1. “Get to the back of the bus!”
No journey into town is complete without this being repeatedly yelled at your already-packed bus. There really is nothing better than having someone’s armpit in your face as you wait for your stop to appear. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have a car at home – it’s far too roomy.
2. The queue for Greggs.
Oh, you only have five minutes until your lecture? That sounds like the perfect time for a steak bake! It’s a good job we enjoy queueing so much, because every other student seems to have had the same thought. I can’t wait to experience the rush of adrenaline that comes with constantly checking your watch because you have a strict lecturer. Simply leaving the line isn’t an option.
Laundry is so simple on campus – just pop your card in and press go! Or, if you’re not extremely organised, you realise you have no funds, trek back to your room in order to put more money on your card (of course there’s no signal to do it on the move), walk back down, find the code you’ve scribbled down, set the washer going and head back home – only to almost immediately turn around and fetch the washing again because you’re not lucky enough to live right next door. Phew! The process only gets more fun if you want to tumble dry your clothes afterwards.
4. Waiting forever for a bus (then five come at once).
Much like point one, this is a necessity for each journey. However, the good news is that many people experience the same thing when they go home; unfortunately I don’t. I miss waiting in the pouring rain because the bus shelter is packed. The smell of wet people is what wakes me up in the morning – I’m lost without it.
5. The rain.
Speaking of the smell of wet people, what happened to the rain? I guarantee if we were all still in Lancaster, we wouldn’t be enjoying such a hot summer. It’s a well-known fact that the majority of rain in England congregates to that city (or at least it should be a fact). The rainy days are made so much better when you can watch people weave their way through The Spine.
6. Spending half of your journey sat in traffic jams.
For the size of the city, there really is a lot of traffic. Then again, nobody really wants to be able to travel between the city and campus without constantly stopping and starting – it just wouldn’t be as much fun. Besides, it gives you time to read the chapter you forgot all about while you’re on the way to your seminar. No-one will ever know how disorganised you are.
7. Almost being run over by bicycles.
I love that Lancaster has such a heavy focus on being green and bicycles are a great mode of transport. Part of the fun of bicycles isn’t riding them however; it’s dodging your way across various paths as they come whizzing past. Where I live in Derby, I find people tend to swap the bikes for cars and vans and they’re much less fun to narrowly avoid.
8. Waking up early and walking the length of campus to meet a deadline.
Unless you’re the super organised type of person who hands in their work days in advance, this is a common activity for many students. Even more so if you live on South-West Campus, but it is a great way to get you out of bed and active. In the holidays, when we have a day off, we usually get rid of all alarms, but that’s just boring!
9.Creating wallpaper out of leaflets.
It’s very rare that you can walk the length of The Spine and not be handed a leaflet. Some people may throw them away after a quick glance, but they clearly don’t know about the less obvious uses. At Lancaster, it takes a few weeks to gather a good pile and get decorating – elsewhere it could take months.
10. The constant building work.
You may not have noticed the metal barriers and clanging alarm clocks while walking around campus, but you certainly miss them when they’ve gone. They seem to be a near constant feature of the university (and city centre) and home can feel too still and peaceful without them. I can’t wait to get back and see bright orange vests dotted amongst the crowds.