Current doctoral student, Rachael Barrow, shares her tips and advice for joining LUMS.
Top tip on what to do before you arrive
My top tip on what to do before you arrive would be to join the Lancaster specific social media groups. This is something I did, and it enabled me to make friends on my course before I even stepped foot on campus. It makes freshers week all that more exciting to when you get to meet all these new people that you’ve been talking to online in person. Likewise, quite a lot of incoming students use the groups to find their allocated flat mates once they find out which flat and house they are. Also, on a side note do not buy pens before arriving, you will honestly acquire so many pens during the freshers fair that they will probably last you for all three or four years of your course.
What makes Lancaster stand out
What makes Lancaster stand out for me is its community feel. I have been at Lancaster almost 7 years now and in this time, Lancaster has never not felt like a home to me. You can walk around campus on any typical day and bump into lots of your friends, peers, and colleagues and all of them are usually very friendly and welcoming flashing you a warm smile. I found that early on in my experience at Lancaster that if you open yourself up to its atmosphere then you can get involved in so many different activities and opportunities. I myself have been the vice president of a society related to my course, played tennis for fun through our Just Play scheme, held a research internship with one of our doctoral centres, and been a student ambassador – all of which was acquired through getting to know people across campus and being exposed to the opportunities. I really believe that this community feel is what makes Lancaster stand-out from the crowd.
The social scene at Lancaster is quite good because there is something for everyone. We have the traditional night life venues such as cocktail bars (I recommend Tipple or the Study Room), night clubs, and quite a few traditional pubs and restaurants. There is also more cultural and nature related things to do such as walking through Fairfield nature reserve or visiting Williamson park. The latter has some breath-taking views of the city and neighbouring Morecambe bay, I would recommend a trip up there for sure. The Grand Theatre is also worth a mention as they have musicals and plays on offer, which are often performed by local acting group the Footlights. For example, they did a really good performance of the Wizard of Oz recently and it made a nice change to some of the more typical social activities. The bottom line is that there is something for everyone to enjoy, whilst studying here at Lancaster.