What is the student life like at Reading University?

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Anonymous #1
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Due to the pandemic I haven’t actually been able to visit any of the universities I’m considering so I was wondering if anyone could please tell me what the university of Reading is like and the surrounding area. I’m a bit worried it might be a bit quiet and won’t have as much to offer as other universities so if anyone can tell me if this is true that would be much appreciated. Thank you!
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ellen246
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#2
Due to the pandemic I haven’t actually been able to visit any of the universities I’m considering so I was wondering if anyone could please tell me what the university of Reading is like and the surrounding area. I’m a bit worried it might be a bit quiet and won’t have as much to offer as other universities so if anyone can tell me if this is true that would be much appreciated. Thank you!
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ReadingMum
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Can't comment as a student, but as a resident it is a great place to live. The campus is only a 20 minute walk from town (or there is a bus) and there are lots of pubs, bars, restaurants, clubs, cinemas etc.
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UniofReading
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(Original post by ellen246)
Due to the pandemic I haven’t actually been able to visit any of the universities I’m considering so I was wondering if anyone could please tell me what the university of Reading is like and the surrounding area. I’m a bit worried it might be a bit quiet and won’t have as much to offer as other universities so if anyone can tell me if this is true that would be much appreciated. Thank you!
Hey ellen246,

Personally, I would say life at Reading Uni has the best of both worlds. Reading University is a short walk from the town centre where we have a large shopping centre and lots of good restaurants. I also think because we're a campus uni feels more like a bubble and I often find I bump into lots of people I know which can be very nice and social.

As well as that, we have. a lot of different societies. You can see the different ones here https://www.rusu.co.uk/student-activities/societies/

Hope this helps and do let me know if you have any questions!
From,

Amina 😊
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h0w32001
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hey, I am currently studying at reading uni. I just started in September 2020. From my personal opinion and experience, reading uni is definitely one of the more quieter uni's. at the moment with the pandemic, theres barely any parties, motives or anything fun to do really. security are really strict here aswell, and if you get put into the quiet halls, its extremely isolating. personally i wouldnt recommend this uni if youre coming to uni expecting an amazing social experience. im abit of a party animal, and reading is very quiet in comparison to uni's my friends have gone to eg. bristol, nottingham, manchester. if you enjoy the party/sociable lifestyle, i dont believe reading is the uni to choose. coming to uni is rather strange as you'll expect people to be very friendly and say hello or even smile when walking around campus, however here at reading (and im not sure if this is the same for other uni's) people dont smile when you walk past them. everyone sticks to themselves/their flat, so if you dont get put with a good flat, you'd find it rather hard.
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UniofReading
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(Original post by h0w32001)
hey, I am currently studying at reading uni. I just started in September 2020. From my personal opinion and experience, reading uni is definitely one of the more quieter uni's. at the moment with the pandemic, theres barely any parties, motives or anything fun to do really. security are really strict here aswell, and if you get put into the quiet halls, its extremely isolating. personally i wouldnt recommend this uni if youre coming to uni expecting an amazing social experience. im abit of a party animal, and reading is very quiet in comparison to uni's my friends have gone to eg. bristol, nottingham, manchester. if you enjoy the party/sociable lifestyle, i dont believe reading is the uni to choose. coming to uni is rather strange as you'll expect people to be very friendly and say hello or even smile when walking around campus, however here at reading (and im not sure if this is the same for other uni's) people dont smile when you walk past them. everyone sticks to themselves/their flat, so if you dont get put with a good flat, you'd find it rather hard.
Hey h0w32001

I'm really sorry to hear you've had this experience at Reading. I think everything has been really different and hard with the pandemic this year.

However during my first year last year it was very different. There was something going on every night, either at the Student Union, or at one of the clubs in town. There was always options to head out for a club night, or a quiet drink and everything in between.
I found also, if the flat you were in wasn't really your vibe there was always a chance to meet different people at one of our numerous societies. For example I made great friends at the Pole Fitness, with some amazing socials, starting at Park Bar and then moving on either to Union or onto a club in town!

This year however because of the pandemic as a University community, we have a responsibility to abide by the rules and protect ourselves and also those who live nearby. All our social lives have suffered sadly, but hopefully in the New Year and going forward things will get better!

I really hope that next year will be a lot better for you and you can unleash the party animal inside!

