Coming into my first year of undergraduate study on BSc International Relations, the best advice I found online is ‘London and LSE are what you make of it’. Before starting university it seemed rather trivial and untrue, but seven months later I can say those people were right. LSE nowadays is known for two things – employers love LSE students but students do not love LSE. The university has one of the lowest student satisfaction ratings and perhaps deservedly so. The workload and academic pressure is high from day one, the environment is competitive and the Student Union has more issues than Vogue. LSE seems to be doing little real work to change the status and so students are left to their own devices to find enjoyment. However, my first year here was also one of the best years of my life. All the criticism stands but I knew coming into LSE that it would be difficult. Considering it is based in London there is no classic campus student experience with crazy parties put on by the SU, however there is a wide variety of societies you can get involved in. I was heavily involved with Model United Nations and have made a supportive network of friends and a solid social life. I am an incoming vice-president for Grimshaw Club and have learned many skills through that. Teaching on my course has also been very good and so far I’ve been taught by academic who publish books and are experts in their field. Not many universities can offer that to their students. Going back to my first point, ‘London is what you make of it’, the city may be expensive but it is possible to live on a budget and have fun. There are so many free activities to do around the city and Whetherspoons which you can find anywhere in the city has decent pint prices. It is a vibrant, multicultural environment with so much on offer that you cannot ever be bored. So to answer the question posed in the title – LSE deserves the low satisfaction ratings to an extent. It has its downfalls, however it teaches you to be proactive in creating a great environment in which you can thrive and have fun. So make sure to go out of your way in Freshers to meet people, test out different societies and commit to one or two and create friendships there too! LSE is ultimately worth the trouble and your money.