Why Halls Can Be The Best Thing Ever
Daunting as it might seem to move away from home, your friends, your family and everything you know in order to go to another part of the Country, all alone, with nobody to help you with your washing or telling you when and what to eat, can seem like the scariest concept in the whole wide world. But, it can also be the most exciting thing you can do.
Although the comfort and familiarity of being at home is like having a constant warm duvet wrapped around you, sooner or later someone is going to come and pull the covers off you… and now seems like the right time. You’re at an age where responsibility isn’t a major issue for you (my greatest responsibility was making sure that I didn’t ruin Breaking Bad for my friends), you’re at a stage in life where bills, mortgages, taxes and scary adult-y things are something that aren’t a worry right now. So there is nothing stopping you from moving to a new place, and trying something different.
Of course there is no “proper” way to go about approaching University, but for me I just felt like Halls was the direction I needed to go in. But you’ve got to really assess what it is that you want, and what you feel will work best for you.
The thing about living in halls is that you experience a weird balance, as once you’re in halls you will never feel older as you do when having to live alone and care for yourself, as well as never feeling younger and more ‘care-free’. You’ve got total freedom; if you want to stay up all night, cook super noodles at ridiculous times, have water fights and play Frisbee in your corridor you can. There is no one telling you that you can’t; you’re in control.
Here’s my list of why moving into University Halls of Accommodation can be one of the greatest decisions that you can make.
1. The uniqueness of Your Situation: You will never, ever, have an opportunity to live in an environment like this again. It’s not a normal thing to be living with seven (or even more) strangers, so embrace this situation whilst you have the chance.
2. Learning More About Yourself: Okay, so you never once boiled an egg before you came to Uni, and it’s looking like you’re going to be living off cereal for the next three years (that’s if someone stops drinking your milk). But you’ll be surprised to see how quickly you will adapt to your new living environment. Also, Google will know the answer to all your questions, (which will usually start with “Can I Microwave…..?”)
3. You’re In Control, But Still Being Looked After: Yes you’re living alone with little adult supervision, but you still have cleaners who will come and make sure that you’re not killing yourself by leaving rotting fruit on the kitchen side. I will always be thankful to Ruth, who cleaned the corridor I was living in and shared shower everyday. She was our daily (and sometimes unwelcomed) alarm clock, and I’m forever indebted to her as she probably saw and heard a lot of things that she never signed up for.
4. Experiencing a Different Kind of Friendship: When you’re living in halls you realise that you will need to rely on your flat mates a lot more than you may have done with previous friendships. Living in such a constantly social environment will open you up to different relationships with people. You all start out in the same boat not knowing anyone, and friendships will quickly form. Unlike being at school you don’t say goodbye to each other at 4pm, you instead spend A LOT of your time together. Your life in halls can be very sociable if you wish it to be, and movie nights, joint cooking and nights out are brilliant ways to bond.
5. Convenience: Halls on campus-based Universities can be a lifesaver. Knowing that it’s only going to take you ten minutes to get to your lecture, as opposed to a half an hour drive means that lie-ins are a more common occurrence. When it comes to socializing and going out in the evenings it’s a relief to know that you can stay out without worrying how you’re going to get home, as your new home is now only a ten minute walk away.
Of course going into halls is a very personal choice, and a lot of thinking is required. Do you want catered? En-Suite? Shared room? I never got my original choice of accommodation and I was heartbroken, but I still had the best fresher year I could have asked for in the halls that I ended up in. Your time in halls will only be as good as you make it, and I would fully recommend and urge anyone thinking about moving away from home to do it.