I spent five months at this university and I have to say, emphatically, it was the worst time in my entire life. I can think of more or less nothing good to say about my time at this there. Firstly, I will begin with the university itself. It is a few miles out of Nottingham and can feel very isolated. Unless you want to get a bus into town, you are pretty much stuck on campus. I would have welcomed the chance to nip into the city to get away but this wasn't really possible. The university is also too big, with too many students. It takes quite a while for the administration to catch up with anything.
Next, I will talk about my hall of residence. The rent at Nottingham for an ensuite room is the most expensive in the entire country, even including London. The rooms are small, smaller than friends rooms I have seen at other universities. The shower trickled to a dribble after a couple of minutes and some of my furniture was broken. I was told if I wanted new furniture, I would have to buy it myself. The cleaners cleaned every single week, which in itself should be a good thing. However, the cleaner put all my things into the bin and piled things on top of each other, jammed my bathroom products down the back of the towel rail (damaging them) and threw my books and things around. When I arrived at my room there was no internet cable for me and when I asked what I should do about it I was told 'not my problem' and then had to buy my own.
The food was inedible, not just substandard, actually inedible. The only thing I could eat most days was bread. Also, be warned, as you are not near the city you will not be able to buy anymore food! You can always order takeaways but this option starts to feel very unhealthy very quickly. The food at the formal dinners is edible, but these were few and far between.
Next I will talk about the people. This university attracts a very specific type of person, namely middle class people from minor English public schools, obsessed with money and wanting to be investment bankers. I must add here that there were some nice people there, from state schools and from top public schools, but these were in the minority. You will be mocked if your accent is even slightly northern and again if you are wearing the wrong trousers. Most of the people I encountered seemed older than late teens/early twenties and seemed very cold and emotionally detached. I am a very sociable person but struggled to fit in here.
Onto the social life...unless you are into big night clubs and drinking until you vomit, there really is nothing for you here. The student union is terrible, the worst I have ever been in. If you are not willing to go out every night and drink vast amounts of alcohol you will be ostracised. On the face of it, there appears to be many clubs and societies to join, but these take your money and then are largely never heard from again. The ones that do run are all about which members have slept with other members and the resulting politics.
Finally...my course. I did english and can say, without a doubt, that I learnt nothing in my entire time there. The english course is very disparate and can't decide what it is. I ended up doing more psychology than english. A huge list of subsidiary modules are supposedly 'available' but are not really available. The english language course had a lesson roughly every 2/3 weeks and really I could have missed the whole lot. The January exam was a few pages of a textbook and took rougly forty minutes to revise for. The english literature module was a joke, one essay in the entire year. All we were given was a title and no guidance, so what resulted was another A level standard essay as no one had been taught any better. The drama module was particularly ridiculous. It consisted of two hours faffing about every other monday reading some script out, and then at the end of the term 1000 words on how we would go about directing a piece. Our group got an absurdly low mark and when we asked the 'teacher' about it she claimed it was because 'that wasn't how she would have directed it.' By far, far and away the worst part of this course was the bit they call 'medieval studies' At the start of the term you are handed a few stapled sheets with old english sentences on them. The lecturer reads out the translations and you leave. At the end of the term you are given an exam which involves memorising a large translation and regurgitating it, and some impossible grammatical questions that 99.9% of the population wouldn't even be able to answer about modern english. We were given a huge reading list before starting and none of the hefty textbooks on it was even alluded to. I've noticed that this university has recently dropped in the league tables for this subject (I wonder why) I believe the business and medical schools are the best this university has to offer but even these are nowhere near the top of the league tables anymore.
This university runs itself like a business and you should expect to pay through the nose for every little thing you do there. I spent about five times what I thought I would spend and I didn't go out that much.
One final thing to note is that this university has a massive drugs problem. Many people I knew there took vast quantities of drugs and most people in 'authority' turned a blind eye.
I am normally a happy go lucky person but I left this university depressed and distraught. It has taken me three months to even begin getting over this experience. I am going to Cambridge Uni in October and I will never look back.
Written by Anonymous on 16th Oct 2007