Smithdown is home to the real uni experience, not town

There’s no place I’d rather be

accomodation avondale borrow dale central city centre crime House housing kensington langdale lidderdale liverpool smithdown Smithdown Road student students town uni university university of liverpool UoL Wavertree

Everyone has to fly the nest at some point, so what is this new fad of living in town? It only elongates the cotton-wool wrapped world of living in halls.

Student life in Wavertree is dying out, according to this recent article. Students apparently don’t want to live in the notorious Smithdown area anymore and are opting to rent the flashy new builds in the centre of Liverpool, scared off by the folklore of crime and horror that surrounds the terraced roads of Avondale, Lidderdale, Langdale and Borrowdale. Bloody hell, students of today, grow some balls.

The brand new city centre accommodation popping up all over the heart of Liverpool might seen sparkly and new, but it comes at a cost. It’s nice to have a colour-schemed flat, and dependant wifi and security 24/7 – but it’s hardly a realistic impression of the ‘real world’.  Today’s students need to man up – in five years time when you’re a a bright-eyed graduate living in a rotting bed-sit in London, there isn’t going to be a security guard outside your front door to protect you from the perils of the world so why bother now?

If you’re paying £9,000 a year plus maintenance costs for your university experience, at least get some real world living into the equation. We’re all so desperate for a ‘uni experience’ but we’re forgetting what that means.

who wants a view of historic buildings when you can admire these 'pastoral' scenes of familial love?

Who wants a view of historic buildings when you can admire these ‘pastoral’ scenes of familial love?

Living on Smithdown in a grotty student home teaches you lessons a posh townhouse could never prepare you for. Where else will you learn the age old art of catching a rouge house mouse? Where else will you flex your ‘I’m an adult and you will listen to me’ phone skills so needed in a professional environment and always practised when attempting to communicate with your landlord when the boiler is leaking gas and he doesn’t see it as an emergency? Where else can you get exercise from slalom-walking down the pavement to the bus through the dog-shit obstacle course? Nowhere. Smithdown is a unique environment that allows for real-world living practise in a controlled environment – it’s vital for your development as a young adult.

When did we all get so spoilt anyway? When did the high-class flats of Crown Place become the norm,  not the exception? When did freshers expectations get so high that a 4 bed house five minutes from the Brookie with questionable plumbing and a grumpy neighbour is no longer seen as luxury in comparison to Rankin Hall?

Back in the 80s, it was considered lucky to have slugs living in your student home – it meant it was fit for animal habitation. Now, that kind of environment get regular visits from trusted plumbing contractors and makes front page news.

It’s time we all manned up and realised there are worse places to live in this world. Like Damascus, or Eritrea. Places where suffering isn’t finding a little, old wood-piggy in your underfloor heated bedroom but is being bombed or knowing cholera is lurking  in the local water supply.

You'd don't get landscaped gardens with cones and barbed wire in a city-centre apartment

You don’t get landscaped gardens with cones and barbed wire in a city-centre apartment

Smithdown won’t die – because landlords are modernising in line with student demands. It’s too famous, too notorious, for Liverpool students not to want to live there. Everyone wants to be able to tweet about the lullaby of sirens or the fear of a firework bang being a gunshot. Everyone wants to tweet about it from the warmth of their double bed in their heated bedroom, having made dinner in their newly refurbished kitchen. Students love pretending they live in peril from the semi-comfort of a relatively low standard house.

Students of Liverpool: stop demanding sky TV and infinite broadband width. Stop pretending town living in a high-rise is better than being squeezed into a terraced house with 16 other students. Because without the niggles of living in a (supposedly) grotty Smithdown home, what would you complain about? You might have to start worrying about real-world problems like world poverty and war. Smithdown is the perfect student settlement precisely because it gives students enough to complain about without really having any real problems. You don’t even have to pay your own bills, children – it’s hardly hard work.

So, stop moving to town. Try some (semi) real-world living. Live in a shitty house and enjoy it: or at least, do it for the instagram of your ‘ bedroom view’, involving a shit sunset and some rooftop aerials. Either way, act like your a student, for god’s sake, not a 55 year old bachelor who works in financial services and searches for Russian brides online at night in his one bedroom flat.