Before I get started – don’t get me wrong, I love uni, but there are times when I just miss my hometown.
I go to Portsmouth University. While this is just down the road from where my family live, it is a very different way of life, and not just because I’m a student!
Attending Portsmouth University means that I have to live in the city. This is something that since I started studying Media at GCSE, I have always dreamt of trying. It does have it’s perks; anything and everything is on your door step. There are shops everywhere, pubs everywhere, anything you need or want, you can have. But this does have its draw backs! It’s great having everything so accessible, but it also means you end up paying much more for what you want. The ease of walking to the corner shop and buying all the chocolate I want for my lazy, film nights in, not only affects my weight, but also my purse! If I was at home, I wouldn’t dream of going all the way to the shop to buy food! It does prove handy in emergencies, but otherwise it just becomes a hole in my pocket.
Another down side to living in the city is the lack of fresh air. I know there are parks within the city, and for city parks, they are quite attractive – but they are nothing like home. Portsmouth is a coastal city. Walking along Southsea beach, whether at day or night, does give you a break from the rush of city life, but you still can’t escape the city buzz. No matter where you go in a city, it’s built up. Houses everywhere. Shops everywhere. People everywhere. Living at university has made me realise that if you like to escape from the world from time to time, this is not the place to do it. When at home I had the ability to go where I wanted, when I wanted. If I wanted to go to the woods I could. If I wanted to go to the beach I could. If I wanted to go to the park I could. Everything was within minutes walk away and you were guaranteed fresh air, and peace and quiet. It allowed me to be creative. Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It gave me the time to cherish and make the most of the things I had.
A positive side to city living has to be the constant level of action. You are guaranteed to find events being held, every day and night. No matter what your interests, there will be something for everyone. While this is definitely more accessible in the city than in the suburbs it again does come at a price. Living away from the city allows you to be creative in natural ways, ways that cost nothing, or hardly anything. While there is always something to do and see in the city; whether you love food, clothes or clubbing, it does come at a high cost! City’s do hold a lot of arts and culture within their buildings, especially some of the historic, ancient towns. However, these are becoming more and more ‘modern’. Life is being built around them causing them to loose their natural beauty and stories. Suburban living, while it is quiet and out of the way, it does give you a chance to appreciate natural beauty and forms to their full extent.
What I miss most about my home town is the ability to go where I want without being judged, without the fear of people staring. It sounds petty I know, but it’s true. When at home I can wonder the streets, woods, parks, beaches with my camera and not feel that people are watching my every move. I can grab my roller skates and blade along the seafront without the fear of bumping into someone that would laugh, or mimic me. Any hobby I want to carry out I can. Whilst at home I had the courage to do things spontaneously because I knew I could. If I wanted to go on a bike ride I would. If I wanted to go fishing I would. Living in the city takes this away from you.
I know I’m being biased now, but I’m glad I realised all of this so early on. Like I said I had always dreamt, and honestly believed I wanted to spend the rest of my life living in a city, but I can now safely, with my hand on my heart, say, I don’t want to. I’m a small town girl. I like fresh air, open space, nature, the smell of the sea, the wind in my hair, the ability to be myself. If I want a career in Journalism I will have to work in the city, this I know, but there are ways of commuting. If it means a longer trip to work each day but the ability to live where I want, I would take that over a big hit time job any day.
We need to enjoy every aspect of life. There is no point dedicating your whole life to one job, one person, one interest when our world holds thousands of experiences just waiting to be found.