I’ve got into the habit now of getting up every morning and checking my university email account straight away. This is because I got sent an email in June saying that I would find out whether I have accommodation in Heidelberg, and whether I got on the intensive language programme, in July. Oh, and please don’t contact us with any questions until you receive that email.
It’s already the 12th July and I have SO. MANY. QUESTIONS. And all this waiting around, it got me thinking of another summer which I also spent waiting around, not sure what was going to happen to me come September. I guess I’m in a similar position now to the one I was in when I was waiting for results day, not sure which university I’d end up at. This time round on the plus side, I know I’ll be going to Heidelberg, but on the downside I never got to go to an open day for Heidelberg… and as I haven’t even booked flights out there yet it just doesn’t seem real!
I remember I was especially worried about the accommodation I’d be allocated. When I did get the email through, saying I was going to be in Beaumont Halls in I think it was room 28, I got a sinking feeling in my stomach as I realised that meant I’d be living with at least 27 other people. I’d envisaged a smaller flat, maybe John Foster style, which was outside my budget but inside my comfort zone of a small group of people. I even started writing an email to ask if there was any way on this earth I could change halls, but eventually I decided to just suck it up and go for it.
On reflection, being in bigger halls was probably the best thing to happen to me at university. It turns out that I was living with about 37 other people, and being kind of shy that was so intimidating to think about. But despite thinking I’d spend the next year of my life holed up in my room, taking 3am showers to avoid interaction when I was only wearing a towel, and storing up meals in my rooms because I was incapable of facing a corridor of 20 girls, or worse, boys, it wasn’t like that at all. People were so friendly, there was always something to do, or someone to sit with if you were feeling a bit homesick, and after nights out sitting on the stairs recalling the night’s events was sometimes the best part. I’m not looking back with my rose tinted glasses on; I guess the more people there are to live with, the higher the chances of finding someone you really get on with.
When I went round to visit people at John Foster, their little flats did look cosy, and I think I would have been really happy there too. I’m just saying that I was really surprised at how something I thought I’d hate turned out to be the thing that made my first year at Leicester so enjoyable. Having that experience has reassured me a bit when I’m now faced with the unknown of where I’ll be living in Heidelberg. Whether I end up in a huge halls, a tiny flat, or maybe even living with a local family, I think there will be advantages to living there which I couldn’t have thought of before I ended up in that situation. I was a lot more adaptable in halls than I thought I could be- the person who hates change, doesn’t know how to contribute in large groups, and gets creeped out by other people’s hair in the showers- it turns out those bits didn’t matter in the end, and they weren’t even true.