this is my first year in halls of residence. The halls were build brand new so everything is modern and set out neatly. There is a section for hgher education and a section for further education thn a shared sommon room which has, games machines, a pool table, sofas, chairs, tables, a TV and drinks machines. The bedrooms are standard but comfy, they include a standard size single bed, a bathroom pod which includes a toilet, hand basin and shower, a wardrobe, a set f 3 draws, 2 drawing boards, a desk, a chair, a coat rail, 3 shelves and every room has a window. The rooms are fitted with curtains, carpet, a mattress, a bin, an electronic safe and a fire alarm. The windows only open a couple of inches for safety reasons but that is pleanty to get air into the room. All the rooms are non smoking. The kitchn contains 2 refrigerators/freezers, a sink, a cooker, a microwave oven, a kettle, a table, 4-6 chairs, 10-14 cupboards, fire alarm, a mop and mop bucket, a sweeping brush, a vaccum, a bin and a drawing board. All flats have a fire extinguisher and fire blanket. All areas are lit sufficienltly and you can only get into the flats using your key. This is a great place to meet new people but you have to follow rules as fines are inmposed. Buxton is a fairly small place so there is not much to do and some people turn to drugs but they are easy to avoid.
I live in Pelsall and when I decided to go to Staffordshire University but the Stoke-on-Trent campus I couldnt drive and with the commute on the train over an hour, the best choice was for me to go and live at university. Now to get onto the biology course I wanted to do I had to do a two week bridging course so lived at the university for the duration. I lived in the universities housing residence which I loved. There was room enough for five people and the people who I met were fantastic. We all got along apart from with one person who kept themselves to themselves and it was nice being only a few of us as we managed to bond quickly. When I applied to go to university the year later I wanted to stay in these houses as I loved the fact there would only be a few people and the bedrooms were quite big and the living area was lovely. Now I was shocked when I was told a week before I was due to start that I was going to be put in halls because they had made a mistake with my account and all of the houses were full. Like every person about to move into halls I was excited but terrified at the same time and asked myself all the familiar questions. What if they are all horrible? What if I dont get on with them at all? Will my food get stolen? Are they secure? Will it be with all girls or mixed? What floor will I be on? How many toilets will there be? How many showers will there be? Now I will tell all prospective students now just what the halls are like and exactly what to expect from your stay from my personal experiences. ----- What are they like? The halls of residence at Staffordshire University are pretty much like the majority of universities. They are split into floors and on each floor there is room for around twelve people to live. Everybody has their individual rooms and then there is a shared kitchen and bathroom. Some halls will have a separate living area but for us we just had the kitchen. The rooms on a floor are linked by a corridor and then doors to get outside. The halls that I stayed in had three floors and were colour coded. I stayed in the Royal Doulton halls yellow which was the middle floor. You had to have a key to get into the doors leading into the halls from the outside and then another key to get onto your floor. You then had an individual key to get into your own room. The halls I stayed at were extremely clean and the same goes for other halls I have visited. Remember before the new year of university starts and all of the freshers start, the cleaners will have been in the halls and tidied making sure everything is spick and span for when you move in so you dont have to worry about the cleanliness of the place. Now the one thing you do have to expect is that the rooms are sometimes very small. My room literally had enough room for a single bed, a very small desk and a small wardrobe and not much more room to move. Nevertheless dont worry as although it looks like you cant swing a cat in there, it is extremely liveable and we still managed to get about 6 people in there to watch a film, not exactly comfortably but we coped. The bathrooms were fine and were cleaned by the university cleaner every day. We had four toilets, three showers and a bath and every one of them had locks on the door so you didnt have to worry about anybody walking in on you. The kitchen area was where we spent the majority of our time. There were two ovens, a microwave, fridge, 2 fridge/freezers, a kettle, a toaster and then enough cupboards for everybody to have one each. The cupboards were made with the ability to padlock them so you could keep your food safe. In the middle of the kitchen was a large circular table with seats around it so that everybody could sit down and socialise. The kitchen was also cleaned daily by the cleaner but you do have to do your own washing up. ----- What is it like living with all of these people? Honestly it is scary at first but I can tell you that after a couple of days you will feel much better. I am not ashamed to say that I cried when my parents and sister left me at university and I had to go and meet all of these people but a few hours later and I was fine. When you first move into