The majority of students, especially who are about to start their degree in the autumn choose to move away from home and live in student accommodation during the first year. This move is an exciting but scary part of growing up and attending university, but it can be hard to gauge what it will be like, so we have some information to help you prepare yourselves for that first day when you walk into your very own dorm room.
Yes, this is the truest statement ever spoken, and it completely should be taken into context when you enter your room for the first time. Most student rooms are small (some call them cosy…) and the reason for this is simple, to be able to fit as many students in the accommodation as possible. Universities are big places, and their campuses are huge, and a number of students that attend seem impossible, but yes they do attend, and a lot of them do tend to stay in the accommodation. Understanding that your room may be small and cheerful is key to packing and accepting where you’ll be living for at least the first year of your university journey. If you expect a huge suite, then you might be very disheartened, especially if you’re living in student halls.
Some university websites feature pictures or panoramic views of their dorm rooms online so you can get a feel of what yours will look like if not google student rooms and base your idea on that.
Some student accommodation – even in the same university grounds – have one or two bathrooms for up to ten students. It might sound awful, but after a while, you will get used to sharing a bathroom or washroom and getting into a routine. Other accommodation can feature an en-suite (and don’t get too excited about the title), and these usually feature a small space with a shower, toilet and sink.
You may have heard through the grapevines about the lucky ones, who have somehow been given a disabled room in a block of student dorms due to that they were vacant. This does happen, but it doesn’t mean you can request one without having real reasons to need one, or that it will happen to you. Again, each university operates differently, and this may happen to someone you know or not. Don’t dream of huge rooms and big bathrooms in case it doesn’t happen.
Student dorm rooms more often than not share a kitchen, where there are more than one oven and fridges available to cater to a number of people in that space. Due to this communal kitchen, there will be people around. Your dorm mates and their friends or your friends will be around a lot of the time, and especially during Fresher’s week! If you are feeling shy or wanting to have your own space just remember to be polite and you can spend time alone off/on campus or in your room if you don’t feel like socialising at that time.
Fresher’s week, the first week of university is a chance for students to meet each other and fellow students around the university. You’ll never know what to expect from living in halls, attending university or of course fresher’s week! The university will often put on club nights or events to help students meet one another, and a lot of students host their own parties in their dorm rooms and communal kitchens, so be prepared for a lot of people, maybe drunk, and loud around you for two weeks. Maybe invest in some earplugs if it isn’t your thing…
One thing that usually takes students a while to get their head around is the fact that even if their dorm rooms have cleaners – which generally clean the kitchen or shared bathroom – it doesn’t mean they have personal servants. Most cleaners won’t clean the mess that they don’t have to – if you made a big mess, or decided to open up every tin of baked beans you owned during a drinking game, they’re not going to tidy that up for you, and you are going to have to do it! Cleaners also don’t tidy or clean your personal bathrooms or dorm rooms so be prepared to put on some marigolds and get stuck in, as before long your room might end up being a subject on a Channel 4 documentary television show! If you’re still worried about moving into student accommodation, there are plenty of guides to living as a student at university.
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