Despite all the crime, I still love living in Selly

It will always be the best place in Brum

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Selly is currently experiencing a crime wave, with muggings and attacks far too common. The police have released safety tips and the Guild have told us to “remain vigilant”, with increased patrols and a stronger police presence. But many people still feel unsafe, with some saying they don’t want to live here anymore. Despite this, I can honestly say I absolutely love living in Selly Oak and wouldn’t trade it for anywhere else.

There will always be a distinct homely and community feel to Selly. What happens when students are terrorised and getting mugged all around us? Do we lock ourselves in at home, scared? No, instead I’ve seen people posting on the various UoB Facebook groups looking for people to walk home with, offering lifts to other students so they don’t have to walk alone and giving out safety tips. In these same groups I see people trying to return post to people when it gets delivered to the wrong house, I see people posting pictures of found passports, driving licenses and phones. Selly has a strong and tight community of friendly, helpful students.

Beyond the community aspect, Selly also has some great shops. We have an Aldi, which is a complete lifesaver for students on a budget as well as corner shops open 24 hours for us night owls. There are many takeaway places, including Roosters, which is basically a mecca for drunk students at 4am. If you’re feeling fancy there are also some nice places to have a sit-down meal, including great curry places like Sundarbon. There’s also a park if you’re feeling brave.

We have great transport links too. There’s a train station from which you can get into central Birmingham in only a couple of minutes, as well as numerous buses you can catch for access to all of the city. The university is also within walking distance, making the morning commute pleasant enough. You can even hear and see Old Joe from most areas, which is a nice touch.

Sure, the houses are cramped and rundown, but students are living here, what do you expect? Perhaps I just think this because I was born and raised in Croydon, but I feel that being a shithole is what makes Selly so loveable.

We’re cool because we live here, we’re not fancy stuck-up twats in a London highrise, we’re not living in a bubble like students at so many other unis; we’re living in the real world. It might be a shithole, but Selly Oak is our shithole and for that reason I will always love it.