the halls it is freshers week so basically there are hundreds of people feeling just like you do and just want to make friends. Within my halls we had a warden for every coloured hall and luckily enough ours was living on our floor with us. It is there job as a warden to make sure everybody gets settled in as well as possible and usually they will have something organised for the first night when everybody gets there. We were there and we were told that for our first night at university we were going to be taken to the student union for the evening. Now going out drinking and dancing is the one of the best ways to loosen up and get to know people. We went there had a few drinks and by the time we had got back that evening we were all chatting and finding out as much as we could know about one another. Halls are a very friendly place and it is enjoyable living in them and this is coming from me who lived in halls where I was left out a lot and I still loved it. Everybody has their own rooms so if you do want to be left alone then you can stay in your room but I recommend staying with everybody socialising as much as you can so that you can build up a good relationship with everybody. Remember everybody is in the same boat. ----- The Noise; Lots of people have asked me what the noise levels are like and I have to say yes it was noisy living in the halls. The walls are not the greatest and noise easily travels so although you will not hear anybodys TVs if they are listening to their music loud then you will do. In my halls it kind of looked like a U shape so I could hear people in the other colours listening to their music. Most of the time you do not really mind but there are times when you want to study and it can get annoying so I usually went to the university library to study. ----- The Fire Alarms; I am sure you have heard loads of stories about university fire alarms and how they go off in the early hours of the morning and wake everybody up and yes this is true. If the smoke detector goes off then it plays this shrill and very loud alarm that jolts you up out of your sleep and if you are awake it used to make us jump. When this happens you have to get out of the building and go outside so yes if it goes off at 4 in the morning outside you go in your pyjamas. Also when the fire alarms at our uni went off it was the only time when all of the doors became unlocked so people could freely wonder the halls. Me being paranoid always used to make sure I locked my room as although we were an all girls floor, next door to us in the blue was an all guys floor so they often wondered in when there was an alarm. Although they may seem annoying at first the alarms are pretty funny and we ended up in hysterics when they went off towards the end of our first year. ----- Food? I know that everybody worries about their food being stolen but honestly this is not the case. You are thrown in to living with around 10 other people and at first this can seem very daunting but during your first year these people become your best uni mates and you will learn to trust them. At the start until we had got used to each other we did label our food so people would know whose it was but as we became better acquainted that rule went out of the window and we just respected the right for everybody to only have their own food. Also cooking food is not a problem. Now me I have some funny traits and one of those is that I dont particularly like cooking in front of people and then having to eat in front of lots of people but after a while you forget about this and just go for it. Sometimes depending how many people are in the halls you may have to wait for a microwave or an oven so just be patient. Also in my halls there was a smaller table by the window so I liked it as people who were eating would often go there and people who were talking would stay at the larger table. The good thing about halls to is that because there are so many people there is bound to be someone who likes the same food as you so you could always share. ----- Showers; With a few showers we hardly had a problem with getting to use them when we wanted. The only time we had problems was when we were all getting ready for a night out and wanted to use them at the same time so trust me there will probably be no bathroom problems while you are there. ----- Smoking; Now this was one thing I was worried about when I was moving into the halls as I had heard all of those stories about people just getting stoned. When I moved in I was glad to see that it was no smoking but still this did not stop everyone and the majority of the time the halls smelt of smoke and drugs so unfortunately this is one thing that I found out to be true although it does depend on who you are lucky enough to live with as we lived with two very grungy people so that is why there was so much drug action. I wish it were different but unless you really want to become the bad guy and go and tell on them there is nothing you can do. ----- Inspections; In my halls you could not just get away with treating the place exactly how you liked as there were regular inspections of the place. You were not told when they were going to be so you had to be quite careful. I am terrible at keeping my room tidy but I always passed the inspection without getting a telling off. Also on the topic of inspections you will probably get people checking that you have a TV licence if you have a TV in your room so it is a very smart idea to get one and keep it safe. ----- Heating; I suffer