St. Mary's is one of the universities I have an offer from (for Creative Writing & Film and Popular Culture) and am considering, and I just wanted to ask some questions to anyone who goes there/has been there.
- Do you think going to a university around a city as big as London makes it harder to make friends/means there's less of a community feel? I worry about not having a general area to go out where everyone will know each other.
- Do you think the fact that it's so small means it's more difficult to meet like-minded people, or is it possibly easier?
- Is the atmosphere on campus lively and friendly with a good community feel? Do most people tend to live on campus?
- What's the SU like? How do most people seem to spend their social lives?
- Which halls there are the best for making friends and so on? I don't want to be in halls where everyone just lives in the same space but doesn't socialise.
- What's the LGBT scene like? (I'm female, bisexual but prefer girls, if that matters.)
- What are the students like? (I know obviously they're all going to be different, but for example, a lot of students from Bath Spa mentioned that students there seem to be arty types, is there anything like that you've noticed?)
Thank you, I'll be really grateful for any responses!
Hi, I go to St Mary's, I'm in my final year and I actually do Film & TV, now Film and popular culture along with Media. I'll try and answer each point as best as I can!
I'd say there definitely is a community feel, especially in Teddington and Twickenham which is where a lot of 2nd/3rd years rent houses. Both have a high street, which lots of shops and pubs, so If you go to either, you will definitely see a fellow student. In terms of nightlife, there's Kingston. So even though we're on the outskirts of London, there are still plenty of areas nearby that are full of students.
The atmosphere on campus definitely has a good community feel, probably to do with the size, but I'd say it's really nice and friendly. There are about 10 halls of residence (probably more) so there is lots of room for people to live on campus, which is what I did in first year. But there are also a lot of people who live off campus, both people who travel from home of 2nd/3rd years who can't live on campus anymore. It depends who you are as a person as to whether you are still social at uni while living off campus, some people feel disconnected, whilst some are at the SU every night. From my opinion, if you are able to live on campus in your first year, you should. But while lots of people live on campus, they are just as many who don't and who commute here.
The SU is okay, I personally don't spend a lot of time there, unless it's something like freshers week, or rag week (which are always popular events) but they are always working to get the SU busy. If you live in halls, you will probably pre drink in halls and go straight to Oceana on Monday or McClusky's on a Wednesday (there are other clubs around like Bacchus if that isn't your thing).
I'm bias when it comes to halls, I lived in Old House in my first year, and I was on the short corridor, with 14 other girls, our halls kind of split off into 2 groups, but in the first year we went out as a group and I now live with 2 of the girls I lived with in first year. DeMarillac seems to be the most popular, maybe it's the ensuite that people go for?! Basically in first year, most halls go out at night together and if you have a good senior resident they will bring all the freshers together. All halls have communal areas, in Old House it was our corridor.. but it was big, so enough room to socialise. In the other halls, there are kitchens, where you can socialise.
I'm pretty sure there is a LGBT society here, but I'm not really aware of the scene as a whole.
When it comes to students, the first thing you will notice is that there are a lot of sport students, which obviously isn't a bad thing, but in terms of numbers, they are matched with the drama/theatre students, so we can rival Bath Spa for arty types There's also a drama society, if you're into that.
I hope that helped a bit, overall, I've loved my time at St Mary's and if you have any more questions, just ask!