The Out of Towners: Why living off campus ain’t so bad after all

Just because you miss us out, doesn’t mean we’re missing out.

Cons Freshers Off Campus Pros selly oak Vale

Some time ago now my impressive ability to procrastinate and avoid that all-important assignment led me to The Tab website, specifically, to this article: ‘Halls Stereotypes: How To Spot Them’.

However I was soon disappointed to see that Hunter Court, my halls of residence, didn’t feature.

In fact, there wasn’t really any mention of us off-campus dwellers at all, except for a shoved on sentence at the end describing Victoria Hall as ‘rather ominous’.

Why is it that us off-campus freshers are so neglected in the collective student consciousness?

It is true that literally no-one I know opted for Hunter out of choice prior to moving (seriously, ask around, nobody chose it). And sure, the walk from Hunter to anywhere alone is enough to put most people off.

Lucky Vale and Selly Oak residents can roll out of bed twenty minutes before their lecture and still grab a Starbucks on the way. Coursemate’s predrinks are in Selly? Forget it, or get ready to fork out big for a taxi.

"Where am I?"

“Where am I?”

But it’s not all bad.

I know I just bitched about the trek, but there are some upsides to it. I’ve never had to experience the guilty dilemma of waking up at half eight and knowing I could probably still make it in. Same goes for when it’s raining – a half an hour plus walk in the rain is a totally legitimate excuse for staying in bed.

This is enough for cab fare, right?

This is enough for cab fare, right?

On the other hand, when I do make it in the walk totally counts as my main form of exercise. That late night Roosters yesterday? As far as I’m concerned, it never happened.

Standard dinner time, really.

Standard dinner time, really.

There seems to be a LOT of rivalry between different Vale halls. Like, a lot. If we somehow manage to meet a fellow off-campus man, we at least stick together in our mutual obscurity.

And yeah, we don’t understand most of the inter-hall Vale banter, but at least it’s not directed as us. Why are Mason wankers again? And, no, seriously, who are Elgar Court?



One of the main advantages has to be the relative anonymity it affords. Vale residents either live in constant fear of bumping into the guy they drunkenly grinded on in Fab that night, or shame of seeing the fit girl from Shackleton whose name you never quite caught, even the fourth time she said it.

Living in the armpit of Edgbaston instead of the heart dramatically decreases the possibility of that awkward second meet. Crisis averted.

You’re definitely not saved in my phone as ‘too much tongue’ guy…


Just a bit of banter

Instead, you can get to know the locals. More specifically to Hunter, you can get to know the pub opposite that’s so desperate for students that it’ll actually give you free shots just for being there. FREE SHOTS. Yes, it’s pretty empty in there, and yes, the only people who seem to drink there are old men and potential drug dealers, but still. Did I mention free shots?

These are all mine.

These are all mine.

All in all, it’s really not that bad not living on the Vale. Best of all, I get to chat shit about halls I don’t know anything about…and they’ll never be able to find me to kick my ass.