from very bad back and shoulders due to a horrible car accident so I need to keep my back warm at all times otherwise it gets stiff and goes into spasm. This was a worry of mine that the heating would not be up to scratch but believe me those little rooms can get very hot indeed. Each bedroom had a heater that you could have on as high as you wanted so mine was always on. People used to walk into my room and go oh my god its so hot but it was just right for me. In the kitchen too we had radiators that we could choose how hot we wanted them to get. I think this is standard for every halls of residence as they have to be a certain heat for it to be safe. ----- Other points; A few other points I have to mention is that do not worry about getting spare light bulbs as the university will usually have some sort of accommodation office where you can go and get one if yours pops. Paying your bills for your halls need to be on time and you will get reminders through your door if you are late. Plus living in halls is good because the majority of the time you will have a few people with you when you go out so it is very safe as there will be a group of you. The final thing I know that many people are dying to know is yes you can hear if people are having sex in rooms next to you or above you so just try to be quiet guys. ---- My experience; Now I had a great time in halls although I would have never have made friends with any of the people I lived with if they were at school with me. Living with so many people was fun because there was always somebody to talk to and go out with so it became like a little family unit. We used to take out meals together and we even made a Christmas meal for us all complete with presents the night before we left for the Christmas holiday. The halls are safe and you meet some great people and I honestly think you get the most out of uni life if you do stay in them. My boyfriend and course friends all lived at home and they missed out on going out a lot. I mean none of them ever went to a ball although we in halls all saw it as an essential part of the year. I think studying does get hard to do sometimes when you live with so many people which is why it is good to scout out a quiet place in the university that you can go and work in if you need to. Living with so many people you are bound to find somebody who shares similar tastes and the majority of the time you will know in an instant who you are going to share a house with in the second year. The one thing I would mention though is that if you go into halls then do make the most of it. I kept on my part time job at home so most weekends I went home but this ruined my time in halls a little because they would all go out of a weekend and then when I came back I would have found out that I missed so much and wouldnt be able to join in many of the conversations that week. Living in halls is fun and enjoyable and you really do love uni when you live there. I think it is a great time in your life and I loved it even though I did not get on with some of the people who I lived with. I felt safe and warm the entire time and living on your student loan is actually ok. Plus remember that even if you do not get along with many in your halls there are always the people on your course to make friends with. I have left uni over a year now and I only talk to my course mates now. My final point is be careful but most of all enjoy yourself. I know I did and I got a degree from there and my wonderful boyfriend. Thanks for reading. xxx
It may seem now that you will never escape from gcses and they will be absolute torture- but fear not they'll be over before you know it. And in choosing your options- it may seem now, because its the most important decision you have had to make so far, that this is the be all and end all. It isn't- no matter what rubbish your teachers spout out. If you just do what you enjoy then that will naturally lead to the next stage. I can't advise you on every subject as I didn't do them all! but I'll give you as best as I can insight to those I did do and those my friends did. I wont bother telling you about ones you are forced to take as theres no point really. history- depends very much on the course you do. Mine was modern history- nazi germany, russian revolution, etc. It was great to learn about but source work is rather boring and tedious. drama- fantastic! If you enjooy it at the moment, continue without a doubt. With all the boredom of classroom lessons, this gives you a couple of hours to look forward to a week and gives an escape. Homework involves hanging around with friends fooling about. I thoroughly recommend it. Although if you're a shy person and just want a doss subject, don't take it. You will find it torture. geography- my school course was only one piece of coursework but was huuuge. It involved surveys etc which cannot really be done last minute (unless you fake them). Generally people didn't find it very challenging and came out with good grades german- you will either love it or hate it. The grammer in German is quite hard but once you learn the basic rules, you're sorted. German is very very logical and if you're that sort of person then do it. r.e- pick your religions carefully. I did Buddhism and it was fascinating but it was impossssible to find information anywhere which made coursework hell. Everyone in my class got at least an 'a' without putting in very much work. do what you like! make the most of it- you wont really havce that luxury choosing as levels!
