I may be biased, but I have the best flatmates. We’re all doing something completely different at uni, which I think is great because we all have something to talk about. Plus, we’re from all over the place – Edinburgh, Ireland, St. Andrews, France – we’re a little family all under one roof.
So I live with 6 other girls right now, and we get along grand. There are also two honorary members in our flat, and they actually live upstairs even though they come down every single day without fail. They even had their own Christmas stockings on the wall with the rest of ours. Some may think that flats at uni are full of parties and late night noise complaints, but in reality its more like ‘who took the bins down last’/’whose turn is it to replace the loo rolls’’/’why are they taking so long in the shower’. Rock and roll.
It’s good to have so many people to support you when you move out for the first time, because in a way you’re all there to look after each other and that’s exactly what they’ve done for me. Now that it’s been a few months, I think we’ve settled into a good relationship where we’re comfortable enough around each other. For instance I’ll come home and find 3 of them asleep on the sofas in the kitchen at 2 in the afternoon. We’ve officially synched our nap schedules so that we wake up in time for all the telly essentials i.e I’m a Celebrity, Bake Off, the Kardashians etc. Now I’m not 18 yet, so unfortunately I am confined to the flat when the girls who are old enough go out. Although I’m slightly jealous, I love the atmosphere in the flat before they leave. We sit in the kitchen and laugh while there’s loud music on the telly, and spend what feels like hours doing make up.
I would highly recommend living in student accommodation during first year, and while I understand people may be anxious about what to expect, it is definitely a risk worth taking. I asked 3 of my flatmates a couple of questions about what kind of advice they would give about living in student halls and generally about how they were getting on:
What scared you most before moving into student accommodation?
Flattie A: I’d probably say, not getting on with my flatmates. Also moving to a different city that I’d never been to before in my life.
Flattie B: When I was in Ireland I was scared about moving to a different country with a different culture, and not being surrounded by people I know. Obviously homesickness too. Worrying about not being on the same level as people on my course because Ireland has a different education system.
Flattie C: Having to fend for myself – cook on my own, because I’ve always been the youngest.
What would you say is the worst part about living in student accommodation?
Flattie A: The worst part is when the bath gets clogged with hair and everyone is reluctant to take it out. Also living so close to town means that it’s really easy to be convinced to go to clubs when I know I should be doing something else. My flatmates watch too much Vampire Diaries.
Flattie B: Sometimes doing more cleaning than others. Being locked out of your room or even the flat is so annoying, because I tend to forget my keys when I leave!
Flattie C: We aren’t allowed dogs.
What is now your favourite thing about living in the flat?
Flattie A: That we all get on so well, we don’t have arguments. Everyone gets as excited about Christmas as me! I like having the independence of living away from my parents but I know that they’re only a phone call or a train journey away.
Flattie B: Well! I love the fact that we all get on really well. I like the independence of having my own daily schedule. If I’ve had a rubbish day at uni I know I can come home and offload to my flatmates, they put me in good form.
Flattie C: The people and all of the Christmas decorations!
What advice do you give to others who are moving into student accommodation?
Flattie A: Not to be nervous, because your course friends and flatmates will be just as nervous. You won’t have best friends immediately, and there will be people you get on better with than others but that’s okay. And drink responsibly.
Flattie B: You are going to get on grand even if you think you won’t. The thought of moving away is so much worse than what it actually is, and although you’re pushed out of your comfort zone when it comes to making friends, everyone is pretty much in the same boat so there’s no need to stress over it.
Flattie C: If you’re homesick, just a phone call can make everything better. Just be yourself!
All in all, I think it’s easy to see that there are similarities between everybody’s opinions on moving away from home, in that we all go through the same process of not knowing what to expect and then we settle in just fine. Even if you don’t manage to settle in well in your halls, the accommodation team are always on hand to do what they can to help. Finally, I’d like to thank the girls in the flat who agreed to share their views and then thank the whole of my flat for making the move away from home so much easier.