It was a staple for the new freshers and returning students alike. Shops with absurd offers and games galore took over the centre for a couple of nights. However, there isn’t the typical Cardiff Student Night in St David’s this year.
It’s something that lots of students look forward to, but this year they’ll be disappointed. The normal Cardiff Student Nights held in St David’s shopping centre on the first week of October is taking a much more low-key approach this year.
After covid-disrupted two years worth of student nights, many thought it would come back with a bang. However, it seems to have had the opposite effect.
What is Cardiff Student Night usually like?
In my first year at uni, it was the big thing that students talked about for weeks leading up to it. You had to apply for entry, so the centre was aware of the numbers, book dinner weeks in advance so you had a place, and get in early on the day so you had somewhere to park.
I didn’t know just how big the event was. Thousands of students piled into the shopping centre to get a piece of the action. The shops all had big student discounts, and many were offering freebies, or the chance to win even more. There was a DJ (though you could barely hear it over everyone) and games organised by the centre filled the walkways.
Although maybe slightly overwhelming, it was amazing fun. I walked away with bags full of freebies and prizes and a stomach full of delicious, discounted food.
Even last year, when the world was starting to get back to normal, the centre tried its best to hold something special for the students. While the event was nowhere near as big as it had been before, there were still games and discounts (just it was a lot easier to get a spot for dinner). It wasn’t the same, but it was still something.
The event isn’t happening this year
Although most of the stores still have start-of-the-academic-year higher student discounts happening, Cardiff Student Night isn’t actually happening.
It should have been happening this week, yet the centre is possibly emptier than ever. Possibly due to the ongoing living crisis or the quieter than usual evenings, St David’s has decided not to hold its Student Nights this year. While they’re still advertising that there are discounts happening, there aren’t any special events organised by the centre.
Long gone are the DJs, freebies and games. Instead, the centre will be quiet this year with just the regulars doing their shopping without a stampede of students.
It’s unclear whether this decision is a permanent one. Hopefully, Cardiff Student Night will return bigger and better next year. For now, students will have to be disappointed in what’s been organised for 2022.