++++ ROOM ++++ 99 times outta a 100 students will walk into their new home for a year and think 'F**k me what a s**thole' and upon glancing into their parents eyes they will get the 'I know its a bloody dump but theres no way your not moving out of my house' look. But its not that bad you can actually turn your room into something nice, somethuing you can call home and strangely something you may even miss (*sob* 7F2 *sob*). This is a list of things that I wish I'd been given b4 i went to uni, that way I'd have a decent room from the word go. 1. Buy loads of posters, take pictures of mates, or if you don't have any just wander round town taking pictures of strangers. You need loads of stuff to cover the dirty, dingy nicotine coloured looking walls. You will also need a large amount of Blue Tac, dont bother getting the cheap crap stuff its crap. 2. Get yourself a couple of nice lamps or lights that shine up the wall, anything thats not the hospital coridoor style light you'll already have. Stick 60 or 40 Watt bulbs in that way its not too bright, ideal for chilling out or getting smashed. Also for some reason when the rooms darker its just nicer, maybe the darkness compliments the lovely decor. 3. Buy a large plug splitter, or even two. The tight gits know you dont have to pay any electricity bills so they dont want you using vast amounts of power so I doubt you'll have more then 2 plugs. But with mobile chargers, lamps, tvs, video players, PCs and all the other crap students seem to own 2 plugs is not enough. 4. Have a PC full of MP3s or a HIFI which is louder then the people who will be living above below or to either side of you. with a load of CDs/MDs/tapes because you will listen to a lot more music. Ideally louder then the people who will be living above below or to either side of you. I mean what else do you have to do. 5. Bring your own Duvet and Pillows. The uni ones have probably been thrown up on, pissed on and numerous amounts of times and are made out of the itchyest crap known to man. They are just nasty ok. Bring a load of Spare covers aswell that way you dont have to wash them too often and you can just bring all the dirty coveres back to mummy. Bring a few extra pillows so you can turn your bed into a sofa kinda thing. 6. Try to have a PC or a TV with a Video, its not always possible to use other peoples and you can always watch/play what you want. 7. Bring a small rug to stick on the floor. The carpets are horrible usually and if not you can just stick it under your bed. 8. Have a box with Aspirin, cough medicine and all that kinda stuff as you will catch freshers flu at least once, even if you do avoid dirty girls/boys. Have a few condoms in there aswell coz you never know (however these are given out like sweeties over the first few weeks) 9. Have a bottle opener and a few glasses. If you forget this its not the end of the world however as both these things can easily be stolen from bars. Pint glasses are the best as they fit a can of beer nicely inside them. When you get to uni its a good idea to bring a few beers/girly drinks as its a good icebreaker to have a beer at 11 am with the people you'll be living with for the next year at least. 10. Bring a few random things from you room at home. Like a board game or your old lego or last years subscription to FHM. These kind of things make your room a bit more unique and you will end up at one time or other playing/reading them. Its also nice to have a few books, if nothing else you can use them to balance the ariel for your TV on. ++++ MEETING PEOPLE ++++ Its a nasty shock when your parents leave if your not over confident knowing you know noone. Its easy to sit in your room twiddling your thumbs hoping someone will come talk to you but there is a good chance that most of the others in your coridoor are doing the same thing. Be stupidly over confident. Walk over to complete strangers and introduce yourself. Just say 'Hi my names _ _ _ _ _. hopefully they'll tell you theirs and thats it you can start talking. most difficult part is breaking the ice. Bring them into your room for a beer. Talk about all the usual crap you dont really want to know but we feel we must talk about before we make friends. Like Where they come from, their course, their family, music taste bla bla bla. Then go get pissed with them. You'll find in the morning its easy to talk to them after a good drinking session. Make sure you get drinks in, if people think your generous, even if your not, it will take a lot of being a tight git before they change their mind and vice versa. Don't stay in any nights in freshers week, go out every night, sleep all day to get over hangovers but get out. You find half the people you say hello to in uni you meet in freshers week. ++++ THINGS NOT 2 FORGET THAT PEOPLE FORGET ++++ Mobile Charger (Shaver charger) Deodorant Wallet Plug adaptor Bed linnen Pens Bag Blue Tac Uni registration stuff At the end of the day people are going to annoy you to death by repeating the following words:- 'Remember everyones in the same boat as you, they are all just as scared of meeting new people'. Just remember that you are going to meet a far larger diverse group of people and your going to have the best time of your life. Don't get stressed just lay back and have a F**kin brilliant time.