Zoe
Second year Biological Sciences and Student ambassador
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UniofReading
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#7
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#7
(Original post by h0w32001)
hey, I am currently studying at reading uni. I just started in September 2020. From my personal opinion and experience, reading uni is definitely one of the more quieter uni's. at the moment with the pandemic, theres barely any parties, motives or anything fun to do really. security are really strict here aswell, and if you get put into the quiet halls, its extremely isolating. personally i wouldnt recommend this uni if youre coming to uni expecting an amazing social experience. im abit of a party animal, and reading is very quiet in comparison to uni's my friends have gone to eg. bristol, nottingham, manchester. if you enjoy the party/sociable lifestyle, i dont believe reading is the uni to choose. coming to uni is rather strange as you'll expect people to be very friendly and say hello or even smile when walking around campus, however here at reading (and im not sure if this is the same for other uni's) people dont smile when you walk past them. everyone sticks to themselves/their flat, so if you dont get put with a good flat, you'd find it rather hard.
Hi,

I am really sorry to hear this is how you have felt this year.

I must agree with Zoe, that during my first year I found the opposite.

There was constantly parties happening in the halls, various different club nights on every night, whether that was on the university campus or in town, there was always a party or night out happening. That's not to say that if you are not a party animal you won't fit at Reading, I for one prefer a drink with friends over clubbing or partying, or even a movie night or something that doesn't require you to drink, and I found there was loads of opportunities for me to socialise in this way too. I would definitely say that Reading has a great mix of socialising opportunities.

I also found I bumped into people on nights out or around campus and they remembered me from a different occasion and were super friendly. I think unfortunately this year people are trying to keep to themselves because of the rules on socialising and wanting to stay in their own bubble sadly.

Obviously, this year has been completely different with parties being unable to happen due to government restrictions, but I have actually found that the security team being hot on the rules really encouraging. The last thing we want as a university is to have an outbreak of COVID and because of the securities efforts and students efforts our numbers have stayed quite low.

I really hope that your university experience improves, hopefully next year we will be able to see things return to normal!

Ellen
4th Year Student Ambassador
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UniofReading
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#8
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(Original post by rohanbrooksie)
I'm in first year and I think Reading is great, I visited loads of universities and I think Reading by far had the nicest campus, to this day theres loads of parties if you know the right people I couldn't recommend it enough
Great to hear your thoughts on Reading! The campus is stunning!

Ellen
Student Ambassador
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QWERTY43211234
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(Original post by rohanbrooksie)
I'm in first year and I think Reading is great, I visited loads of universities and I think Reading by far had the nicest campus, to this day theres loads of parties if you know the right people I couldn't recommend it enough
Agreed. I am a 3rd year and it is really nice. I Love my course especially the modules on j vandi
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username5519272
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(Original post by QWERTY43211234)
Agreed. I am a 3rd year and it is really nice. I Love my course especially the modules on j vandi
wait don't you live next to ben hardy?
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Anonymous #2
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I’m starting in September and I’m really worried that there will be no socialising or anything as much as there would be at other unis. Like is it normal for there to be flat parties and motives happening around the halls??
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UniofReading
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I’m starting in September and I’m really worried that there will be no socialising or anything as much as there would be at other unis. Like is it normal for there to be flat parties and motives happening around the halls??
Hi Anonymous,

It's a totally understandable worry!

When I was in first year (back in 2018) it was normal to be having flat parties going out etc. However, due to the current pandemic, there aren't really happening. However, a flat is considered to be a household and are allowed to freely mix together and they can definitely do their own party. It is impossible to say what it will be like come September, but unfortunately, this is the situation nationally.

Hope this helps and feel free to let us know if you have any question!😊
From,

Amina
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Anonymous #3
#13
Report 11 months ago
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(Original post by UniofReading)
Hi,

I am really sorry to hear this is how you have felt this year.

I must agree with Zoe, that during my first year I found the opposite.

There was constantly parties happening in the halls, various different club nights on every night, whether that was on the university campus or in town, there was always a party or night out happening. That's not to say that if you are not a party animal you won't fit at Reading, I for one prefer a drink with friends over clubbing or partying, or even a movie night or something that doesn't require you to drink, and I found there was loads of opportunities for me to socialise in this way too. I would definitely say that Reading has a great mix of socialising opportunities.

I also found I bumped into people on nights out or around campus and they remembered me from a different occasion and were super friendly. I think unfortunately this year people are trying to keep to themselves because of the rules on socialising and wanting to stay in their own bubble sadly.

Obviously, this year has been completely different with parties being unable to happen due to government restrictions, but I have actually found that the security team being hot on the rules really encouraging. The last thing we want as a university is to have an outbreak of COVID and because of the securities efforts and students efforts our numbers have stayed quite low.

I really hope that your university experience improves, hopefully next year we will be able to see things return to normal!

