The majority of first-year undergraduates choose to live on university campus when they start university. Living in halls has its perks if students are attending university far from home, and can help them ease into student life.
Halls are generally very big buildings, and depending on the institution can hold thousands of students. Most dorms will host 6 to 10 students with a communal kitchen or bathroom. The advantage of being surrounded with lots of people is that you’ll never be alone and there will be someone there if you need help with a financial, personal or academic issue.
You won’t make friends with every single person you meet at university, but your dorm mates are your first bonds you make while at university. You hang out during Fresher’s, and they can be a great guide during the first few weeks of term. You won’t necessarily be best buds with every single student in your dorm, but if you find a gem amongst the rocks, it can make it easier to live in the dorm you are in.
Whether you like to drink alcohol or to go for a night out, your dorm may get loud and messy on some nights. Especially during Fresher’s week or on student discount nights in town or on campus. Other students may be in your dorm for pre-drinking games or to get ready with their friends who are your neighbours. This can be a hard thing to get used to or to withstand if you wanted a quiet night in. The good things are that the doors and walls of the dorms are generally decent at keeping sound out, but you should probably expect to be woken up early in the morning a few times during your time living there.
One great thing about living in halls is that students only pay accommodation fees, but included within these fees are electricity, gas, the internet, water and rent bills, so you don’t have to worry about each and every bill and how to pay it. Universities try to make it easy for undergraduates and especially first years if this is their first time moving away from home. However, it is easy to take this for granted, and if you move into your own place or shared accommodation for the second and third year, you’ll have to get to grips with the different types of bills you will be faced with.
As previously mentioned, your dorm mates can become really good friends, especially as the selection process isn’t based on your academic or personal preferences. Students are picked at random, so you might find that your dorm neighbours are studying different degrees or have different interests. Even with this, you will meet friends for life at university, and a lot of students like to care for their own so if anybody is in trouble, needs a helping hand, or needs to be put into bed after a heavy night of drinking – someone will be there.
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