Written by Myrhan Stephen – Student Pages Lifestyle Journalist
Most students spend their first year in halls, and, although it can be a mixed bag for some, it’s a cornerstone of the student experience, one you probably don’t want to miss out on.
I didn’t need to live in halls, because college was only a 45-minute bus ride from home, but that’s at least another half-hour I could spend in bed every day, and university’s supposed to be all about commandeering your independence, so it was a no-brainer.
My dad drove me down in the morning to help me move in. Thankfully, I was the first to arrive, so I had the chance to get settled before anyone else got there. On the first night, three of us had arrived, and we decided to watch a film together. It was great to break the ice with a shared social activity. I woke a little disorientated in my new bedroom, as you do in a hotel, but I soon got used to my environment, and it began to feel like home.
I’d definitely recommend being as sociable as possible during the first few weeks, even if this means taking a big stride out of your comfort zone. In this time, the experience is new for everyone and you’re all looking to make friends, so don’t hide away in your room as people form social circles. Go to as many social events as you can, spend time in your kitchen getting to know your flatmates. No one really knows how to live independently at first; it’s a wonder no one set my building on fire, although prepare yourself for trudging outside at 2am in your PJs when some drunk idiot sets the fire alarm off trying to make pizza.
After a few parties, I met some of my closest friends, one of whom I’ve now moved into a flat with. And it’s ultimately the people that shape your experience. I really enjoyed my experience in halls overall. I only ever had issues with one flatmate, who left their dishes out for weeks, and used other people’s without asking, washed their boots in the shower and then didn’t clean it, and used my shampoo, to name but a few. The list goes on, but they only lived with us for a month and a half so we didn’t have to put up with them for too long. The chances of getting a flatmate from hell aren’t too high, and chances are, the rest will be lovely. And if you really aren’t comfortable, the university will do their best to move you into another flat.
There are always going to be nights where your flatmates are blasting music at unholy hours, or you despair at the bomb zone of a state your kitchen is in, but you’ll also form close friendships with the people you live with, make some of the best memories of your student life, and one day you’ll probably come to miss it all.
Follow Myrhan @MyrhanS