Small town to Steel City – moving up

‘You’re moving to a big city and you don’t know anyone there?’ ‘Don’t you know the people up North speak differently?’ ‘You do realise it’s going to be so loud and noisy all the time?’ These are all opinions and questions I faced in the run up to moving to Sheffield from East Anglia. Friends, family, co-workers, even the hairdresser, all arguing they couldn’t do it, they wouldn’t know anyone or their way around. It was almost as if I’d told them I was packing up to fly to Australia alone and never come back.

Now I’m here the questioning continues… Didn’t you get really bored back home living so far out from the city? Why did you have to get a taxi to sixth form? What did you and your friends actually do every day during summer? It’s made me glad I moved to a busier place, with more things to see, places to go, people to meet.

Firstly, the best thing about Sheffield is everything you need for the day is on your doorstep. Yes, there’s the walk from Endcliffe, but that’s ample time to catch up with your flatmates on the snapchats from the night before (and screenshot them), or even to ring those humans called your parents. I love the freedom of being able to work in the library in between lectures, get lunch, go shopping, all within just over a ten-minute walk. Then there’s being able to walk to the array of bars and clubs, something unheard of back home (getting into the city involving a ten-minute turned thirty-minute wait for the bus that’s always late, then the fifty-minute journey, or face an extortionate taxi fare, or begging that friend with the easy-going parents to give you a lift).

An even greater revelation was that city-dwellers walk with a purpose, unlike back home where going for a walk was a possible daily activity. If you’re not so interested in sports (raise your hand if you’ve never even attended a free Residence Life sporting activity), then it’s great to be able to get exercise whilst walking to do something. Whether it’s to your 9am, or that dash to Sainsbury’s to stock up before pre drinks, either way, you’re killing two birds with one stone, exercising and ticking stuff off your to-do list.

Thirdly, the possibilities are endless. Anything you could possibly need is here. All you have to do is make the most of the many opportunities flying around. At my sixth form in the middle of nowhere (minus the new Lidl, we were limited), I found there wasn’t much other than travelling there and studying. But now there’s a brilliant social life, sporting activities (ice skating anyone?), and extra-curricular stuff to boost your job prospects.

I’d tell anyone thinking of moving to a big city to do what you want to do; don’t let what others think scare you. Getting away from the small town life might be one of the best decisions you ever make.

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