Blog post

How Derby took me by surprise - my life as a student

Charlotte Pearson, a foundation student on our Marketing (Consumer Psychology) course, was taken by surprise when she first moved to Derby. Here, she gives us her first impressions and explains what it's like to live in Derby city centre.

By Charlotte Pearson - 14 February 2020

This is me

Let’s start with a brief introduction to who I am. My hobbies include designing, visiting galleries, working out and playing Warhammer, so a variety of everything. I live in private accommodation in Derby city centre.

Entering on to the foundation course has been a huge benefit. It has enlightened me to what the workload is like at university and what the tutors require from me in my work. I am a workaholic when it comes to coursework so I have limited free time, but it is what I enjoy.

My first impressions

My initial impressions of Derby were polar opposites of what I thought it would be. I was expecting more of a middle-aged generation. But, to my surprise, it’s the typical student city with bars, restaurants and nightclubs. It’s nice to know that it is predominantly students. This allows you to mingle and meet others who may be on your course or you may notice around your campus.

I was also glad how it’s both compact enough to feel everything is close by and on your doorstep yet has enough entertainment and facilities to give the feel of being in a larger city.

Time to relax and be entertained

There are a variety of activities to do around Derby during the evening and daytime from belly laughs to the latest movies to laser tag. In this section, I’ll let you in on what I have experienced so far.

During my first week in Derby, I discovered the Fun House Comedy Night at The Old Bell Hotel. In my opinion, this is a reasonably priced, relaxed night out, especially if booming music isn’t your thing and you prefer to swap it out for booming laughter.

This event takes place on the last Friday of every month and it hosts three up-and-coming comedians each time. Alongside this, the intu Derby shopping centre holds Showcase Cinema, tenpin bowling and mini golf. These, again, are cheap nights out and are great places to go with friends.

Willows Sports Centre offers many sporting events such as dodgeball or football and laser tag if blasting your friends with laser beams sounds up your street. Also, for all of my fellow nerds, Warhammer World is a 25-minute drive away (or taxi or bus ride if you can’t drive or have no one to chauffeur you around). It is perfect if you want to play tabletop as there is a room of roughly 20 tables. But, if that is too far, there is our own little shop in the city centre.

If like me, you enjoy fine art and history, we have Derby Museum and Art Gallery, which also hosts alternating exhibitions. For example, last year they had rooms full of iconic periods in time created out of Lego.

I often explore Derby and the area in the proximity to give myself a break from work and have a change in scenery to allow me to relax. In Markeaton Park, you can explore the woodland and its waterfalls. I highly recommend visiting the park if you are a nature lover or just want some photogenic photos for your social media.

Life in the centre

Living in the city centre is great as there is everything a student needs to be comfortable. There are supermarkets like Tesco Metro, Sainsbury’s and Iceland. You have an entire shopping centre with an array of top designer stores. For your stationery and book needs, there are Ryman and WH Smith and many eateries. Alongside intu Derby, there are the countless stores on the outside streets.

If it’s fitness you’re into and want to go to a reasonably priced gym, there is PureGym on the outside of Derby Centre. This is the one I go to and it has all the facilities you require.

For study facilities, just by the River Derwent, which runs through the city centre, we have Riverside Library in Derby Council House where you can order books in from their sister libraries.

Thank you for spending your time reading my opinions on Derby. I do hope it has been useful to you all. If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to come explore Derby and see what it can offer you.

About the author

Charlotte Pearson
Marketing (Consumer Psychology) student

I’m currently studying Marketing (Consumer Psychology) at the University of Derby. I love anything to do with art and design and have a not so mild obsession with penguins.