My guide to living in uni accommodation

I’m Hollie, a master’s student in Cybercrime Investigation. Below are a few tips for living in accommodation based on my experience.

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Moving into university halls during my first year was the best decision I made as it allowed me to make friends for life!
selfie photo of a student with long hair
Hollie Tiegan Russell
MSc Cybercrime Investigation

Every first year student will get a place in halls but deciding on which halls to reside in can be a big choice. It depends on personal preference whether you would like your own bathroom or if you are alright with sharing. For me I didn’t mind sharing a bathroom, as long as it wasn’t with many people, and I wanted a lounge area so I could sit down on a night in front of the TV and relax.

Deciding on where to stay is just the first part of living in accommodation. For quite a few students this will be their first time living away from home, it might even be their first time in this country. To take the pressure off meeting people why not join our Facebook community groups for the accommodation you will be in. It's a great way to meet your flatmates before you move in. I posted my flat number in the Whitendale Halls group and after a while I felt like I knew my flatmates before we even moved in. Talking to flatmates beforehand also means you can arrange what pans, pots, plates, cutlery you are going to bring between you, so you don't have many duplicates of the same item.

Students sat talking in a flat
Students sat talking in a flat

If you're sharing a bathroom, it is easier to figure out who needs to use it when. For me, I was always up on a morning for lectures but my flatmate wasn’t, so it worked out, but there are two bathrooms in each accommodation (unless you have an en-suite). Another thing to think about is creating a cleaning rota. This is so you know each week who is doing which job such as taking the bins out, cleaning the kitchen, mopping the floors, cleaning the bathroom and more. I had a cleaning rota in my flat and I found it was handy, so everyone knew what they are doing and it avoided unnecessary disagreements. If you do experience any disagreements or find an item is not working in your flat, our accommodations officers are on site, in their offices, during the week to give you a helping hand.

In my flat, we had a Wii games console, and it was great for allowing us to bond in our flat; it was the best night of the week!  It's good to schedule some time to spend as a flat each week. Whether this is having a games night- board games or games console - or going out for food, quizzes and more.

It is good to communicate with your flatmates and do a weekly shop with one another to share the staple foods between you.  It's also nice to have flat meals with one another each week. One of my best memories from my time in halls was having Christmas dinner with my flat! Moving into university halls during my first year was the best decision I made as it allowed me to make friends for life!

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