Living in halls for the first time? Before you start packing enough Baked Beans to feed the world, here are five things about student living you need to know before you move into halls!
1. Sharing showers
Unless you’re lucky enough to have an en suite bedroom, the chances are you’ll probably share a bathroom (or at least, a shower room) with your buddies from across the hallway.
Now, people who you consider to be your friends might be lively over a Snakebite or two, but they soon turn into completely different animals when it comes to their bathroom behaviour.
All we’re saying is, take your toiletries with you WHEREVER you venture, stay away from the plughole (unless you have a burning desire to detangle it), and wear flip-flops at ALL times.
2. Your place or mine?
Slumber! What did you think we meant?! Seriously though, you’ll soon suss out whose room everyone bundles into each night. This usually works on a rotation basis between a few regular hosts, or there might be one room where everyone crams their mattresses into.
If you’re the popular host, bear in mind that:
- People WILL help themselves to whatever’s on offer, so stash away your favourite biccies and anything else you fancy keeping for yourself.
- You’re likely to wake up to strange objects floating around in your water. Hang on, that looks a bit too colourful for water….
- Your room will NEVER be clean or look remotely tidy. But it will, at least, look ‘lived in’.
All the people who actually want to sleep will probably end up hating you. But that’s okay – your slumber buddies will keep you warm!
3. Fridge raiders
Can you imagine anything scarier than someone scoffing all your food for the week? Especially if that was your last cash until your next student loan instalment materialises? Unfortunately, this could be the nasty reality if you leave your food hanging around in shared fridges (and cupboards, come to think of it).
Living in halls is different to house sharing in the second and third years. You don’t necessarily choose who you live with in halls, so the chances are, you probably can’t trust them to not dig into your bumper pack of crumpets and prized pot of butter when they get a tad peckish at 2am.
So where should you store your fridge bits? It’s courteous enough to label your food and keep it all together. However, if this doesn’t deter the hungry, in extreme cases (and icy weather) you could always get a plastic bag, whack your milk, butter, cheese and all the rest in, and carefully hang it on the handle outside your bedroom window.
Just remember it’s there and to not suddenly open your window – especially when you’re a bit dazed first thing in the morning (unless you fancy slurping your morning cuppa through a straw from a chewing gum stained pavement).
4. Noisy neighbours
No one tells you what time to go to bed when you’re a student – who would DARE! People have different sleeping habits. People have different music tastes. People have different stereos. You can see where this is going…
Be prepared for noisy neighbours breaking into your quiet time, so you either need to:
a) Invest in some heavy duty ear plugs (try your nearest factory – seriously, do it.)
b) Gate-crash the party. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!
c) Or… if you can’t join ‘em, hell – beat ‘em! We wouldn’t dream of advising you to blow your student loan on the loudest stereo in the world, but… if it means drowning out the noise…
5. Weekend wilderness
Sounds a lot like wildness, but trust us, living in halls at the weekend can mean the opposite, unless of course you’ve already planned a wild social schedule.
Surprisingly, a lot of students can’t wait to scuttle back to Ma and Da in the sticks at the weekend, so you can find yourself waking up to nothing more than the sound of a Blue Tit chirping outside your window (again, probably not the sort of wild you’re looking for).
Unless you have a weekend job to keep you (and your bank balance) sane, make sure you’ve got something fun lined up, because watching back-to-back Come Dine With Me and Man v. Food will soon have you climbing the walls (or gorging on takeaways and reduced oddities from the local mini mart). Either way, it ain’t healthy.
On that note, we hope this quick guide has given you some healthy tips on what to expect when you move into halls.
And stay tuned, because we’ll soon be sharing more tips to make living in halls even more super.