Ellen
4th Year Student Ambassador
Hello 👋
im just like you in that I’m not one for clubbing so that good to hear. I wanted to ask, since you have been in Reading a while. Is the city safe and welcoming? I understand nowhere is going to be a crime free utopia, but do you generally feel confident when out at night and in the student neighbourhoods? Hopefully there is not a problem with break ins and unpleasant people as there is a little bit where I live (Soton).
I am also quite nervous to move out and was wondering how good the uni is with supporting that adjustment?
Generally how have you found your time? I am interested in History and archaeology for my degree.
thank you for any help you or anyone can offer 👍👍
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UniofReading
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#14
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#14
(Original post by Anonymous)
Hello 👋
im just like you in that I’m not one for clubbing so that good to hear. I wanted to ask, since you have been in Reading a while. Is the city safe and welcoming? I understand nowhere is going to be a crime free utopia, but do you generally feel confident when out at night and in the student neighbourhoods? Hopefully there is not a problem with break ins and unpleasant people as there is a little bit where I live (Soton).
I am also quite nervous to move out and was wondering how good the uni is with supporting that adjustment?
Generally how have you found your time? I am interested in History and archaeology for my degree.
thank you for any help you or anyone can offer 👍👍
Hey!

I'm exactly the same as you; not particularly one for clubbing and was nervous about moving out. I started at Reading last year (just finished my first year), so not the easiest year to move either, but I can say I did feel safe the whole time.
On campus, there are security at all hours, meaning there is always someone nearby and if you are ever walking through campus on your own at night and would prefer someone to know so they can keep an eye out for you to make sure you get back safe, you can tell the teams as they have a system which means they can then track you through campus until you reach home safely (this is what they told me back when I visited at an open day too!). The campus is one of the most friendly campuses I have been too and definitely one of the top reasons I ended up choosing Reading in the end as it's where I felt most comfortable!

Outside of the campus, I've found the immediate community surrounding the university to be relatively friendly. Obviously with the pandemic, there hasn't been a great deal of opportunities where everything has been open to go exploring too much, however I have had a good wander between having to find a house for 2nd year, going to church and town, and also being on placement in various areas, and I can honestly say I've not ever felt at risk. Reading isn't actually a city, although it is one of the largest towns I believe, so it's not too busy in terms of nightlife in comparison to how other bigger , city-central universities are, but like anywhere, can feel uncomfortable if you're walking through town alone or something at night when everyone is leaving the pub for example, but this is the same as anywhere else would be, and my advice would always be to walk with people or get public transport home, and always let people know where you are - but this would be my advice in any area. On the whole, I haven't experienced any situations where I've felt in danger or uncomfortable, and no one I have been in contact with has ever said they've felt that either!
As I said, I've had to find a house this year and so I've been able to go around the local communities/areas and I've also been to a couple of the local churches in various areas, and everyone I've come in contact with has been lovely up to now with the areas seeming reasonably safe from what I can tell. I have friends in other years who have been living in student areas off campus for a while and they have all commented how they've never had any issues and always enjoyed their university lifestyle since being there.
And, of course, if there were ever any safeguarding/welfare concerns, you can always let the university know and someone will always be happy to help/support you.

In terms of moving out, like I said, even from the open day I found the people at Reading to be really welcoming and helpful and the same was true when I moved in. I was absolutely terrified if I'm honest but they were so good! There were people everywhere (covid-safe of course) ready to help - be it handing out information about how to sign up to the doctors, or offering to show you around, etc - and the atmosphere was lovely which was just what I needed when I was so anxious! Obviously the worries are still there after that first moving in day, but there are always people to help. There are halls teams and mentors, welfare teams, finance teams, and so on - basically, if there's a worry, there's a team on hand to help with it! They know the stress of moving & especially moving away, they've had years of practice to figure out what freshers need when moving in terms of support and everything else. Everyone else is feeling the same as you, even if they appear to mask it, so don't worry - it's normal to be nervous, but they're used to it. And, remember: no question or worry is a stupid one! If you're finding things tough or your living arrangements aren't working for you, there's always someone to talk to and they are pretty flexible with being able to find a solution to help.

Having most recently had the first year experience, I've actually really enjoyed my time at Reading and it's become more homely to me than I ever thought it would. I really thought I was going to struggle and end up wanting to come home as I never wanted to study away from home before and this is more than 2 hours away from me, but I can't imagine myself at any other university now!

So great to hear you're interested in History and Archaeology! You may want to chat to Maya who is studying that subject who can answer any questions you have about it and give you her perspective of her time at Reading!
Have you looked into Reading as a university to apply to?

Good luck with your decision making! If you have any other questions or thoughts, please don't hesitate to ask us!

Skye
1st Year Speech and Language Therapy Student
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