There was a time not so many years ago when the idea of setting up in student halls in St Andrews University was enough to send a shiver down the spine of most people. The very idea of halls of residence didn’t exactly conjure up images of higher living standards and tranquillity, having become more associated with rough and rowdy behaviour the likes of which wasn’t exactly conducive to productive university studies.
The good news however is that these days things are quite different as extraordinary time, effort and investment have been pumped into halls of residence up and down the country to improve standards exponentially. No longer are students expected to just deal with unpleasant conditions and accept that this is the way things are, as today’s standards are so much higher than they ever were and halls of residence have been transformed.
Nevertheless, there are certain unique rules to follow and indeed experiences when it comes to living in halls of residence that are different from all other types of accommodation across the board. So for those who are looking to set up in halls of residence in the near future, here’s a quick look at a few expert tips on how to not only survive, but get the very best out of the experience:
Choose Friends Wisely
First of all, just because you are living in close quarters with so many other people does not in fact mean that you have to be best friends with every single one of them. Not that you need to be antisocial of course, but do not fall into the trap of assuming that you need to try and be the best friend of every single person you meet during and after moving into the place. Make as much effort as necessary to meet as many people as possible, but for the sake of budgeting your time and maintaining your sanity, choose wisely when it comes to those in whom you invest the most time and effort.
During the first few weeks especially, chances are there will be plenty of events organised specifically for those moving into any given halls of residence. These may not necessarily be the usual kind of thing you would be into, but for the sake of both settling in and getting to know those around you, it’s a good idea to bite the bullet and attend as many as you can tolerate. Rest assured that there will be plenty of other people there just like you who are not really into it but are simply out to meet people.
Make sure you check and double check what exactly the policy is at the halls of residence when it comes to television licensing. In some instances the building as a whole may be covered which means you do not have to get your own TV license. In other instances, every single resident with a television must get their own TV license and those who do not do so will be liable for a fine. Don’t just make assumptions, be sure to check this thoroughly to avoid any nasty surprises.
There are two basic rules to follow if you are living in halls of residence where you are required to share a kitchen with other students. The first rule is that of doing your bit when it comes to keeping it clean as the moment things begin to get grimy, others will most likely follow suit and things will quickly snowball. Secondly, it is entirely possible that the stuff you have in the fridge and the cupboards will occasionally go missing when late night revelers return home and can’t remember or deliberately forget what is theirs and what is not. Or in other words, don’t store anything in the kitchen that you desperately do not want to get stolen.
Lock it Up
Don’t ever fall into such a false sense of security as to end up leaving your door unlocked at any time even for a few minutes here and there. Chances are you will never have any problems with those who are sharing the block with you, but it only takes one person to get into the building and have free roam of the place to be spoiled for choice when there are unlocked rooms.
Last but not least, if you think you’ll get by the first few weeks in halls of residence without there being at least some noise and disruption, this really is not realistic at all. That being said, this doesn’t mean that they should be excessive noise throughout the night and nor does it mean that the disruption caused by introductory parties should continue long term. It is important to give thought and consideration to your neighbours and not to jump down their throat at the slightest inconvenience, but at the same time if it becomes obvious that it is they who are being inconsiderate, you need to speak to them or contact those in charge of the building.