My first year at the University of Bristol was the best year of my life. Living in such a diverse, vibrant and unique city has taught me so much and changed me as a person. This is what I’ve learned from living here.
1. Embrace independence
The best food is sold in independent restaurants and cafes. My life has not been the same since I visited Gloucester Road, which is often claimed to have more independent shops along it than any other street in the UK.
2. The best clothes are to be found in charity and vintage shops
If you ever see anyone looking extremely cool in Bristol, they are clearly familiar with Park Street’s vintage shops and the charity shops at the top of Whiteladies Road.
3. All graffiti is art
Whether it’s Banksy’s ‘Well Hung Lover’ at the bottom of Park Street, the huge murals in Stokes Croft or the graffiti that covers the back wall of Trenchard Street car park, all graffiti is a wonderful expression of the city’s culture.
4. Nowhere is too far to walk
Standing on the Triangle, you are only a maximum 20-minute walk away from the lively city centre, edgy Stokes Croft, the chilled harbourside and the Insta-worthy Clifton Suspension Bridge.
5. To be confident in myself
Bristol is so amazing because it is so relaxed and everyone is so accepting. I can wear anything – whether that’s bright yellow leopard print flares or worn-out jogging bottoms. I can find new venues and go to events that less than a year ago I never would have dreamed of attending, like free funk nights at the Crofter’s Rights.
There is so much freedom in Bristol and everyone can express themselves. This makes the city so distinctive and makes me long to return in September.