Tips for living in halls

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The Independent Online

Halls of residence are where most students live in their first year of university or college (assuming you’re moving away from home in the first place). They’re a great place to start life as an independent student because you’re in your own place but still have a support network of peers and university staff around you.

Once you’re there you’ll get the hang of it in no time, but in the meantime we’ve put together a few hints to give you a feel for what to expect.



Check mates

Don’t feel you have to make the first person you meet on moving in your friend for life. Take time to meet everyone in your immediate surroundings and lasting friendships will develop naturally.



Three-term eventing

Any halls worth its salt will have theme nights, formal (and informal) balls and sports events going on throughout the year, – especially when everyone first moves in. Go on, sign up!



What’s that smell?

The laundry room and the drying room should become a regular part of your staple routine. Otherwise, when your room starts to whiff like a really stale armpit, you’ll know the reason why.



TV or not TV?

Get your television licence sorted as soon s possible to avoid a fine. Your halls may have a licence covering TVs in communal rooms, but you still need a licence if you’re watching the box in your own room.



The right ingredients

Even if you’re living in catered digs, the likelihood is that you’ll have a communal kitchen: keep it tidy or it will get disgusting. If you’re storing things in the fridge, beware them getting nicked by other residents!



Safe as houses

To keep your belongings safe, lock your door whenever you leave your room and be wary of letting people you don’t recognise into your building. Also, make use of the safe if reception has one.



Clean living

You may be lucky enough to have a cleaner. If so, their job is to do superficial cleaning rather than peeling scores of filthy T-shirts off the floor, so avoid using it as an excuse to live in a hovel.



The sound of silence

By all means study in your room but it might be easier during the day than at night – if people are popping in every five minutes and there’s a football game in the corridor outside, perhaps head to the library.



Student life support

Staff are on hand day and night to help with any problems you might have, so don’t be afraid to ask. Many halls have student wardens that you can turn to as well if you need advice.



Room with a view

This is something to think about when you’ve lived in halls for a few months, but start scoping out who you might want to live with in your second year. If everyone’s in agreement you can start looking early.

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