Students with offers from Lancaster University for next year will inevitably be wondering what living in halls is going to be like when most of them move onto campus in October. Here are some things I have learnt from living in university-managed accommodation for the past six months:
- Fire drills will happen at the most inconvenient time. Just as you’ve gotten into the shower or at 9 am on a Saturday. But fire safety is an important part of living in halls and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Plus, if you’ve ever wondered what your housemate looks like with no make-up – now is your chance to find out.
- You will eventually have a cleaning-related flat argument over the fact that the bins haven’t been taken out in weeks and you’re about to get a fine. Or about the fact that one person has been buying the washing up liquid these past few months and no one has bothered to replace it. The best way to deal with this is to have a calm flat meeting in the kitchen and come up with a cleaning rota, where everyone is involved (probably should have done that during Freshers Week, but better late than never).
- You will have a flat WhatsApp group which is both a blessing and a curse. Everyone will get a weird nickname and spam the chat at 3am, when they have forgotten their keys. Embrace it (and maybe mute the chat when you go to bed).
- You won’t be best friends with every member of the flat (unless you’re extremely lucky) – and that is okay. When 7-10 strangers suddenly move in together, it’s very probable that there will be some personality clash. Deal with this situation in the same way as you should deal with conflicts over cleaning – have a civil conversation. A lot of the time people won’t know they are upsetting you and won’t be doing it on purpose. Holding passive-aggressive grudges will only make the atmosphere in the flat uncomfortable and part of going to university is learning to deal with problems in an adult way.
- Weekends can be a bit quiet on campus. Use this time to catch up on some work, that has definitely piled up during the week. Or binge watch Netflix. Either is fine.