Now that I’ve started winding down from university, and namely living around universities, I’ve been thinking about what I’ll most miss about that atmosphere. Potentially the first in a series.
A photo from the main Wantage building across the second quad to the second set of room where we stayed as first years.
- Walking to class…
From both my first-and-second-year and third year accommodation, it was a half an hour of walking to classes, morning and afternoon. Although both my accommodations were based outside of the campus, they were in the perfect places for a daily walk in. Through the sports fields in one direction and through the outside lakes/wooded areas the other side.
2. …Then walking across campus to other classes.
Many new students might be surprised by my fervour at the idea of having five minutes to cross from one end of campus (philosophy classrooms) to the other (psychology building), but an invigorating walk is great for the brain and mind. And then there’s the walking through the gardens and the lakeside walk and seeing all the student buildings that I wouldn’t normally go near. Reading University campus is a darling in the midst of the frumpier campus and city universities.
- Wantage Formals
Apart from the food and the Agrics* setting off fire alarms and making us lose our deposits, I loved the prestige of living at Wantage Hall. And with that came the formal meals. Once a term, we put on our finest, traipsed over to our dining hall (called the Harry Potter hall, to my chagrin, because it really doesn’t look that much like the Great Hall) with a bottle in hand, and had a three course meal and toasts and all that like. That is what university meant to me before I arrived.
*Agriculture Students. The downside of living in the hall most dedicated to the Agriculture side of Reading.
Wantage Hall front entrance
- “Oh, hey Sam, you playing Binding of Isaac?”
Sam was the first person I met when I moved into Wantage, coincidentally enough living in the room opposite mine; and in that first year we became great friends, thanks to a shared habit of propping our doors open when we’re both ‘at home’. He was also the first person to inspire my interest in video games and, essentially, Let’s Plays before Let’s Plays existed due to his habit of playing video games and my habit of curiously watching what was going on as I edited.
The creepy-tastic room-random-generated game The Binding of Isaac in particular was a game that fascinates me.
I didn’t realise how much I loved Reading University Swing Dance Society until I became a member of the committee, the Treasurer for two years, and, at one point, the pillar of keeping the society running when my fellow committee members one-by-one dropped out (!). I guess it was because being a committee member meant that I had to be there at classes consistently, and thus I got more involved with the actual learning and teaching.
- Some gorgeous buildings.
And some totally tacky ones. Looking at you, URS building, now being utilised as the library as the actual library undergoes renovations.
But, in general, Reading’s campus buildings are glossy and gorgeous and traditional brick structures and cohorts of the same.
- Uni Grill
Now closed, of all things! Well, this is something we expected – as one ought to expect from all of those kebab and friend chicken that are only kept open by the alcohol-infused brains, rather than stomachs, of students. But there was something about Uni Grill that made it more special than the other Reading chicken shops. Maybe because it was a mere walk from our accommodation.
8. An accessible town.
I could walk to the centre of Reading from where I loved, walk to the shops and have an evening out, and get back in at a reasonable time because I didn’t have to wait for specific buses or, namely, not going 10s of miles back home.
Until next time, readers…
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