In defence of Birmingham Uni
'Which meme is your uni?'. 'What does your uni say about your personality?'. 'If your uni was a Love Island contestant, who would it be?'. We've all seen these articles crop up on our newsfeeds at least once a week, and we've all had a cheeky look to see exactly what everybody else thinks of us.
The Uni of Birmingham is no exception. It's always the same - we're reasonably clever, our campus is decent, our city is sub-par, and according to several student media outlets, this is nothing to be proud of. But what if being the epitome of mediocrity is a good thing? We may not be the poshest or the prettiest, but here's why being the middlings of the Midlands is actually a blessing in disguise.
We have a great selection of students
If you're a Birmingham student, there's a 50/50 chance you're here because of an unconditional offer. Amongst the stress of A Levels and uni applications, there's nothing quite like being given such a safety net. It's an offer that's very difficult to resist, and with first dibs on accommodation also being thrown into the mix, very few students do. There's no hierarchy or clique of insufferable boffins here, and instead, we end up with a bunch of pretty smart students who are all capable of graduating with respectable 2:1s.
We have great nightlife
We work hard and put the hours in, but also know how to keep up a good balance, which means we're always guaranteed a great night out. Birms has a vast range of nightlife, from Pryzm to Rainbow, so no student is disappointed.
We're a campus uni
How long have you got? When you're looking around at all the open days with Mum and Dad, one of the most important questions you have to ask yourself is, "Do I want to go to a campus uni or a city uni?". One of the most obvious perks to a campus uni is that everything you need is in one place, but you sometimes risk getting caught up in the student bubble and missing out on the city as a whole.
Birmingham has the best of both worlds; despite being a campus uni, everything the city has to offer is still on our doorstep. Unlike campuses such as Warwick, we aren't stuck out in the middle of some random field, miles from any civilisation. If Bristol students want to get from one end of the city to the other between lectures, you're talking a good 40-minute journey with traffic. In Birmingham, you can make it to your 9 am seminar then head straight to the shops afterwards, with the Bullring only a five-minute train journey away.
Midlands for the win
Not only are we a mid-Russell Group uni, but our actual city is smack bang in the middle of the country. Chances are if you want to pop home for a much needed weekend break, or just one of your Mum's Sunday roast dinners, you can justify the train fare. We're pretty central to everybody, but not so close that we're expected to pop home for all the family birthdays and everything in between. For homesick first years, it's a comfort to know that home is never too far away (I'm looking at you, St Andrews).
Money, money, money
While Cardiff will always trump us for being one of the cheapest cities to live in, Birmingham isn't far behind. You'd expect our status as the UK's second largest city to come with a hefty price tag to match, but fortunately for us, Birmingham is kind to its students. House prices are reasonable, eating out is a steal, and there seems to be an Aldi or Lidl on every street corner. I'm sorry, London, but a fiver for a pint? I'm okay over here with my £3.50 Fosters, thanks.
So, students of Birmingham, wave those flags of mediocrity high - being merely 'decent' isn't all that bad. In fact, I'd say it's pretty damn good.
#tyro #birmingham #uob #study #digs