As thousands of freshers descend on Leeds to start their university courses, the Yorkshire Evening Post has published a series of special features dedicated to our student population. In our latest report, Abigail Miller spoke to former University of Leeds student Giulia Crouch about her time at the university and in the city.
Giulia, 24, graduated with a history degree in 2013. She is originally from Cheltenham and now lives in London, where she works as a trainee journalist.
1) What was your favorite thing about studying in Leeds?
I lived in Lyddon Hall in my first year, which is a tiny halls right on campus. It was great because the Union and more importantly the Refectory were always close by.
I absolutely adored Leeds. I always wanted to go there and I know I made the right decision. It’s a city overrun by students and everything is geared towards them. The nightlife is amazing and Hyde Park offered a great place to chill and socialise. Leeds is a really friendly place and is perfect for students because it’s not a vast, overwhelming city, but it’s not a small one either.
2) Was there a part of freshers week or the year that was particularly memorable? Why?
My memory of freshers week is a little hazy – which isn’t surprising! I do remember going to Fruity on the Friday night – my first of many a night in the sticky-floored, cheesy-tuned, fresher-fest that is Fruity. Freshers’ Week Friday night Fruity is not to be missed. It’s kind of cheesy but everyone goes there in freshers’ and there are different rooms with different kinds of music.
3) Was there something you wish you had done differently?
I wish I’d worried less about getting a first. Socialising was important to me so I didn’t have the time to put into getting a first but I remember desperately wanting one at the time. Looking back it was silly to put so much pressure on myself. Not getting a first hasn’t impacted on my life at all and I’m glad I have all the nice memories of hanging out with my friends instead. It’s really just hindsight.
4) Is there something that every student should do before they graduate?
Every student should go on an Otley Run and put effort into a brilliant costume. They were by far the best nights I had in Leeds. Everyone is so jolly – who doesn’t love a bit of day drinking – and it’s so funny to march down the Otley Road dressed in all manner of outfits. Oh, also definitely go to Popina’s on Brudenell Road. Their breakfast is the best I’ve had (they serve chips with it!) and they do an amazing Cajun chicken burger that works wonders when you’re hungover.
5) If you could give freshers any advice, or go back and give yourself a piece of advice during this time, what would it be?
Go out, have fun, meet people, get involved and broaden your horizons. Your degree is important but you learn so much about life by just being at uni and living away from home. Study hard – but not too hard – and don’t feel guilty about going out with your friends. Leeds is the perfect city for students in my opinion so make the most of it.