‘One year was enough for a lifetime’: Cardiff students on why they decided to leave Cathays

To be fair, we’re sick of playing Ninja Warrior on bin day too


Cathays is the student hub of Cardiff. It’s close to the city and backs on to Cardiff University’s Cathays Park campus but some students just can’t bear to live there anymore.

Whether it be bin day, parking nightmares, crime, or just the fact Cardiff has some nicer neighbourhoods, this is why Cardiff students have decided to leave.

The bin day obstacle courses

Many people told us that they think Cathays is “too dirty”, due to the bins and littering.

Especially on a Wednesday morning, students feel they have to wade through a sea of rubbish to get to their lectures, which honestly, is just gross.

Not only is the mess just an eye-sore but it attracts the local Cathays rats and seagulls who rip open bags and spread litter across the paths.

One student compared Cathays on bin day to a “shanty town” whilst another said that jumping over all the rubbish makes them feel like they’re on Ninja Warrior.

Stress-free parking? Never heard of her

A social sciences student told The Cardiff Tab that before parking zones were introduced: “Parking was a big issue. I remember my partner would come back from work and they would be searching for parking for more than 20 mins. Sometimes she’d pick me up and we’d look together because it was such a pain.”

Whilst some students understand they’re part of the parking problem, one student told us that they’re unable to live without their car as there are no decent public transport links to their hometown, and they also have to drive to their part-time job.

Another major issue for students bringing their cars to uni in the area is that people are damaging and breaking wing mirrors off unsuspecting vehicles on their way home from nights out. Not ideal for people to wake up to on Thursday and Saturday mornings.

Cathays doesn’t always feel safe

With Cathays being ranked the highest-crime neighbourhood in Wales, it’s understandable to see why some students would rather move to safer areas.

A journalism student explained to us that they’d be catcalled and harassed whilst walking through the area: “I don’t feel comfortable walking alone at night. I’ve been catcalled and stared at many times by older men.”

Others had added that they’d seen men revealing themselves on the Rhymney Street bridge.

One even mentioned they even run up their street if they’re alone due to low street lighting.

Some areas just give a nicer vibe

A lot of students disclosed to us that they decided to live in areas such as Roath or Heath, where rent is cheaper and the area cleaner with more green spaces available.

Cam, an English literature student said: “when you’ve lived in Cathays for one year, you realise that’s enough for this lifetime”.

However, Cathays always has a place in our hearts

Despite the negatives, some students argue that Cathays is actually all right, as it’s a good location and very student-orientated.

Boo, a social sciences second year said: “It’s a good location in terms of closeness to my uni building, but the student heaviness of it means it’s not the nicest on the streets and stuff. I feel bad for the people who live here who aren’t students though.”

On the other hand, there are some students who would disagree entirely with the idea that students want to leave the area after their second year, such as Grace, a second-year English language student who’s planning on “staying in Cathays forever.”