We know moving away from home for the first time can be quite a daunting prospect, so your accommodation is very important. It needs to feel like your own home away from home. To try and set your mind at ease, we have asked two current students who have lived in our Halls of Residence to talk about their experience.
“Moving away from home is a very daunting thought. After growing up surrounded by family and friends, the thought of doing your own washing and cooking for yourself might be a little bit too close to ‘adulting’ for a lot of people - it definitely was for me. And this is before the introduction of living with total strangers. Living in Uni accommodation, however, has been one of the best decisions that I have made to date.
“After applying for a self-catered, en-suite room as my first choice accommodation, I was allocated to John Milton Hall. This accommodation was perfect for me; I had my own en-suite, which even came with a bath (much to my delight - being an avid Lush fan). It also provided a shared kitchen allowing me the freedom to make my own meals and even cook with friends - a handy way to save money and a fun way to get to know people. Sharing a kitchen of course may mean having to put up with those that are, shall we say, less hygienically inclined. However it’s well worth the sacrifice, and with a cleaner coming in once a week, it really wasn’t too bad.
“Arriving at John Milton Hall on the first day, having travelled 238 miles away from home and not really knowing anyone, it was amazing to see some friendly faces dressed in red. Student Ambassadors were waiting by the door to help direct me to my room and answer any questions, which was a great help. I vaguely knew my next door neighbour after briefly chatting online - we found out we would be neighbours on the John Milton Hall Facebook page a few weeks before moving in. This was a great page to be part of, as it felt a little less like I was walking into the unknown, and it was also a good way to organise activities throughout the year.
“The thing to remember is that everyone moving into Uni accommodation is in the same position. Nobody knows anyone, and whilst this is exciting, it can be quite scary. The key is not to be afraid of talking to new people, you’ll find out very quickly that others are just as keen to meet people as you are. These people may then become your future housemates and friends for life.
“Living in Uni halls with around 80 other excited students definitely had a lot of perks. No matter what the time, there was always someone around to talk to. If you couldn’t sleep or had just gotten in from an all-nighter at the library and just wanted to talk to someone, it only took a few minutes to find someone in one of the kitchens or the common room. Having this comfort after moving away from home for the first time was a massive benefit. Uni accommodation with this amount of people is also a lot of fun. One of my favourite memories from John Milton Hall was when we played a massive game of hide and seek throughout the halls - a great way to spend an afternoon. There’s also the added bonus of meeting a variety of people, meaning that if you’re up for a night out, or down for a cosy film night in, there’ll be someone eager to join you.
“Living in Uni accommodation is the one of the best ways to meet new people and make friends when you start University. Its proximity to Parkgate Road Campus is also convenient, whilst being a fantastic way to socialise and gain independence in preparation for later life.”
“Pulling up to the University in my mother’s car, full to the brim with a life’s worth of accumulated junk, was simultaneously one of the scariest and most exciting things I’ve ever done. I was shaking, and my stomach bubbled in a nervous frenzy. This was actually happening.
“Powys Court is an off campus accommodation – only ten-minutes or so away, and is right at the heart of the city. It comprises of a number of small houses, with six people to a house and is classified as ‘quiet’ accommodation because it’s in a residential area. I had a ground floor bedroom that looked out at the ancient wall that surrounds the city centre.
“We unpacked, and after reassuring my mum repeatedly that I would be fine (“Yes mum. No mum. I’ll be sure not to invite in any axe murders, mum’), waving her off down the road, I turned around and went back inside my new home – for the next year at least. I heard the banging and slamming of doors and boxes, and the unmistakable murmur of people all around me, and I went straight to my room and hid.
“I could lie and say that I walked out there with confidence, and introduced myself to everyone. But I didn’t. I paced around my newly decorated room, looking at familiar objects that seemed so glaringly out of place, on a shelf that was not *my own*, thinking about how awful this all was and that I just wanted to go home and hide under my bed. But I couldn’t avoid it forever. I was full of so much nervous energy, I had to try something.
“I went tentatively upstairs, heart pounding in my ears, sweaty palms clenching at the bannister. I don’t know what I had been expecting, but I will tell you what I found. Three perfectly normal girls, who looked as terrified as I was at being somewhere new, and faced with the prospect of making friends. A wave of calm fell over me, and I felt like such an idiot. What on earth had I been scared of? So I took a deep breath and made the first step.
“Hi guys, how’s it going? My name's Jordan.”
“And I’m so glad I did. I’m not going to lie and say it’s perfect – that wouldn’t help you understand student life. There are times when I need to write an essay and my housemate won’t stop blasting music; sometimes I want a cup of tea, but my friend's borrowed the last of my milk and hasn’t replaced it yet; sometimes I am woken up by the fire alarm at 4am, because someone is frying bacon in the middle of the night with the extractor fans off. But then, sometimes, I’m right there with my housemate, singing and dancing to songs we used to listen to in 2008; or I’m sitting in the kitchen with my friends, sharing cups of tea and talking about anything and everything; and sometimes it’s me up at 4am after a night out trying to get the toaster to work (*hint* - check it’s switched on).
“Honestly, I could tell you so many things about my experience in the accommodation here at the University of Chester, but I think the best way for you to find out, is to come and experience it for yourselves.”
Want to Know More?
If you have any questions relating to studying at the University of Chester, just get in touch - we’ll be more than happy to help.
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