 universities located in the capital.
Other highly ranked institutions were the University of Bolton, the Universities of Hull, Brighton, Sussex, Suffolk, South Wales, Falmouth, Newcastle and the University of Huddersfield.
So does it matter?
It completely depends on what you enjoy.
If you’re like me, and your priority for uni is just to get a degree, then I’d say not really. There will always be opportunities, no matter where you go to university, to go out drinking, so it’s not as if you have to make a choice between one or the other.
If you love to go out, and your priority for uni is to have a great experience (and that includes a good nightlife) then yes, it probably will impact how much you enjoy your time at university.
Websites and online forums like The Student Room provide loads of information on university cities and cultures, so if in doubt, you can always get an extra opinion.
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