10 Things I wish I’d Known Before Living In University Halls

A typical room in university halls.

Living in university halls is an absolute laugh. It is a place for making friends, partying till the early hours of the morning, and I suppose you’ve got to get some studying done there too. For those of you who are preparing to start your first year in halls, you understandably will be feeling nervous. But before you jump into the unexpected, here are a few handy tips and insights into some of the things you may experience in the months to come.

…and for those of you who have just finished your first year in halls, how did you find it? And what did you encounter?

1. Your university halls bed will not be comfy. Your new camp bed disguised by halls as a “standard bed” will have springs that poke into your skin repeatedly during the night, and may even lie at an angle so that you constantly roll into the wall.

2. The fire alarm will go off many, many times. Be prepared for it to go off whilst you’re in the shower, in the middle of cooking dinner, and at 3am, on the day you have an exam.

3. Take a fan with you. Without one your flat parties will be very sweaty affairs. A fan will also be a life-saver on hot days, as some halls only let your windows open by about 4cm.

4. You might get a flatmate who will choose to Skype their girlfriend and friends from home all day long, but will not be considerate about it and will sing loudly, shout and bang their fists repeatedly on the desk.

5. Don’t let those full bin bags pile up. You might be hoping that your flatmate will take them, and the bags may be so heavy that they feel like they could rip your arms off, but it is a given that the smell of rotting food is not a fragrance you will want to endure whilst in your flat.

6. Learn to cook at least a couple of dishes before you go. You have no idea how boring the pasta and pesto combination will get.

7. Don’t even bother looking for that bowl, glass or spoon that you lost last week; university halls has it now.

8. You never know what you will discover when you open your flat door. You may find a wad of paper with your flatmate’s face printed on each one, a bin full of water that will fall over and flood your flat entrance, or a group of at least ten people dressed in monkey onesies may charge into your flat shouting, “Alcohol time!”

9. Never let strangers from outside of the university into your flat. You may wake up one morning to find animals with giant genitals engraved into your kitchen table.

10. Sandpaper and sample paint pots are not just for dads and decorators. These beauties will help you disguise all the damages to the flat, and may save you from some hefty fines at the end of the year.

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