Thursday, 11 August 2016

Student Halls | My Experience

Hey Guys,

September is fast approaching and I'm sure many of you will be heading to uni and that means staying in halls. As I'm about to start my second year at college it means that I have already experienced halls and thought that today I would right a blog post that maybe answers some of your fears as well as giving you guys an idea on what to expect! If you still have questions then feel free to comment down below or tweet me @catriona_lauder and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Also I have like zero photos of my room the only ones are from when I first move in and aren't great so sorry!

Before going into halls I didn't have much information on my flatmates, how many there was going to be in the flat or what the flat layout situation was going to be like all I knew was my move in day and that's it! I was extremely nervous about halls but also excited and even though it did take a bit of getting used to as it is a whole different lifestyle with a bunch of people that you've never met but remember these people are going through the exact same thing as you!

My whole building was key carded so I only needed one card which was great for all the gates and doors. The only down side was that my room locked automatically when the door shut so if I forgot my card I had to go all the way back to the first floor so I could be let in again. There was definitely a few times when I had to go down in my pyjamas and embarrass myself but had to be done! It took a while but it became second nature for me to make sure my key card was on me 24/7.

There was 5 of us in total in my flat 3 girls and 2 boys. I got on really well with one of the girls and we have even decided to move into a flat together this year! The other people in my flat well I didn't really get on with them like yeah they were lovely people I just wouldn't personally choose to be friends with them. The boys themselves were totally different to each other let alone with me and didn't really enjoy leaving their rooms much so that made it hard to socialise with them. The other girl was 5 years older than us and was in a serious relationship so ended up not really being in the flat. Even though we weren't exactly the best of friends we were friendly and did have a few flat outings together which is a great way to get to know each other as well as a reason to get out the flat. The first night we ended up going out together for dinner which calmed me down a bit with the nerves it was awkward but in that situation when none of you know each other and are nervous of course it is going to be like that! In fact it was awkward for the first week or so just while you got used to living with each other but we did settle in eventually. Living with people you don't know seems so daunting but for me it let me finally become myself as they knew nothing about me and I could just be me and not be judged whereas I feel you get judged all the time in high school so this was great! I also became so independent as you knew you couldn't really rely on these people as you hardly knew them and this helped my confidence loads!

In general we all cooked for ourselves, Kate (the girl I got on with) and I often shopped together and shared a lot of the basics food wise which worked for us. Part of the reason we didn't eat together was because one of the boys was super fussy and the other had an abnormal sleeping pattern which made it difficult to eat together. In our halls there was no dishwasher surprise, surprise so had to do the washing up ourselves. Most of us, well when I say most I say all but one person washed up for themselves and eventually we all got really annoyed and stuff had to be said but after we said something it did improve and dishes were clean. Don't be afraid to say something if it is really bad and is annoying the whole flat that's one thing I would definitely say!

Luckily for me my halls had a cleaning service. Each week they would come in on a Tuesday and clean our rooms. They would also clean the kitchen every other week but they wouldn't clean our dishes for us which is fair enough just thought I'd point that out! Due to our beds being three quarter sized we had our beds changed for us on the week they weren't doing the kitchen. I know I was super lucky to have this happen as it really doesn't happen much! We did also have a hoover in our flat that we could use and we always tried to keep our surfaces in the kitchen clean even without the helpers! I know in some halls you get fined if the flat isn't decent so keep an eye out for that!

My halls was very sociable and I knew a large proportion of my building which meant that I hardly went on a night out without meeting people from the building which was always entertaining! In the end I had a large proportion of friends from a variety of floors but Kate and I became super friendly with a flat on the floor above us and we spent most of our time up in their flat as they all socialised together!

My room was actually perfect for me. There was a bed which was super comfy, comfier than my  bed at home actually and could fit two easily so when friends came to visit for a night out there was plenty of space and when there was more than one then I had space on the floor! I also had a desk with plenty of space for all of my stuff and plenty of shelves and wardrobe and drawer space for all my clothes! I had enough space for everything I had and even though it wasn't huge it was comfy. I also had a display board where I put up tickets of gigs I'd been to as well as photos and stuff that reminded me of home to help me make the rooms my own. It was an ensuite bathroom so never had to share a shower or toilet or anything which was great as well.

I'd definitely recommend going into halls as it is a great way to meet people and settle you into living independently! If you've been in halls already was it different to me let me know in the comments!