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University Survival Guide: Living In Halls

So you've gone for the full university student experience and you are starting to get ready for your move in day. You have so many questions floating around in your mind, and the closer the move in day comes the more these questions start to become a common thought. Right now, you are probably thinking along the lines of what I should get, What will my room be like, Who will I be with and Will they want to go out partying?

To keep your head clear, you should plan for any outcome. Believe it or not, it can be a hit and miss whether you enjoy staying in hall or not. For me personally I was really excited to be going to halls, I imagined it along the lines of those American Comedy Films with college kids. But, getting there it was a different experience and actually one I would never want again. When you first move in, you are excited at the prospects of university life, you love your room and kitchen and cannot wait to live life as a student. But, for me these thoughts, changed, and the four walls of my room became a burden. Some of you will love the experience all the way through and make loads of friends within your halls, but for others it will be a testing time.

But, to try and prepare yourself for any outcome you should consider what you will bring with you. If you will be heading home most weekends then you don't really need to pack a lot as you can slowly bring the things you want to and from your halls. But, if you are planning on staying a lot longer between home visits then knowing what you can live without is key. If you chose the cheaper option and have to move out at the end of term times then having a small amount of stuff is much better, otherwise you will have to ask a friend to look after it or carry it all home again. This is just a complete plain when you may have a break that's only a few weeks long. To know what kind of things you should and shouldn't take, have a think about the kind of things you use on a daily basis. You can even make up a list to help you, such as having a column of what you definitely need (these are things such as bedding, cooking utensils and clothes), a second column of things you use on a daily or weekly basis you cannot live without (such as comforters, ect) and finally a column of things you want to take but don't really need (such as TV's, ect.).

Now you have a basis to start packing and preparing for your life within halls. If you really cannot live without things such as TV's then you can bring it, just as long as you check whether you need a TV license. Not all halls have one, so a rule of thumb is to buy one, which you can pay for yearly or 3 monthly or 6 monthly. You can talk to the TV License company which will only change you for the term times you are there.You may also want to consider things such as mini fridges and kettles, most halls down't allow these but trust me you're gonna want them. You will find that as much as you label your food or mark it as your own, someone will take it, so having some supplies in you room will mean you save the hassle of food going missing. Some people will admit to it and replace it or let you borrow their food. But, you can get others that will not admit and could be annoying but replacing milk with water, or even taking bites out of a block of cheese and putting it back (yes believe it or not that's what happened to me). But, that doesn't happen to everyone, but I would suggest you have a washing up plan. This is because you'll find some people are lazy and end up leaving their washing up in the sink. It could be because they have never had to do this before so just ask and see if they want help doing it, but don't do it all yourself. If you do you'll find no one else will wash up and just leave it all for you. If you are someone who has never done it yourself before get into a routine of doing once you finish with it. The dirt is easier to come off and you don't need to worry about doing it.

Most halls will have a maid service come round once a week, but it's not to clean your room, unless you pay more or are moving out. So, the majority of the time your room is your responsibility. If it gets dirty or untidy you will need to clean it yourself, but don't worry you don't need to go out and buy a hoover, one is provided for you. During my time in halls I didn't need to hoover as much as you first think as my room didn't get badly messy. But, you do need to take out your own rubbish, which is simple enough, bin it and take it to the large outside bins. Most halls also provide irons and ironing boards so you don't need to worry about clothes being wrinkled. But, if you are not going home you will need to use the laundry room to clean your clothes. It's very simple enough, you need to buy some washing powder (and fabric softener), the laundry room will be filled with loads of washing machines (which I think some do tumble as well) like you would see on Eastenders or Big Band Theory. You will either have to put money into the washing machines or get tokens (with tokens there will be a box on the wall to put money in and tokens come out). I would suggest to stay with your clothes as if there are no available machines some people can be rude and throw you clothes out. But, don't fear there are usually benches or chairs in there and there is nothing stopping you taking a laptop down and watching a film or doing course work. For those who don't really know how to use a washing machine, I would suggest a quick load at 30 degrees as its the quickest and still cleans your clothes. If you don't want to split whites and darks/colors, there may be an option to do a mixed load and you can wash them all at once (great at saving money), But remember to put in a color catcher just in case, no one wants a white shirt turning red. 

Some halls may be further away from the university than others, so make sure you check to see how you will get in when you have lectures. If you have a car that is great, but remember some universities will need you to pay for a permit to park in the university and/or halls. If you haven't got a car and don't know anyone going in with a car then you will need to look into buses and trains. The temptation of taxis are great and I would suggest if you are running a little late and are not sure where to go the a taxi is a good idea. But for most of the time its a big waste of money, as you will spend a lot more on a taxi then getting the bus or train. Universities usually have buses that travel to them on a regular basis with frequent travel between train stations and campuses. But, if funds are tight then looking at walking or car share may be a good idea. If the campus is 30 minutes away, walk it as it will be light exercise and its free. Making friends in university especially on your course you can see if they are passing by your halls, or stop and see if you can get a lift. Don't be selfish though, offer to pay some money towards petrol (make sure its a bit less than taxis) as you'll find some people will not accept it and some will. It's just manners to offer, they may even just say by me a beer or food when you go out.

But, life as a student is slowly upon us, so just keep you chin up and prepare for all outcomes. Make friends, enjoy your course and if not don't worry it's not all doom and gloom.

Enjoy life and Stay Gorgeous

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