Survive and thrive in the halls of residence
You’ve waved your parents off and are now the proud renter of a box room, no bigger than a cupboard that is now home for the next year – along with a group of people, if you had the choice would not even go for a pint with, let alone live with! Read our top tips for living in halls of residence and find out the best way to survive:
You won’t get on with all of your housemates. Everyone has the one random housemate that they never see and is a bit weird. Don’t panic, even if you don’t like everyone you live with, they’ll be loads of great people on your course.
Beware of the fridge. This is a magical place where no matter how much cheese and milk you buy, it will keep disappearing. It’s not like living at home – label everything!
Your kitchen will never be clean. You’ll have flatmates that leave their washing up for days, don’t be tempted to do this for them or you’ll be doing it for the whole year! As long as you have one clean plate, cup, bowl and cutlery, you’ll be good to go!
Most halls either have shared bathrooms or you can opt for an en-suite room. The shared bathrooms are usually kept pretty clean, but be prepared for a long shower queue if the whole of the flat or corridor are planning a night out.
University is usually the first time you are away from home. Do not go wild with your loan, budget from your first day. It’s easy to spend all your money on nights out and new clothes but you will need to eat and buy books at some stage. Make your money go further buying your books second hand – the bookshop on campus usually will have some second hand uni books, especially if it’s a set textbook/reader for the module (since they have a buy back scheme), or try ebay/Amazon’s marketplace.
If you are in self-catered halls, the reduced aisle will be your best friend. Aim to get to the supermarket an hour before they are closing and head straight to the reduced aisle. If you have a freezer, you can fill it up with bread, milk and meat.
Be willing to compromise. Just because you don’t like to listen to your neighbours’ choice in music at 3.00am, does not mean that they like to listen to you and your friends singing along to X factor. Talk it through with your flatmates to try and arrange a compromise.
All halls of residence will have rules. Find out what is and is not acceptable in your hall of residence, after a few weeks you will come to realise which rules are to be listened to and which rules stay on the books in name only.
Always lock your door! There’s nothing worse that coming home to your room and finding your flatmates have re-arranged your room for you as a joke!
If it all goes horribly wrong… and you don’t like or get on with the people you live with, you can always request a transfer to a quieter or livelier flat or halls.
Living in halls does have its advantages – it’s a great way to meet other students from all over the world and to make a group of friends who are studying a range of difference courses.