Getting to know Leeds

Thursday 10 January 2019, First year

by Robyn

Getting to know Leeds

I've been in Leeds for 12 days now and it's given me an incredible chance to get to know my new city. Leeds is lovely in the sense that it is a huge melting pot of different cultures. The people are interesting, the shops are interesting and the city is laid out in a way that makes it simultaneously difficult and incredibly easy to get yourself lost.

On my second day, I ventured to the train station a few minutes down the street from me and the Aldi (which was a considerably longer trek). I met up with a friend at a local Wetherspoons and tried to find my own way back, which I was luckily successful at.
One thing which I am definitely thankful for is the close family I have in Leeds. I had the very useful guided tour from my Uncle and Cousin, which did help me find my bearings a little more, and I still find myself naming where different places are in relation to the Art Gallery and the City Museum. Large landmarks make getting around Leeds a lot easier, with one defining landmark on each block, and signs to guide you around. I know that the Arts University is past the Teaching Hospital and that the Morrisons is a little bit further than the Art Gallery and then left. It's the small reminders that I have to keep thinking of to stop me from getting lost, but I've always managed to find my way back home eventually.
A lovely addition to the city is the Kirkgate Market, which I have spent a considerable amount of time and money in. All of the stall owners are friendly and all of the supplies, decorations and foods are cheap, which is always a bonus when you're a new student trying to fend for yourself. At about a 15 minute walk away from my flat, I found it to be a little tiring lugging the fruit and houseplants I had bought back to my flat, but it was worth it.

Clubbing in Leeds is a surreal experience when you're used to the community feeling of Manchester clubs. One night, me and some people from my halls planned to go to a club called 'Pryzm', which was recommended by second year students as one of the best nights out in the city. But after an hour of waiting in the queue and getting absolutely nowhere, we decided that a McDonalds and a trip to bed was the best way to go.

I’m settled into my new flat now, with all of the appropriate decorations to make me feel at home (a million and one different leafy plants and a few books). Living alone is a new experience for everyone here, and it’s lovely to see people joining together and being so open and accepting of new friends. I have made some friends here that I may have only known for a few days, but I know I will get on with for years to come. It’s the lovely thing about freshers and student halls, how everyone is in the same boat. Everyone is new to the place, everyone wants to explore and everyone wants a circle of friends that they can rely on to get them through the tough times and stresses, which I’m sure there will be plenty of.

I'm glad that I've had the opportunity to get to know Leeds, from the high end shops like Vivienne Westwood and the general high street staples such as Topshop and Primark to the market stalls held up with scaffolding and planks of wood. I've found some quirks, music venues, and bars that are unlike anything I've ever seen before. The people are friendly and the bars are welcoming, and there's always someone to talk to.

It's worth a visit, and I'm definitely looking forward to getting to know Leeds more over the next three years.