Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Student Hall Survival Guide

Hi! I’m Lowri, I am in my first year of University and have just moved into student halls. Now everyone has told you that when you first become a student and live in halls it’s going to be so much fun, and that you’ll meet loads of people and go out socialising all the time. BUT they never really tell you the things you’ll face and experiences you’ll have when you move in. So, I’ve made a small list of things you’ll come across while living in accommodation.

1. Noise
Obviously when you first move into your new accommodation you also come face to face with fresher’s week. This means lots of fresher’s events and parties. Now, if like me you have moved in right next to the student union, there WILL be noise. Sometimes you may even be the one making the noise. A lot of halls do have curfews on loud noise e.g. 12am all music must be turned off. But if there is loud noise happening after this time, your best bet is to politely ask the people to keep it down. You are now living in a block with about 50 people in it so you are bound to hear noise no matter what. But if they have their music booming at 4am and they still haven’t turned it down then it is okay to contact your security. Guarantee the music will hopefully be turned down then! 

2. Late Nights
You may be having late nights due to parties and again fresher’s week. But there can be many other things effecting your sleep or lack of. You have just moved into a brand-new place and so you’ll be unaware of your surroundings for the first couple of weeks. You should try and make your room as cosy as possible, maybe hang some lights or bring your favourite blanket, just something that reminds you of home and something that calms you down. Another big thing that I’ve found affects a lot of students is the mattress. You may be used to sleeping on a double bed with memory foam mattress, well not anymore! A lot of halls come with a single bed and not the comfiest of mattresses, my solution to this is a mattress topper/padded protector. It has made my bed so much more comfy and soft. Definitely invest in one!

My main advice on this one is don’t be late on moving in day! And also, don’t let your parents buy you too much food on your first day. So, moving in day came and of course I was stuck in traffic for 3 hours. By the time I finished moving in the freezer and fridge was full and I mean FULL! So, first tip be early (this applies for lectures as well) and share the space. Your parents or guardians have looked after you for 18 or more years and so they like to buy you your first load of food shopping for when you move in. And this is great because you don’t have to spend your own money - yet. However, they tend to go overboard on freezer food which is a bad idea when it comes to having one freezer that you are sharing with 6 other people. The best thing to do is stock up on cupboard items because more than likely you will have a cupboard assigned to you and so you can fill it up with things like tins, pasta and my downfall – crisps.

4. Sharing a kitchen
Once you have moved in and you are all settled, at some point you will become hungry. This is now your time to use the kitchen, this is known as the shared area so there are a few rules
  • Don’t go in other people’s cupboards - unless they’ve given you permission
  • Keep it clean – if you see that a bin needs changing, change it!
  • Be sociable – get to know the people you’ll be living with
  • Put things away! – no one wants to live with messy people
There’s not that many rules and they are easy to follow, and if everyone in your kitchen follows them then you’ll all have a great time. Oh, and another thing, take it in turn to do dishes and don’t just do your own. If you see someone’s mug in the sink just give it a wash, I’m sure they’ll appreciate it and they’ll probably do it for you in the future.

5. Making Friends
So, the final thing I have to say is socialise, I know it’s easier said than done. But as everyone says to you, “you are all in the same position”. You will be living with these people for a year and maybe more if you get on well. You don’t have to become best friends with the people you live with but it is handy to be polite and to just be nice. I was really nervous meeting my fellow flat mates because I was the last one in and they were already chatting in the kitchen. So, I took a deep breath and walked in and everyone was so lovely and welcoming. We were all on similar courses and so had a lot in common. And the best thing we did was chuck some music and danced all night in our kitchen! Just remember you are all in the same boat, and all you have to do is start with a “Hi”.

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