So Swansea… what can I say? I am a third year student at the university of Wales Swansea. I am also thinking about staying on for a while after graduation as Swansea has a sneaky way of becoming at the very least a second home, and for many it becomes so much more. Swansea has a lot of natural beauty and if you need a beach, with the beach opposite the uni and most 2nd and 3rd year accommodation, Swansea should be one of your top choices. I don’t surf, but of my friends that do, many came here for the surf and are not disappointed. Swansea isn’t a rich town and has a far higher than average car crime rate and teenage pregnancy. Having said that most of my uni-mate’s cars have remained safe over the years, and none of them are pregnant either, so you’ll probably be all right! As mentioned the beach makes up for anything lacking in aesthetic decoration of Swansea, with the Gower and all it bays needing a mention. Mumbles is also a cute town 15 to 20 minute drive from uni for days out, or night pub-crawls boasting a mile of pubs, popular especially on a Saturday night, and known as the mumbles mile. For those who care Mumbles is also the home town of Catharine Zeta Jones and has on my fresher week been sported with baby in tow coming out of Singleton hospital which is next to the university and opposite the sports centre, which again is you care is being refurbished with an Olympic size swimming pool, which is rumoured to be millimetres to short, which can only happen in Swansea! Please don’t quote me on that.
The town, or city, centre (no one can agree) is also pretty special. Dominated by us students it does serve our needs as much as the generally very friendly locals. Cool shops filled with flares and hoodys, as well as the norm of high street shops (bar the wonderful H & M, which saddens me) are prevailing in the centre and high street. These are mingled with £1 shops and family value style places which if not proud are great for present buying, kids games, chocolates and not to mention huge bottles of squash for, you guessed it a pound. The nightlife is also centred on weeknight more than on the weekend, around us invading students, with student nights galore, and pubs and clubs and alternatives to dominating pop, or garage or drum and base being available. The cream of the crop I fear to mention. I am force to right in code as the greatest pleasure on a Wednesday night remains so as not populated by so called clubbers looking for a meat market and I wouldn’t want to spoil that with mass advertisement. Lets just say if after say 2 weeks in Swansea you don’t know where to go on a Wednesday for some fly seventies party funk, then you should stick to the main stream Time and Envy. To quickly mention the union bars, Divas hosts various fun on various nights, and JC is great for a cheep pint or Coke.
Now I have told you about the important things, I guess I should quickly mention the uni and my course. The uni is large enough to hide from anyone you don’t want to be reminded of from your fresher’s week, and small enough to be able to always bump into someone you know to go for coffee, or lunch. Near by ‘pub on the pond’ is nice for a change from uni food, and please at least pop into the Taliesin once in a while, and don’t be fooled into thinking the refectory, (aka the ‘rat factory’, although actually very clean, nice and cheep, mash for 40p!!!) is your only option. The staffs are all nice people are chilled at uni and a lot of fun and laugh’s and japes are to be had. Academically good, as long as you put effort in you should manage a 2-1, a 1st if you’re a bright spark, a 2-2 even if you’re a slacker. If you are interested in Anthropology and Sociology like I am advice is, do your work on time and you’ll have little to stress over. Anthropology is especially interesting, the study of people, and Sociology is very straightforward, you have to learn about people like Marx, which just helps you look clever at dinner parties and you have to study theory in your third year to scramble your brain but it’s not that bad, and one of my friends likes that, so you may too. Also if you do Anthropology always say it before another subject in conversation because people even better smarter than you don’t know what it is and seem to be very impressed! My uni and course is good, and if you have any problems, or have any disabilities like dyslexia, from my experience the uni is very good at giving you what you need to do well. Most first years choose to live in the student village, don’t worry about it being a short bus ride away, it’s a lot of fun, the flats are especially good, and you have 2000 other student to play with at any time.
My final piece of advice, if English never say Swansea is in England, its in Britain and the Welsh don’t like you to forget it. They are all nice people around here and if it’s the place that feels right for you, you will surely love it, and make it a home.