Selly Oak: An outsider’s perspective

Thanks, but no thanks

crime selly selly oak students the tab the tab birmingham the tab brum university of birmingham UoB

To us ‘non-selly-ers’, Selly Oak honestly just seems like an unknown land of crime. The only things we know about it are what’s written on Facebook and let’s face it, it’s never positive. I mean, wasn’t there a stabbing last week? When burglaries are a weekly activity, we’re kind of glad we live at home.

One of Selly's main attractions

One of Selly’s main attractions


We know there’s some good pubs – shoutout to you The Goose and The Bristol Pear – but to be honest, we’re just saying they’re good pubs because that’s what we’ve heard from you Selly locals.

A night out in Selly? Don’t make us organise it. Meet at Urban Village? Sorry where? Is that a separate place to Selly? I don’t even know where Tiverton Road is.

In the day Selly looks like a relatively nice place to be – it’s like our town back home. By night, Selly is grim. But before you kick me down for slating where you Selly peeps live, those are your words! We know it’s a student-y place with cheap and handy shops on the doorstep of our beautiful campus but it’s a scary galaxy past 10pm, hell 8pm.

The sky looks great but you can't even walk down the street (shout out to @seitlersam)

The sky looks great but you can barely walk down the street (credits to @seitlersam)

Danger, danger

Crime is high. No one wants to live where crime is high, it’s just that simple.

I’m sure your student house is perfectly acceptable for you at a great price and in a smashing location. But our doors don’t get knocked on by old men claiming to be deaf, nor do we find random cars parked outside our house the next morning. We’re also able to own a bike without it being stolen, which is a plus.

No random cars parked outside my house thank you very much

No random cars parked outside my house thank you very much

Chinese whispers

The funny thing is, all we know about Selly is what we read on Facebook and what our friends tell us.

Sam told Kelly who told us that apparently a random guy broke in and creepily stood by their roommates’ bed edge. Oh, and Becca said last week that someone crept in and stole her laptop – from her bedside table, when she was sleeping.

I mean, each to their own, but I’d rather get the train to the social events and sleep safe from weirdos in my lovely quiet home.

Happy Selly Oak residents

Happy Selly Oak residents

Look on the bright side

Hundreds of UoB students choose to live there, so it has its pros. We’re almost jealous of the dirt cheap Aldi and the warm, welcoming #Sellyvibes.

Fergal from Dublin told the Tab: “There’s a really positive sense of Selly Oak being an actual home away from home for students but I imagine it could get a bit stifling after a while when there’s very little else there.”

And Grace from Leicester said: “It smells like weed but I got a free lunch there once so I’m a fan.”

Plus, you’ve always got Roosters to console yourself with after you’ve been robbed.