THE average age of Huddersfield's population plunged this week as thousands of university freshers descended on the town.
More than 4,000 new students, many of them teenagers leaving home for the first time, have been finding out what the area and university have to offer.
One of the highlights of Freshers Week is the Freshers Fair.
Bright-eyed starters filled Huddersfield Sports Centre's main hall yesterday, bumping into Star Wars baddie Darth Vader, clubbers promoting the region's nightlife and hundreds of grizzled third years recruiting members to their clubs and societies. Newcomers could become surfers, cavers, ju-jitsu experts or boxercise fanatics, as well as picking up dozens of free goodie bags from about 100 stalls.
Student Union president Claire Lishman said students were increasingly attracted to Huddersfield.
She said that with graduate debts regularly topping £21,000, a big draw was that the town was so affordable. She had decided on Huddersfield because it was friendly.
Fresher Jon Powell, 18, from Leicester, is on a leisure and tourism management course. "I have been here four days and I'm loving it," he said, surrounded by new friends.
His four-year course includes a year's work experience. He eventually hopes to live and work in America.
Max Foster is studying music technology.
"I live in the South-West and I wanted to go a long way from home," he said.
He turned down a place at Bath University in favour of Huddersfield.
He said of the university: "It's brilliant. The facilities are one of the main reasons I came. There's a £500,000 studio.
"Also, Huddersfield is between Leeds and Manchester and they're both brilliant."