I knew I would have to leave my university town eventually, but it was easy enough to put it out of my head when it was months and months away. But it’s the middle of May, and that means I move back home in a week. The idea of living in Wales never really entered my head when I was planning to get a degree because I didn’t expect to like the university, and yet here I am, having spent three years here. I thought it was about time I paid tribute (in the form of a list, of course!) So, what will I miss about Wales?
Living with my friends. My third-year housemates are hilarious. I’ve lost count of the occasions when we’ve been doubled over laughing at something or other and although I hope that one day I’ll be sharing a house with people who are equally lovely, this is the end of an era.
The people. I don’t know whether this is just because I grew up South East England, but I was taken aback by how chatty everyone is when I first came here (the people back home are perfectly polite, I hasten to add, just less likely to strike up a conversation). From the Asda delivery man to the kind Welsh ladies in my local Starbucks, most of the people I’ve encountered — not just those who work in retail — have been easygoing, friendly, and very very funny.
The accents. One of my favourite things about coming back to Wales after a few weeks away is hearing the accent again. While I’m used to it now, the novelty hasn’t completely worn off — it still makes me smile and somehow it makes things ten times funnier.
The view from my window. All I have to do is look outside and there are hills right there. It’s so different to the suburban village I grew up in; on a clear day it almost looks like someone has hung a painting up in the sky.
The view from the top of the view. We drove up to the top of the hills recently and went on a little adventure, and it was one of the happiest afternoons I think I’ve had (you can see for miles). We also went to Henrhyd Falls last Friday, which is the cave they used to double as the entrance to the Bat Cave in The Dark Knight Rises. It’s beautiful there, so I’d definitely recommend a trip if you get the chance. The rocks at the bottom are wobbly and some of the ledges are narrow, so I’d recommend wearing sturdy shoes.
Cardiff. What a city. Chippy Lane, the castle, the Millennium Stadium (yeah yeah yeah, I know it’s the Principality Stadium now, but no one calls it that), Bute Park, City Hall, Live Lounge… I could go on and on (and on…) about how much I love Cardiff. It has so much character and there’s so much going on there. By far one of my favourite places to be.
The love of rugby. The passion just isn’t the same in England, and that’s a damn shame. Rugby in Wales is life. True, I get a lot of stick for supporting England, but the atmosphere on game day is like nothing I’ve experienced before.
What was your favourite thing about where you went to university? Let me know in the comments!
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Beth, 26, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travelling, and gin.
I write about ethical & eco-friendly living, minimalism, and mental health, as I muddle through one step at a time. Enjoy!