So, you’ve got your results, got your place at the University of Leicester, and the day of the big move is looming. This time two years ago I was in your shoes, looking through the freshers’ Facebook page to find anyone doing my course, and anyone living in my building. Moving into student accommodation is one of the most nerve wrecking things I’ve ever done, but it was the start of one of the best years of my life. The thing with student halls is you never know what you’re going to get. You have instant mutual interests with the people on your course, and with people you meet in societies, but with halls you’re plonked into a building with a random selection of people. It’s a scary thought for some, but it’s exciting too.
The biggest fear for me was being put in a same sex flat. Big groups of girls scare me, so I initially opted for mixed accommodation, but was given a flat of girls at John Foster Hall (it may be one of the more expensive halls, but trust me we’re not all super posh or rich!). I was put in a flat with 4 other girls, and was lucky enough to actually like them. So much that most of us lived together again in second year. I tried my best to be a good flatmate, and I think I managed it… I think… I hope! I’m sure I’ve irritated them a lot over the past two years, but that’s what living with people is inevitably like!
So, if you’re nervous about living with new people I’ve compiled a list of tips that will help you become at least a tolerable flatmate:
- Keep your mess contained. I’m a messy person. My room resembles a war zone, fully fitted with floordrobe. But this is fine as long as you try your best to keep the communal areas tidy, and it’s a good idea to wash your dishes as you go. It’s just easier that way.
- Perfect your tiptoeing. If you’ve had a late night on a social, respect that others will be sleeping. Also, for those who will be living in John Foster, be aware that the doors slam loudly, so close them manually rather than letting them close after you!
- Try not to set off the fire alarm. No one likes having to evacuate the building in their pyjamas!
Oh, and another thing. If you lose your key within the first few weeks, like I did, don’t panic… Like I did! When you arrive you should receive a welcome booklet. Your parents will be more interested in this than you, but listen to them when they tell you to keep it safe. This booklet will contain all the relevant phone numbers for all the things that could possibly go wrong. So there’s no need to be a blubbing mess on the phone to your parents as you won’t be the first, or the last, student to lose a key!
Your first year living away from home will be full of ups and downs, but it will be an experience you’ll never forget. And you may just meet some friends for life.