Apologies if there is a category for this college already but I couldn't find it. I've just completed my first year here which is the only year students have a chance to live in halls at SIHE. There is student accomodation on both campuses, Townhill and Mount Pleasant, and I lived on Townhill. All halls are self-catering. I wasn't impressed at all with the rooms. Most had no carpet and were cold, and kitchens were locked at about midnight so there was no chance of having a meal when you came home from a night out, or even a cup of tea if you didn't keep your kettle in your room. In addition the kitchen appliances were old and not particularly safe. I paid £42 a week for this. On the plus side though the rooms were quite big and campus security was good. Townhill is about a mile or so from the main campus and the town centre, unfortunately it's at the top of a very steep hill. Walking down was easy enough but to get back again most people took the 95p bus ride because for most of us it's only really walkable when drunk! This campus is where humanities and teacher training were taught. In contrast the halls on the other campus where my boyfriend lived were really nice. They had en-suite bathrooms, carpets, 24hr access to the kitchen and only costed about £8 more per week. The disadvantage was that there was a very limited amount of them and if you applied in line with the normal UCAS timetable then you were unlikely to get in. Foreign students also got priority (BF is Irish) This campus is about five minutes walk from the town centre, it's still up a hill but it's walkable. Management, engineering and leisure are taught here so I have to come down most days as my course is a management/engineering hybrid. My advice (which is probably too late for the 2002 first years but might be useful for those applying this year) is that unless you can get into the Mount Pleasant halls, don't bother and get yourself into private accommodation. They say its often better to live in halls in your first year but most of my class lived in rented accomodation and they seemed to make friends easily enough. Swansea is quite a compact city, at least the areas where students tend to live are, so you won't have problems getting to see your mates if you don't live in halls. Most things are within walking distance and if not the bus service is reasonably priced and efficient.
I approached writing this with some trepidation. Having spent both years of my Librarianship course at Ealing Technical College (now Thames Valley University), in the official college hall of residence, I felt fairly qualified to offer a few hundred words on the pros and cons. However, it was some time ago – in the 70s, to be exact. No internet, no CDs, no Channel 4; Jim Callaghan was in No. 10; and the Bay City Rollers were at their peak. But students haven’t changed that much in the intervening years, and I’m assured that the benefit of my experience will mean something. Obviously prices then are of no more than historical interest, so I’ll forget those (in fact, I think I have). Hence zeros in the price box at the end. The hall of residence occupied two adjoining houses at Hamilton Road, Ealing, W5, about 15 minutes walk from both of the college sites. There was provision for around 50 students and live-in wardens, a married semi-retired couple. Fees were payable termly in advance, and covered by the local education authority grant. Breakfast and evening meals all week, plus lunch at weekends [see below], electricity, heating, change of bed linen once a week, and use of communal TV were all included. Any electrical items you wanted to use had to be approved by the warden, partly as a safety precaution, partly to ensure that the local grid would not be overloaded. There was mixed provision with one, two or three to a room, according to preference and allocated on a first come first served basis. Each had its own wash basin, and there were six bathrooms altogether. In my first term I shared a room for two. The other guy and I had little in common, but as luck would have it, the single room next to ours had been vacated within a few weeks by someone who had had a nervous breakdown and left his course, so on returning in January I was given that instead. As far as I’m aware, there were few if any cases of major personality conflicts, and people wanting to change rooms during the two years that I was there. However, the chances are that you wouldn’t meet except last thing at night and while getting up, maybe at breakfast and evening meal if you were at the same table, so if you didn’t get on with your room-mate, the potential for conflict was minimal. Breakfast was at 7.45 on weekdays, 8.15 at weekends, with evening meal at 5.45 weekdays, 6.00 weekends, and lunch (weekends only) at 1.00. If you preferred to take your evening meal at the college refectory, you could apply in advance for a voucher to be redeemed up to a given price. Packed lunches could be booked at weekends and collected after breakfast. As I always used to take myself off into the city to explore museums, art galleries and shops on Saturday, this was more than welcome. One or two people used to moan sometimes about the fixed meal hours, on the grounds that it was ‘like boarding school’. However, some degree of routine was necessary for the place to function smoothly. Someone had a row with the warden one hot summer afternoon because he wasn’t allowed to come in for the evening meal without his shirt on, but it was an isolated incident. (Eventually he walked out