What I’ll miss about studying in Liverpool

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Alice Kirkland

Alice Kirkland

By the end of my last year of university it seemed most of my friends couldn’t wait to leave Liverpool and the stress that came with deadlines and dissertations.

But as they wished for the day it would all be over I couldn’t think of anything sadder than leaving the city I’d grown to love.

When I was trying to list the top ten things I would miss about being a Journalism student at LJMU I was surprised at how hard I found it – there were too many things that I wanted to include.

What I’ll miss most about studying in Liverpool:

1) Buses. This may sound ridiculous, but compared to the six buses a day on offer back in rural Yorkshire, the regularity of public transport in Liverpool was a godsend. Yes, trying to catch a Number 80 at 8am that wasn’t overflowing with fellow students was a bit of a nightmare, but I never took for granted living in Smithdown (with rent prices half that of the city centre) with town a 15-minute journey away.

Hope Street

Hope Street

2) Walking down Hope Street. Despite getting my fill of Weetabix before lectures, the smell of food cooking as I walked down Hope Street before always caused my tummy to rumble. With the two cathedrals acting as bookends to the street it deservedly won the title of Great Street of the Year Award 2012 and usually managed to put me in a good mood for the day of uni (or library) ahead of me.

3) The city. The thing I loved most about the city of Liverpool itself was the ease with which it could be explored. With pretty much everything within walking distance, Liverpool has the feel of a large city without being overwhelming in size. One minute I’d be walking past the looming tower of the Anglican Cathedral, the next I’d be walking past quirky shops on Bold Street until the modern exterior of Liverpool One was before me.

4) The Baltic Triangle. I only discovered this hidden area of the city near the end of my third year. Consisting of warehouse cafés, bars and venues it has been described as ‘a curious part of Liverpool’. When I had my first encounter with this area I was sure I was in the wrong place but it quickly became a popular hangout. Food Slam Friday’s at Camp & Furnace was a personal favourite where underground street food was consumed next to the roaring furnace.

The view across to Albert Dock

The view across to Albert Dock

5) The docks. Many students shy away from the docks as it can be an expensive place to eat and drink. Yet the free exhibitions at the Tate Gallery, Vodka Revolution’s half price grub on a Monday and pints at The Pumphouse sat out in the sun never made too big a dent in my bank balance. By the end of third year one of the things I’d regretted not doing whilst in Liverpool was taking a trip around the docks in the Yellow Duckmarine; that was, until one of them sank in the Albert Dock this year.

6) That Scouse brow. Like most newbies to Liverpool I’d end up giggling every time I spotted a girl walking around Tesco with rollers in her hair, pink velour tracksuit on and a tan that would make David Dickinson jealous. But I will now leave the city with an admiration for the care and pride Liverpudlian girls put in to their appearance – although I am yet to have been converted to the Scouse brow.

Sea Odyssey was a huge hit in Liverpool © Mark McNulty/Sea Odyssey

Sea Odyssey was a huge hit in Liverpool © Mark McNulty/Sea Odyssey

7) There’s always something to do. Going back to sleepy Yorkshire, one of the main things I will miss about Liverpool is the hive of activity that always seemed to be going on. I never thought I’d see giant puppets roaming the streets as the whole city came to a standstill for the Sea Odyssey Giant Spectacular. Or that I’d be watching The Goonies sat inside the Williamson Tunnels dressed in 90s gear for a hidden cinema experience.

8) Nights out in town. It may seem like a bit of a cliché but the nightlife in Liverpool literally has something for everyone. The city has fairly earned its title as one of the best nights out in the country. Personal favourite watering holes included Bar Ca Va (but don’t let friends buy you the chilli tequila under false pretences), Las Iguanas (top 2-4-1 cocktails), Salt Dog Slims for an alcoholic milkshake and Heebie Jeebies to dance like you’re from the 70s.

Working as a real news team has prepared us all for the world of work © Josh Parry

Working as a real news team has prepared us all for the world of work © Josh Parry

9) The university. I never thought I’d actually miss studying once it was over but the course has offered me some great opportunities. I was lucky enough to get two weeks’ work experience with national Sunday papers through my tutors while others gained summer jobs working at Disney World via recruitment sessions held by the uni. My work for the JMU Journalism website also allowed me to attend events, such as Liverpool Fashion Week, the Liverpool Marathon, and the 24th Hillsborough Memorial Service at Anfield.

10) My mates. Most of all I’ll miss all the friends I’ve made over the past three years. We’ve had our highs and lows but I know I’ve made friendships for life. By the end of third year we had formed one of the most close-knit year groups to have ever passed through Liverpool Screen School and my biggest regret was not getting to know these people sooner.

About Alice Kirkland, JMU Journalism