I have officially finished my first week of being a second year History of Art student and while it has not been the most jam-packed time frame-work wise, it has been a time to get used to being in a new city; Royal Leamington Spa. In many ways, it has been quite an adjustment but being a local from the great city of Bath Spa, I have also noticed many things here that remind me of home, and bring a nostalgic joy to my walks around Leamington (or during my sprints for the bus). Both cities have Royal Pump rooms, the place of the natural hot springs which have bestowed the title of ‘spa’ to their names. Both the cities have wonderful central gardens to walk around, and a similar structure to their city centres; posh shops on clean streets to the north, takeaway’s and electrical shops as you dare to walk further south. Of course I am living south, a fact which produces a look of pity and slight worry from any student or local living in the north. So far however, my little three bedroom house, shared with my two wonderful friends, is proving to be an absolute gem. My room is bigger than in Bath, the walk to town easier, a convenience store thirty seconds down the street for midnight chocolate cravings, and my old hall mates thirty seconds in the other direction. Sure, you see some suspicious types walking past and the drunken sounds of a Saturday night are reason enough to stay inside with my laptop, but I have braved the ‘mean’ streets of Leamington and survived. Living off campus provides a clearer distinction between work and home, something I actually really like. I have a commute, so grown up. Second year has opened up a world of house parties, rather than SU events, Starbucks rather than campus coffee, TV channels instead of laptops and being able to come home and collapse on my own sofa. So far, second year in a different Spa is not so bad.
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