muttering and came back properly dressed). We had a common room next to the dining room with a couple of daily papers, and where you could hang out, play cards or whatever. There was also a TV lounge, which could occasionally produce a difference of opinion if you came in while it was empty and settled down to watch an eagerly-anticipated drama, only to have to yield to a party of a dozen other residents who’d set their heart on sport or a film on one of the other channels. At least there was only a choice of three channels (BBC1, BBC2, ITV) back then. Twice a term we had an official party in the lounge. All of us chipped in, brought a bottle, and were allowed to bring a guest, with one of the official college DJs providing a disco and full light show. Both houses had a laundry room for washing clothes (by hand, supply your own powder) and hanging up to dry. Looking back on it, I’m surprised that there never seemed to be any cases of clothes being pinched (cue fetish jokes, if you must) or removed accidentally, so the system was down to trust and worked pretty smoothly. A kettle was also supplied for making tea and coffee. All of us had a front door key as well as the key to our room, to be handed in at the end of each term and collected on returning. During my two years, as far as I know, we never had any breaches in security, break-ins or the like. There was no pressure to hang around with the other residents. Obviously friendships were made, but we had a mix of students from all courses. I tended to hang around (and [hic!] drink) more with other students from my course in college after hours, particularly in my second year when I was Social Secretary on one of the site committees. (Which meant ready access to the SU office stereo, among other things). Some of the conditions might seem restrictive, though they were for everyone’s good. No baths could be taken between 10.30 p.m. and 7 a.m., in order to avoid disturbance to others, and to ensure there was enough hot water to go round. Visitors were allowed without signing-in or any formality but, unless special permission had been obtained first, had to leave by 10.30 p.m. Ironically I was given a single room close to the wardens in the second year, as they had marked me down as the quietest returning student there. You’ve guessed – one evening (in my last term, fortunately) I’d been out with some of the other library students and we all got somewhat drunk. They came and brought me back late, we made rather a noise going up to my room, to be met by the warden with a st ern “Sssssh!” followed by an angry “You’re visitors! Be off these premises!” (One of the helpful ‘intruders’ found this hysterically funny and apparently spent the next few days telling us how proud he was to have been thrown out!) Nearly everyone else respected the ‘no noise too late’ rule. Once in the second term I was woken up after midnight by three or four residents who had come back from the pub and couldn’t resist a bit of accapella “bop-bop, showaddy-waddy-bop-bop”. Thanks, guys - not. Ironically one of them, who had the next room and was a mate of mine (most of the time), asked me a few evenings later if I could keep my voice and (acoustic) guitar a bit quieter while he was finishing his essay. One of the most obvious advantages of being in a community like this became apparent about three weeks into my first term. I’ll keep the details to a minimum. But suffice to say I was knocked down on a pedestrian crossing on the North Circular Road by an articulated lorry one morning (I was sober at the time, honest), and fortunate to end up in hospital with not much more than a broken collarbone and a certain amount of bruising. I discharged myself from hospital within just over 24 hours, which was long enough. Having plenty of people around at the hall during the next fortnight or so when I had my arm in a sling helped, particularly for the first couple of days when I could only dress myself with difficulty. From my own experience, the pros vastly outweigh the cons. All us prospective residents were required to attend a short interview with the warden before their application was accepted, so we knew exactly what was expected of us. He admitted that the regime, while not totally Liberty Hall, was more liberal than most of the private accommodation. Students of 19-20 aren’t expected to be total angels. CONCLUSION If you’re preparing for university and think a hall of residence would suit you, apply in good time. Basic conditions, deadlines and the like should be in the prospectus and on the website. I was interested to note from the current prospectus that Plymouth Uni, very close to where I work, has 1800 rooms in halls guaranteed for first-year students, subject to certain criteria being met. How this compares with others up and down the country I can’t say, but if that’s typical, it sounds like a fair chance for all. Let’s face it, leaving home and going away 200 miles to college is quite an upheaval. In my case, I’d also been working full-time for two years after leaving school at 17 with A-levels, and returning to full-time study meant making a few adjustments. Having a hall of residence where more or less everything within reason is provided helps to cushion the big change. When you’re becoming a student again, you don’t really want to have to worry about insalubrious accommodation or unscrupulous landlords (cue memories of Leonard Rossiter as the seedy Rigsby in ‘Rising Damp’, one of our favourite sitcoms at the time) as well as everything else, do you?
