The differences between your seaside hometown and university

And why it’s possible to love both

Moving to any city for university is always going to be big contrast for anyone coming from a small seaside town, even a relatively small city like Southampton. One of your reasons for choosing to come here may even have been because of its coastal location, because the thought of being fully trapped inland is a slightly daunting one at first. Although the surprising lack of beach and lack of ever needing to go anywhere near the docks is only one of the many differences you would have encountered when you came to study in Southampton.

The pubs

Thanks to the ageing populations of coastal areas, it is that whenever you walked into a local pub at home that it was full of 50th Birthday celebrations and your dad’s work mates. This could not be more different than when you enter Stags, the Mitre or Wild Lime only to find it full of people who are actually your own age and have things in common with you.

The club(s)

As the seaside pubs are overrun with older generations, the younger generations all seem to flock to the one ‘decent’ club that literally everyone you know goes to (and it’s probably Fever or Yates). Whilst you are very likely to bump into people you know in a club at uni, you don’t recognise every single person, whereas at home you at least know of basically everyone. Even if you don’t know someone in the club at home, you may at least vaguely recognise them as your second cousin’s ex-girlfriend’s mate or someone you went to secondary school with but never spoke to.

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A fatal mistake we've all made

The quality of pubs and clubs

Whilst your university friends from London will try to tell you that the nightlife in Southampton really isn’t that great, as someone who is used to being restricted to one club only two days of the week, you know this cannot be true. Being able to go out any night of the week, having options of which club to go to and usually being able to guarantee that it will be busy is definitely a big deal to you and is not what you’re used to. The invention of the £2 pink quad vod is also something that you can’t find anywhere else and this alone puts Southampton’s nightlife right to the top of the rankings.


Before attending university, you may not have realised that it actually is not the norm to have to wait an hour between every bus and have to spend a fortune for this awful service. Buses every 7 mins (at least) and a bus pass in first year (or only £2 single fares for 2nd/3rd years) is a blessing which others seem to have taken for granted their entire lives – and could you even imagine your hometown attempting to set up Uber??

City centre

There is likely to be many shops and restaurants that your hometown simply does not even have that you can very easily get to here. As someone whose hometown doesn’t have a Nando’s or a Primark, this was a very big deal when I first attended university. It is also always busy everywhere at any time of the day. Seeing only the odd dog walker when you venture to the shop at home is definitely a big contrast to the always busy city centre, Portswood or Highfield areas in Southampton.

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Make the best of both!

Southampton clearly has a lot going for it and is an exciting place to move to when you’re only used to small chip shops and cafes. However, nothing can really compete with getting drunk on the beach with your friends, walking your dog by the sea, dodging seagulls, summer BBQs or anything beach related really. And even though home is never really the same place once you’ve moved away, you’ll always love it and be thankful you got to grow up in such a great place. Having a double life where you get to experience city-life during term time and seaside-life during breaks is really making the best of both worlds and is something that few others get to relate to.