A university has offered you a place on your course, and you have been allocated a room in their on-site accommodation – fantastic! However, your dorm or student halls aren’t going to be the Ritz, and we feel like we need to prepare you for your next year of living officially as a … student!
Halls or dorms are big buildings, owned and/or run by the University as their accommodation that they let out to students during their studies. They’re similar to blocks of flats and can hold hundreds of students.
Some universities will have an on or off-site accommodation, and they will let you know which one you are. London universities have less space and areas than other universities situated over the country, so you may find you aren’t on your universities doorstep. Even if it states on-site, it could be up to a 20-minute walk to your lecture – remember, universities are big! Check out the interactive UK university map, to see how close you are from your halls and see the city guides to see what the city is like.
This is what you want to know, right? Not that big. It will be a small to medium sized room with a small toilet and shower – maybe a bath if you’re lucky! Halls aren’t glamorous, they’re essential, which means they provide what you essentially need, like room for a bed, desk, bookcase and a toilet. Some Halls don’t include en-suites, and you may find yourself sharing a shower with at least four people – it’s best to buy big towels to stop any embarrassing moments happening.
You will have a shared kitchen and dining area – the kitchen might be nicely equipped with two fridges or ovens and lots of cupboard space for each person to have their own space, but check it out as soon as possible as the best spots may be taken. Label your things and even consider locking your cupboard space, as when it comes to poor, hungry and drunk students you may find your Pot Noodles disappearing…
There will be a fire alarm that has been set off, and it will most definitely be in the middle of the night when you are guaranteed in your most boring pyjamas. Students are like spiders, they tend to become nocturnal during university years, and you might find the partying, drinking games and pranks going on until the early hours of the morning. Be prepared for you day and night routine to be slightly out of whack.
No – you will be tempted to, but you won’t need it. When you are leaving for university, you’ll want to bring every single belonging, (Be sure to know what the university essentials are exactly), including the elephant toy you won at the fair when you were five years old, and a suitcase full of spare shoes if something happens to your first 34 pairs. University and moving away is a big deal, but you need to be able to fit everything into a car – or on a train, and you need the necessities or kitchen essentials, toiletries, the clothes you wear, university books, printer, laptop – the lot! And while you’re there, you are undoubtedly going to be spending your loan on all the things that you most ‘definitely’ need, and you need room for that too!
Moving into student halls and away from home is exciting and full of new experiences – like not remembering to buy toilet roll or realising how much you need a can opener as a student! As long as you don’t expect room service and wake up call from Reception, you should fit in nicely!
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