One of the things that I was most nervous about when choosing a university was whether or not it would feel like “home”. Many things would contribute to this: meeting like minded people, being familiar with the city and most importantly – my accommodation. In this blog post I will share my experience with living in student halls and some things I learnt on the way! Hopefully it will be a mix of factual and personal experience so it isn’t too hard to read!
At UoB, there are many options when it comes to choosing accommodation. To have a look at what’s on offer, check this out. I chose to stay at Pritchatt’s Park for various reasons. The price matched my budget a little better was the main reason. Secondly I liked that University station was only a stone’s throw away, which would make access to the city and beyond easy. The engineering building is also relatively close to Pritchatt’s Park so my morning commute was only a short walk!
I was staying in Ashcroft where there are 6 rooms, 2 showers, 2 toilets and a kitchen. I found the facilities to be in great condition and an ok size. The Maintenance Team was quick to respond and things, if broken, would be fixed quickly. Overall, it was a quaint, chill, calm space which was suited to me. A lot of the friends I made lived at The Vale which was a 20 minute walk away. I would often find myself walking there which was pleasant and accessible.
Before Moving In
Prior to moving in, using the flatmate finder, my future flatmates and I had a group chat going and were already sharing feelings about moving to university! I found it reassuring knowing that I would have at least one or two familiar faces when I moved in. In hindsight, it would have been useful to coordinate what appliances people were/n’t bringing before moving in.
I had the pleasure of my mum and sister dropping me off and helping me move my belongings in. There were also student helpers to help with the heaving lifting which was lovely. It was a day that I had felt so nervous, excited, scared and ready for all summer! At Ashcroft, there was a front door code, a key for the door and then a key for your room. I remember initially thinking that this was slightly excessive but then I realised it did add that extra sense of security which was needed to make me feel safe my home for the coming year. It was an emotional and moving time when the sun had set, and I waved off my family and was unsure when I would next see them! When I got back to my room, unpacking was a little bit of a nightmare. I would recommend packing your things based on room i.e. kitchen, bedroom, bathroom etc. I learnt my lesson for this and moving in 2nd year was a lot smoother!
The first few weeks of freshers’ is a memorable time. Meeting so many people from across the UK and across the world. Living in halls is an easy way to meet new people as you’re literally sharing a wall with who could be your uni bestie. I found the breeze blocks walls quite unsettling and cold so my first few days were spent decorating which I couldn’t recommend enough. It instantly made me feel less homesick. Living in Ashcroft meant the nearest supermarket wasn’t the most convenient: a 20 minute walk to the Selly Oak Aldi. This was a killer for my quads but a life saver for my wallet! Every cloud eh!
Thoughts and Reflection
Living in Ashcroft was a great time! It was where I started to live away from home and it was the beginning of my independence. I cooked some great (and some not so great) meals, and met some of my closest friends! For the price it was, the location and security were above and beyond. With any place I have lived, I was glad to have had decorated to make it feel like home. Additionally, I was very blessed to have people around to make it feel like home.
If you have any questions about staying in halls, feel free to shoot me a DM on Instagram @_carter.jpg
Till next time,