As promised, here is a post dedicated purely to Royal Holloway. Not many people have heard of it, so I’m here to tell you (truthfully) about what it’s like to be here, what there is to do, where there is to go and what is important here.
Where is it?
You’ll be told (and assume) it’s in London, as it’s part of the University of London. In fact it’s epithet is always “just outside London”. In fact, it’s 40 minutes on the train to central London (Waterloo), but with trains running four times an hour, this honestly isn’t that long. It’s in Surrey, near the picturesque Virginia Water, but the actual town for the uni is Egham. Egham is certainly not known for it’s wild night life – bars and pubs are the best you get, but we’ve quickly come to value boozy nights where you can actually talk to people, rather than just bob to a generic playlist. Egham has all the essentials: Waitrose, Tesco, Costa, Post Office, plenty of places to eat and drink, train station etc., and it doesn’t take long to get to a cinema (5 mins), shopping centre etc. etc. on the train.
As I said before, Egham isn’t the place to go for a night out, BUT on campus there are places to go. The Students’ Union always hosts special events, often themed with guest performers, on Wednesday and Friday nights (including Jonas Blue, MNEK, 90’s vs 00’s, Fetish Friday and Harry Potter Night) – a perk of this is not having to get a taxi home – first years all live extremely close and anyone in second year or older will either be within walking distance or get a ride on the university ‘Shhh bus’, which drops you outside your door. Another big student night here is Monday, at the other place to go out on campus: Medicine. The event is called ‘Toast’ – free entry, drinks for 1.50 and… toast with various toppings available too!
With only two places to go out on campus, you often want to go elsewhere. Atik in Windsor is only about 10 minutes in an Uber, or otherwise London isn’t too far (especially as the train there doesn’t cost much). I personally love going out in London, as it gives me the chance for a change of scenery, but also to see some of my friends from home, who are at various universities in London. Ministry of Sound, Fabric and many other big clubs do regular student nights, as well as special events for Royal Holloway and other universities, which includes a bus service there and back – definitely something to take advantage of!
Popular at Royal Holloway:
Societies and sports are BIG here. The Fresher’s Fayre is the place to sign up (the same for all universities) for all of these, definitely get involved in as much as you can and try new things! For example, the Classical Society has socials at least once a week – from toga pub crawls to movie afternoons or themed nights. There’s a travel society, a snow society with an annual skiing trip, a Harry Potter society and so much more. As a comparatively small uni, involvement in these is popular and helps you meet a lot of new people quickly. One of my biggest regrets will always be not joining the societies in the first term.
As I said before, it’s a campus uni. This means virtually all first years live on campus and within 10 minutes of each other, making flat parties popular and by far the best way to do pre’s! Campus uni also means you see people you know or bump into them A LOT more than you would at a non-campus one – it’s odd if I’m coming back from a lecture and don’t see at least one person I know.
You also have the option of being catered or self-catered, both having their perks. Catered accommodation means you don’t have to bother with weekly food shops and cooking, but self-catered gives you the option to eat what you want, when you want, giving a lot more choice and freedom.
I’m planning on doing another post about studying classics – including both the specifics of Classics at Royal Holloway and the universal points that will apply wherever you choose to go.