So, my children, another instalment from the thrilling life of Zoë….. Despite the fact that I’m not a fresher or final year, I live in halls. This isn’t always a possible option, but here in Manchester we have an abundance of uni owned accommodation, so 2, 3 or even 4 years in halls is a possibility. ~~ Why you SHOULD choose halls ~~ 1. Location – I live on campus, our campus is city centre and thus I live in the city centre. Flats on a street less than a minute’s walk away are up for rent at £750 per month on average, for a small one bedroomed place. The area is an expensive one to live in because it’s so central, but being so central makes it handy – I have shops, restaurants, 2 railway stations, china town and the gay village (hey, whatever turns you on) within 10 minutes walk. Most of the student housing (and other halls) here in located Fallowfield / Rusholme / Victoria Park way – and while 20 minutes on the bus isn’t that bad, 2 minutes on foot is nicer. There’s no way I could live within this post code area if I didn’t live in halls. 2. All inclusive rent - most uni fees include all electricity, gas and water charges, and some come complete with insurance too. This can work out as a cheaper option than a house with your mates, especially if you’re leaving-on-lights people. We also get free light bulbs, bog roll and washing up liquid – not much, but it can soon add up. Plus, you don’t have to entrust mummy’s best china to the heavy handed louts you live with, since many self catered halls provide cutlery and crockery and cooking utensils. 3. Meeting people – assuming you’re moving away from home for uni, you might be needing some new friends. While I can’t guarantee that you’ll become best buddies with everyone you meet, it’s nice to have people to talk to for the first week or so at least, until you start making friends naturally. Many halls come complete with a residents’ association who put on balls and parties (complete with bouncy castles in our case) throughout the year which are good opportunities for meeting people from other floors / blocks. 4. Domesticness – our halls come complete with laundered bed sheets and daily cleaners who leave our bathrooms, hallways and kitchens spotless, and for no extra money apart from a donation to their xmas pressie once a year 5. Food – with my diet being the way it is, there’s no reason to go in catered halls, but if you do eat normal food, and cant/won’t cook then these sometimes offer good deals, with two meals a day during the week, and brunch/dinner set-ups at weekends 6. Facilities – our halls come complete with games rooms, computer rooms, laundry rooms, storage rooms and free satellite TV on each floor 7. Maintenance – if you have a house you often have to ring the landlord who in turn attempts to get a handyman type in for you. With halls this is done immediately via the wardens – complain of so much as a drippy shower and it can be fixed with a couple of hours. ~~ Why you SHOULDN’T choose halls ~~ 1. Location – in some places, halls are miles from civilisation, meaning you have to get up at a ridiculous hour and sit on a bus bouncing along a back country road with 102 equally p*ssed off students. Not the best way to start the day. 2. Food - while you might not have to cook it, the food provided in catered places can make aeroplane mush look like gourmet cuisine. Maybe it’s just the mass producedness of it all (cook 400 slices of toast and you’re bound to drop a few notches on the quality scale) or maybe it’s the cooks – after all, if you’re top of the range you’ll be at the Ivy, not Grosvenor place. 3. Rules – you’re not free to go as you choose if you’re living under someone else’s roof. We have to sign visitors in for example, and we aren’t allowed the same overnight guest for more than 3 nights in a row (and yet different ones are ok – can you say “encouraging promiscuity”?) Also, we aren’t allowed radios on after midnight, or to return home late and drunk – do it and like 2 girls I live with at the moment, the tutor’ll stick a nasty note on your door telling you to shut the f*ck up. 4. Fire practices – always at stupid times, like 6.30 am, and always on days when you aren’t in uni till 1pm. Grrr arrggh. Funny when you see dodgy blokes emerging from your friends rooms, not so funny when you realise yours is the dodgiest of all…., and hiding in your wardrobe doesn’t work where we live at least, cos they come in and cheque 5. Not having permanent rental – we are allowed to keep our stuff in our rooms over Christmas, but not over Easter, meaning everything down to the last pencil has to be removed by 12pm the day after term ends. ~~ Conclusion ~~ So there you have it, the good and the bad. And the ugly redhead? Lives two doors down. Evil girl. I’ll tell you about her one day if you’re good children :-) Halls differ and people differ so what’s right for me might not be what’s right for you, but don’t discount living in halls for more than one year. It can be the economical option, for saving both money and time.
