Deciding where to study for the next three years is a daunting task, students up and down the country will be fighting for the places in their chosen university. I know from experience that there is an immense amount of pressure put on this one decision. But don’t panic, take your time with this decision to make sure you get the university that suits you. Having just completed my first year at Leeds Trinity University, one of the three universities in Leeds, and grown up in this thriving city, I may sound biased towards my hometown. Despite that, here are seven reasons why you should consider Leeds to be one of your five choices to apply for.

The shopping

The shopping

The transport

When I began my descent into the madness that is deciding on a university, transport was something I never gave a second thought. However, it is an important factor and Leeds caters for this very well. Being a buzzing city there are many means of transport at discounted rates for students. The train was always my means of transport as I had half fare pass, giving me half fare prices and a commute from the university to the city centre that took less than 10 minutes! There are also buses in the day to get you from A to B, not to mention the taxi services after a heavy night of partying. My university had a free service bus which took us into Horsforth and a set price in for taxis when going on a night out. You have to love the ease of getting round the city as walking everywhere is not something I was keen on.

The culture and countryside

How many big cities can you name that have the countryside on their doorstep? If you want to get out of what I have had people describe as a ‘Little London’ then you have many areas to visit. Take a bus to the many beautiful historical houses such as Oakwell Hall, Temple Newsam or the Bagshaw museum, all of which are complete with huge gardens to enjoy on a sunny day. Or why not take a train to Sheffield and York for under a fiver, see the countryside up close and personal or experience a different style of night out.

The food

One of the many past times we students enjoy is eating out. In Leeds there are so many different cultures of food to try, ranging from the classic British pub grub to exotic Thai cuisine. If you’re willing to splash the cash why not try the Alchemist or the Sky Lounge which looks over the city (highly recommended when the student loan drops). Or if you’re clever enough to budget your money, why not try one of the six Wetherspoons which are dotted around the city centre? The most popular being Lloyds’ which turns into a nightclub after eight o’clock. Whatever you decide, make sure to be adventurous and try all the different cultures Leeds has to offer.

The shopping

What a better way to spend those days off from lectures, have some retail therapy and relax. The shopping experience has improved massively in the past few years with the new Trinity Centre and Victoria Gate being built. There are hundreds of shops ranging from Louis Vuitton and Vivienne Westwood to New Look and Topshop. It’s a shopping experience that can fit to any budget and any style.

The nights out

Leeds is in my eyes the best night out you can have as there are a range of events happening all year round. Whether you want a cocktail night out with the girls or clubbing ‘til five in the morning, Leeds can cater to all of these demands. As Leeds is highly populated with students (64,990 to be precise) there are many student nights. In fact there is one every night of the week - Quids in a Pryzm on a Monday, Space on a Tuesday, Antics at Pryzm on a Wednesday, Skint Thursdays at Space and Teatro at Mission on a Friday. However if you want to get away from the student vibes that these clubs offer there are a range of bars which offer excellent drinks deals and entertainment. One place in Leeds which has so many different bars is Call Lane which offers many different styles of music. My personal favourite being Call Lane Social as it has a tiki bar complete with Zombie cocktails and free Hawaiian flower necklaces for the authentic experience.

The people

Leeds offers diversity as it is such a student dominated city which means you will meet people from all around the country and even internationally as there are many exchange placements on offer. Of course you will bump into many of us Northerners throughout your time in Leeds and hopefully you will grow to understand the strong accent that we possess and even incorporate some of our slang into your accent.

The universities

Obviously, this is the reason you are reading this, but Leeds has three amazing universities to choose from. I am going to be biased and say Leeds Trinity is the best, even though it is the smallest. However there is so much support on offer and you get to know a lot of people very quickly as everyone knows everyone else. There is also The University of Leeds which is ranked 16 on the Top University list and is a very prestigious university. Then there is Leeds Beckett which is one of the more popular choices of all the Leeds universities as it offers a lot of different courses and lower grades. But whichever you pick it will be one of the greatest experiences you will encounter as you have more freedom, you will meet some amazing people and encounter some exciting opportunities.

By Fionnuala McNulty follow me on Twitter @FionnualaMcNult

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