Clarendon or Evington? What the road you live on says about you
Sucks to be you if you live on Severn Street
First year is all about clean fun in Teletubbyland. Sheltered from the realities of true independence living in halls, you’re held under the illusion that you’re slumming it like a proper student.
You’ll get a slight kick from moving into halls and the first stages of adulthood, but you’re about as knowledgeable of the real-life aspects of accommodation as Dipsy Wipsy being mindfully watched over by that creepy but caring baby in the sun (the residential advisors).
What second and third year have in store for you is the true test, and the road you choose to live on will have an effect on your student experience while adding a module to your degree on being street smart.
So with that in mind, here’s what the road you choose says about you…
You signed up for the FOMO life, and you’re probably a pretty swift speed walker by now because leaving the house 30 minutes before a lecture definitely isn’t worth missing sleep for. No-one can complain to you about how far away they live – you may as well commute from Nottingham, it’s that much of a ball ache.
In fact, why invest in a gym membership when you’ve probably got the quads of a rugby lad by now? At least you can avoid the guilt trips involved in missing seminars – waffle on “essay workshops” isn’t worth the 25 minute walk.
“Who are you guys pre-ing with tonight?”, “Whose house was that at?”, “Can I catch a lift?”- you ask these a lot, the words that pretty much solidify you as the annoying friend you’ve become because of the road you live on. No-one really cares where you live: you’re like the home counties colleague working in London who misses out on all the work drinks because you need to get home before the trains stop at 12.
Surrounded by families, occasionally you forget you’re a student and slip into the life of a pensioner – spending whole afternoons watching Downton Abbey with endless cups of tea and bourbon biscuits. But reality hits when it’s a Saturday night and you’re tucked up in bed doing extra reading while your fifty-year-old, midlife crisis neighbours are having loud sex in their living room. It’s unfair, it’s not your fault… you weighed up the benefits of cheaper bills over a social life, and wish you weren’t sat with your wise parents when you did so. Cheaper bills wins every time, but mate – is it really a victory?
As a lowly fresher you traipsed around Clarendon with a charming estate agent trying to find an acceptable house for all of your big rave plans for second year. Inevitably, as you only actually knew your way around Oadby and not the rest of Leicester, you lost your bearings pretty quickly and didn’t realise how far away from uni you really were.
Gainsborough Road provides the biggest semi-detatched houses, not terraced, with the best kitchens so that you can host all the pre drinks your heart desires. But this comes with a massive catch: the dreaded fifteen minute walk in. All your pals on Lytton Road or Howard Road will roll out of bed and wander to lectures two minutes before they start, whereas you will find yourself leaving at a solid half ten for an 11am lecture. Torture.
You’ll live like a king in your massive house on this road and you’ll work out your legs every day. Must be worth it, right?
You’re one of the popular kids: if MTV Cribs was still a thing, your house would probably feature. Winning on the accommodation front, you live a laughable five minute walk from uni and the O2, meaning 9ams with hangovers are no problem. Pre’s are also your speciality – let’s face it, you live in a halfway house with the function of sheltering your para friends who don’t make it to LetsDisko.
Turn off that snooze alarm – not having to equip yourself for every possible weather condition due to Britain’s indecisive forecast means you can afford to stumble into a tutorial half-awake, looking smug knowing that 10 minutes ago you were dreaming of Brad Pitt serenading you. Howard Road, or The Hamptons of Clarendon, does however come with the downfall of slightly higher rent and a possibility of being burgled, but being sensible enough to pick such classy accommodation means you’re probably well-advised enough to lock the door.
The road occasionally welcomes the dodgy smell of sewage, but it makes an interesting change from weed.
You left getting a house until the last minute and didn’t want to leave anyone out, so you ended up in a four storey mansion in good old Evington.
You try and pass it off as “between Clarendon Park and Uni”, but your friends fear for you walking home on your own past five and urge you to get a taxi. Living next door to families of four wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t mean your parties get shut down at 11.30pm. It also wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t scowl at you when you come home singing Wonderwall at 4.30am after a trip to Mosh. Nevertheless, you wake up with a bag of poo on your doorstep rather than the standard paper issued warning.
As you set off across Vicky Park at 8.30am for your 9am, you vow to get your life together and move to Clarendon – where the grass is greener and the place is cleaner.
With Uni less than a five minute walk away, you’ve wisely opted for convenience over luxury. Who needs five star accommodation when you can stroll out of your house at 8:50am and still arrive early for your 9am, smugly mocking your sweat-drenched friends who just cycled 20 minutes in from town. Your pre-drinks often resemble the huddle of a Tokyo metro line, as 20 of you attempt to fit into a living room similar to the size of Harry Potter’s bedroom. But you drink carefree in the knowledge that since taxis are not an issue, those extra few pounds in your pocket can be spent on Food Factory chips.
You’ve had to quickly learn the ability to sleep through anything. With the distant sound of sirens from Evington piercing through your thin walls and the frequent drunken chants of students stumbling towards the O2, it’ll be a miracle if you don’t manage to sleep through your alarm… again.
As far as streets go, you’ve hit the jackpot. This is the BNOC of streets. It may seem like the second year equivalent of Mary Gee at first glance, but if you can ignore the burglaries and the less-than-glamorous living conditions, you’ve picked the best place to live.
You’re sat on the iron throne alongside Howard road residents, albeit slightly more smug seeing as your rent doesn’t quite break the bank.
Prone to more robberies, Lytton slummers are more streetwise than the average Clarendon student – not quite Evington streetwise, but enough to accept the realities of a few snatched laptops. On a straight to uni, you’ll probably host the occasional predrinks – loud music and all, with other students residing in the house next to you.
When the time came in first year to start looking for houses for second year, no-one thought to warn you to stay away from Evington at all costs. You went around with an estate agent being too polite to actually question the safety of the neighbourhood you were considering living in: “Excuse me good sir, I don’t think mummy and daddy would be to happy about this”. But you’ve ended up in the arsehole of Leicester, so there’s not much you can do but suck it up, and hope you get out alive without your Bose speakers and dignity being stolen.
Whispers of someone going missing are standard here, but there are some positives – with cheaper rent prices and a mere 10 minute walk to Uni, you’re absolutely laughing. However there is a reason why your rent is cheaper, so it’s a case of what means more to you: that few extra quid in your back pocket, or periodically trying to politely ignore the shadowy figures at the top of the street when you’re stumbling home after a heavy session.
Evington is bound to shape you into a warrior: your friends in Clarendon are always shocked that you haven’t left after the horror stories they have heard. But you don’t need the safety net of Clarendon – you’re ready to tackle Evington head on, just walking at a slightly faster pace once the sun goes down.
If you live on Welford Road you are not unique as a person. With all the houses being symmetrical, you might as well be the twin that no one wants to talk to or be friends with.
You thought you’d found the perfect house, or at least that’s what your landlord made you think, yet after moving in you find that the cooker doesn’t work and you piss faster than your shower faucet. You’ll make the most of the bathtub though because your charming bath time friends, Clive the centipede and Wendy the worm, will entertain you well. The supposedly “short 10 minute walk to uni” which is stated on the estate agent’s website is sure to give you a workout as you make your ascent up Welford Road.
It’s not all bad though: your beloved fast food instincts helped with your choice of house, due to Welford Road being the home of colossal amounts of takeaways. Big Wang’s, Mack Chicken and Grimsby Fisheries will serve your filthy hangover well – but that main road sure won’t.
By Natalie Campbell, Becci Bugg, Amy Dickens, James Dodds, Rhys Morrow and Ellie Taylor