Once or twice a week I spend the day in Leeds for uni. It’s a pain in the arse to commute, what with the 3 hour round train journey and hour round walk to and from stations, yet I’ve been doing it for the best part of two years now. ‘Why the heck are you still living in Dronfield?’ I hear you ask, ‘Why not just move to Leeds?’
Well, I did live in Leeds for my first two years as it happens. And it was good. They’ve got decent shops, decent clubs, decent parks. My accommodation for 2nd year was absolutely redonkulous: free gym, 25th floor views, spitting distance to campus. Perfect. So why did I move home? The main reason was money; I like having it and decided my student loan would be better off in my bank than in some landlord’s pocket. At first it was a bit of a shock to the system, living back at home, in boring Dronfield, after the freedom and constant activity of living in a bustling city like Leeds. Fast forward two years and here I am, listing everything about Dronfield I prefer…
1) 75% of people living in Leeds are students. I (hypocritically) cannot stand the vast majority of students. As a breed, they’re awful. They all think they’re so smart, and want nothing more than to bore you to death debating some existential theory or other. They’re loud and rude and carry this sense of entitlement which just makes you want to point out that their BA in Interpretive 14th Century Dance & Renaissance Literature Written By Ginger Midgets is one of the stupidest things you’ve ever heard of. Dronfield, on the other hand, has about three university students living there full time and I’m one of them. Much better ratio.
2) A homeless woman threw a sandwich at me in Leeds today. That would never happen in Dronfield, we’re far too middle class to have homeless folk.
3) If you want to get somewhere in Dronfield it’s a half hour walk away, max. If you want to get somewhere in Leeds, it’s probably three buses, a coach and a mile hike to get there. Seriously, outside of city centre, it’s freakin’ impossible to get your bearings.
4) Driving. I’ve yet to pass the ol’ driving test, but I can already tell you I’m dreading the first time I drive in Leeds. It’s all one-way roads and four-billion lane carriageways. I think I’ll stick to Dronfield’s mini-roundabouts and pot holes, thank you very much.
5) If you go to a pub in Dronfield, you’re bound to bump into someone you know. You can have a nice little chat over a pint and it’s great. Heck, even if by some miracle you walk in there and know nobody, people are friendly enough for you to approach, or vice versa. In Leeds you’re constantly surrounded by strangers, and scary looking strangers at that.
6) You don’t get food dropped on you by waitresses in Dronfield. Possibly because we only have about two restaurants, but the point stands nonetheless. The lovely Tapas restaurant I lunched at today in Leeds decided to give my outfit a Meatball Makeover, something I could’ve definitely lived without.
7) Not that this is on the cards for at least ten years, but I can’t imagine ever settling down in Leeds. As I’ve said, it’s a great city. But it’s somewhere you visit; have a trendy shopping day at the new Trinity Centre, or go on an Otley Run for a mate’s birthday. It’s never going to be home, though. Dronfield’s the sort of place you could raise kids and be friends with the future mayor. It is and always will be home.
– Contributing author: Millie Murdoch (@Millie_Murdoch)