I have had a particularly long break from Exeter, as I spent this year on my Year Abroad in a tiny town in the east of Germany, not far from the Czech border. This extended time away from the glorious EX4 has indeed proved that absence makes the heart grow stronger – I’ve missed Exeter for a variety of reasons this year but for me, one of things I love most about Exeter is its location. The city is the perfect size; it has everything a student needs, but it’s also the right size to be able to bump into friends when you’re out and about. What’s more, I really enjoy being a short (and thanks to my railcard, cheap) train ride from neighbouring beauty spots like Totnes, Dawlish, and your favourite place for a cloudy post-exam May barbecue, Exmouth.
Being able to explore the quaint little towns and villages surrounding Exeter have been some of my favourite weekend memories since I started studying in Devon, and who could forgot the remarkable backdrop for BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in 2016 in Starcross’s Powderham Castle? Not me – here’s to the next year at Exeter. – Chloë Edwards, Online Features Editor
Months of glorious, hot summer have passed, and although I have missed the food, nights out and beach trips in Exeter, the one thing that has really stood out as absent in my life over this period has been not having my friends within such a close proximity of my house.
I have realised that, since being at university, I have taken this for granted far too easily, with the ability to text anyone you like the morning after a night out to organise a morning after debrief brunch (thinking about it now, this is something my friends and I do far too frequently), and then being able to all meet up within half an hour of setting the time. Back home, my parents live in a tiny, remote village, and although I do sometimes crave its tranquillity at University, it is also a highly impractical place when organising to meet up with anyone. It’s more likely that my friends and I will be trying to organise a brunch for a month before we actually see each other.
So, whilst it may sometimes be distracting, constantly having your friends around you at university if you actually fancy committing some time to your degree, I wouldn’t have it any other way. – Natalie Keffler, Online Editor
After four months of sun, sea and not having to cook for myself, it is nearly time to for me to return to Exeter for my final year and oh, how I’ve missed it. Every student city needs a unique little place which is the first place that you think of when someone asks ‘Drink?’. For Exeter students, it’s The Old Firehouse.
Despite J.K Rowling crushing everyone’s hearts by revealing that the Leaky Cauldron in Harry Potter is not based on the Firehouse, it’s still the best pub in Exeter.
If you never try their famously large pizzas (word to the wise, you will never finish one by yourself), you’ve missed out on a momentous experience. Whether you go here for the infamous pub quiz on Monday evening or casual drinks with friends, it’s one of the few quaint and homely places that stands out from all the chains in Exeter. I’ve missed the oak doors, fairy lights over the bar and their homemade elderflower cider.
Special mention to the Co-op on Pennsylvania (Penny) Road – forget Tesco and Sainsbury’s, this is the place where the whole of Exeter’s student population congregates to buy alcohol on a Friday night, the place which ran out of milk in the Great Freeze of March 2018. You will never not meet someone you know in here, and I can’t wait to be living only five minutes from it again. – Dorothea Christmann
To most people, Exeter is a quaint little city. With its picturesque views including a serene canal, stunning cathedral and a particularly beautiful collection of grassy hills (with a university stuck on top), it has many of the hallmarks of the quintessentially sleepy English town. Though it’s a beautiful place to live, to most young people, it’s not going to rank up with the big leagues of cities in terms of buzzing events, constant hustle and a sense of frenetic energy.
However, my perspective differs a little on this matter. Coming from the island of Jersey, one can feel a little stranded at sea when there’s nowhere to go beyond 9 by 5 miles. Though I’ll always love its tranquillity and beauty, spending summer there has reinforced the main thing I’ve missed about Exeter: the freedom. Coming to Exeter, I’m not limited by a restrained space anymore; there are actual trains to other places – rather than Jersey’s tourist train that goes along a cycle track at 2mph for elderly tourists to wave at you.
The variety of people I can speak to suddenly opens up; the rest of the world no longer seems like an impossible distance away. And even more shockingly, there’s actually the possibility of a club putting on a decent night! So when I think of Exeter, that’s what I miss the most, and what I can’t wait to get back to. The thrilling ticket to the open world it gives me. – David Conway, Online Screen Editor