I am a first year student at the university of Gloucestershire (formally known as Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education) and like most other first years I live in halls of residence on the college campus. I would just like to say how great it is, and how helpful it is to live so close to everything any proper uni student needs (e.g booze, booze and even more booze). My hall is right next to the bar and the campus bus stop, the only problem that I have found with it is that it is basically a lighthouse, by this I mean it is that it has a spiral staircase and when all 28 students are in it emits a hell of a lot of light. I live on the top floor and with 6 other students and we share the kitchen with a cooker the size of a small microwave oven, but on the plus side we each get an en-suite bathroom complete with toilet, sink and massive shower. Living in halls has made uni life so much more easy to adjust too and hopefully I will pass my degree with flying colours (whether living in halls has any relevance to me passing is debatable!) The rooms are massive and cost about £1000 a term, sercuity is always around and so is the clamper man, unfortunately (no students in halls are allowed a car - council rules!) Other than that I think that halls of residence are a must for all first year students!
I spent 4 years at Bristol Uni and like every other fresher I know I went into a Hall of Residence for my first year. I was fortunate enough to get the one I chose, and I was fortunate again that it offered some returning students the chance to go back for a 2nd year. Why fortunate? Because I enjoyed the chance the stay in Hall for the 2nd of my 4 years. Some people stayed in for all their course, which I think is too much. Moving out of hall is a good chance to experience renting before you need to find a job... But living in Hall in the first year is one problem less to worry about. No bills, usually, which can only help whilst you are adjusting to uni life. And of course, mates on tap! Get out and get involved with the hall social scene and you make friends easily - after all everyone else (bar the returners) are new too! So Halls of Residence are great - they're a good introduction to what for many is the first time they've lived out of the family house. Then go and move on, although often you won't have a choice here, you'll have to go anyway!
I have studied in University of Southampton for four years (now is my fifth year). I have stayed in a private house for two years and in hall of residence for the other two years. There are few hall of residence around the main campus, such as Montefiore House which is located about 20-30 minutes walking distance from the main campus; Glen Eyre Hall of Residence which is located about 10-15 minutes walking distance from the main campus; Bencraft Hall which is located about similar distance as Montefiore from the main campus and so forth. Let me talk about the benefits of staying in hall. Undenialbly, hall of residence is the best place to expose oneself to different cultures. The best place to hang out with other friends from other world than oneself. Then from that you can know more about their cultures, backgrounds and so forth. That is cool indeed. Additionally you don't have to worry about the toilet and kitchen cleanning tasks which is very irritating because dear cleanners will do that for us. Sounds very fun and great. However the bad thing is the hall cost is increasing drastically from year to year. And sometimes the accommodation office system is very irritating, for example if you want to change a room you must go through much terrible and troublesome processes. Now how about living in a private house. The best thing is you may stay with your best friends, sharing your life with them no matter when you are happy or sad. You own a warm house (though it is only temporary). Although the cleanning is very troublesome but I enjoyed doing that with my housemates. Honestly I have had a great time staying in house with my friends. In fact the rental fee is much cheaper comparing to hall (I was very lucky). Of course you must be very lucky to find a house which is cheap and nice, and you must be very good in looking for your housemates. Well, it depends on what you like. I think there are of course pros and cons and you must know how to balance for yourself.