Campus v Leamington v Coventry: Where’s best to live?
Let’s settle this once and for all
Gene – Arguing for Campus Charm
It’s not you Leam, it’s me. It’s me and the 8am rains before the 9am seminars. It’s me and the hour-long wait for the buses. Behind the whitewashed walls, the posh-ish parks and restaurants are the tears of the students with missed lectures, card overdrafts, and constant hangovers. I’m sure the feeling of being an adult and renting your own “home” with a bunch of almost-certainly undramatic housemates makes up for how shitty the house actually is.
So no: I’m not picking campus because I like campus. I’m favouring life on campus because of how dreadful it is to live in Leamington.
Although living on campus does have its own merits. You don’t have to worry about heaters, slow cookers, energy and water bills (trust me it can be a big thing). You can literally walk to your classes (gasp). If punctuality is your thing, you can get to last minute campus events instead of arriving late for almost everything.
Living on campus, you’ll end up having a sane, sober, and proper life. A sane, sober and proper life which you’ll be replicating and paying for for the rest of your life.
George – Ode to Leamington
Stuck in the middle of the grey, post-industrial hinterland that is the West Midlands lies Royal Leamington Spa, a gem in a seemingly endless drab sea.
The parks, the Parade, the town houses, the gothic church: Leamington is a town of endless charms. If you take the time to look around you’ll uncover the hidden facets too and there are plenty of them to find.
Leamington is a tale of two towns. As well as the Georgian splendour on the surface, anyone new to the area will soon clumsily stumble across its much less glamorous side. The nightclub Smack certainly is a unique experience, but essential to Leamington nightlife. Who knows, you might happen across Sansa Stark in there.
Travel further south and you gradually get to the edge of civilisation. Here be dragons.
It is on this fringe you’ll find Kelsey’s, a place which is both Mos Eisley Cantina’s “wretched gathering of scum and villainy” and the single best place in the known world. The smoking section is a magical place where you’ll meet the best humanity has to offer: a Cornish man with only eight digits, Tom Jones’ second cousin’s doppelganger, an angry mob – the possibilities are infinite.
The bus service may be shitty, but why would you want to go onto campus when you live in Leamington? Fuck the degree. Immerse yourself in the adventure the town presents.
James – Sent to Coventry
Once a lovely medieval city, Coventry is now a hub of dull architecture, yob culture and vagrancy.
During the Civil War Royalists were sent there as prisoners, today you’re sent there for a much greater crime – attending Warwick University.
Though, despite all of this, I can’t bring myself to dislike the place.
In fact, I rather like it here – it’s just so ordinary and so real that the juxtaposition between where I live and the bubble of campus keeps my interest in my surrounding environment alive.
Every day is an adventure is this Midlands city. Not only does the street on which I live look a bit like the one on Coronation Street, but I can’t leave my house without being asked for twenty-three pence by some stranger who is dubiously claiming to be in need of the bus fare.
I am in the thralls of a love affair with Coventry. For all this, I genuinely like Coventry. One of the best things about living here is without a doubt Kasbah – a nightclub which stands head and shoulders above its Leamington Spa competitors, Neon and Smack (if anyone defends those terrible places they have clearly wasted their teenage years in shit nightclubs).
So Coventry is a mixed bag: if the sheer number of those wearing ugly tracksuits doesn’t offend your senses (and if you don’t mind choosing between your conscience and your student loan when confronted by about twenty Big Issue salesmen a day) then come to Coventry. Like me, you might be able to enjoy the city for its surreal and undefinable charms.