What I wish I knew about Lancs that the prospectus didn’t mention
There’s probably a reason they didn’t mention these things
The opening line of the Lancaster University 2021 undergraduate prospectus is “For us, Lancaster University is everything a university should be,” and while that may be true in many aspects of university life, there’s a lot that the prospectus misses out about reality in Lancs, so here are a few things that I wish I had been told about before I moved here.
If you don’t live on campus you will be subject to around a 20 minute bus journey to and from everyday which isn’t awful, reliant on three conditions: number one being that you don’t start at 9am, number two being that you don’t finish at 6pm and perhaps the most important of all being that you catch buses like the 1A or 1, for anyone wanting to be home in a reasonable amount of time heed these words, do not get on the 100.
Campus does have loads of highlights though: ducks wander freely, in the pre-pandemic times there were markets, and Sugarhouse staff would come to campus for promotions and to give out some free drinks. Not to mention so many different places to grab food: Subway, Greggs, Sultan’s – the list goes on, but to be honest you don’t need to know the other ones, because you’ll probably only go to those three.
One of the key things that the Lancaster University prospectus neglects to mention is the true campus nightmare that is Circuit Laundry. If you want to have clean clothes throughout the year then you’re going to have to deal with it. The timings aren’t accurate, it can cost around £6 to wash and dry your clothes, and the launderettes can be closed without notice. In light of this my main advice would be to use your washes wisely and wait until you absolutely have to. Oh, and the “maximum load” line is just a myth, really. It’s more of a guideline than anything.
The collegiate system is what makes Lancaster University what it is, and as the prospectus poetically tries to tells us, “Your college becomes your team, your university family,” which may be true for some people but this isn’t always the case – in worst-case scenarios, there is the option to change your college, and the university is pretty supportive of people in those first few weeks settling in.
Not to worry though, because at the end of the day, once you leave campus and are living in town then your college becomes less of a deal, and turns into the traditional Lancs student conversation opener: “So… what college are you in?”
The biggest positive about college life at Lancaster is easily the end of year extravs. They’re often the best night of the year. Exams are done, and the year is nearly over – but at Lancaster we don’t go without making some noise. I can’t really describe an extrav, so you’ll just have to experience it for yourself! But the prospectus could never do it any justice at all.
The prospectus doesn’t really give much need-to-know information about the club scene in Lancaster. Some students dislike the fact that Lancaster isn’t as big a club city as Leeds, Manchester, or Newcastle – but it just means that you get to know the clubs you like (and dislike) even faster, so you don’t need to waste your money on entry fees to loads of different places.
Any themed night is normally a good one, there’s nothing better than waking up in the morning with the remnants of face paint on your pillow and finding random glow sticks everywhere. A word of warning though, any “USA-themed” night will just end up with you hearing Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” about five times in two hours, before the DJ resorting to the usual bass-filled club noise.
The minimal amount of clubs in Lancs is really nothing to worry about; if you’re out with a group of good ones then you’re guaranteed an amazing night out. Especially if you get drunk enough at pre drinks to not care where you end up.
Overall, the prospectus missed out a lot of key information that I think all of us would prefer to have known. Despite this, I don’t think I would have changed my choice of university if I had known either the good or the bad, I love Lancaster and have loved nearly all of my university experience which is more than can be said for some.