A key aspect of Uni life is where you live. For most of us, this is the first time living away from home, and we want to feel as comfortable and as at ease as we can to help with the transition. It is really important to have a clear, normal idea about Halls so that you’re expectations aren’t completely unrealistic and disappoint you. What we see in American movies shouldn’t inform our expectations, but this article should! So, without further ado, this is what you can expect from your Newcastle accommodation.
There are loads of good things about living in Halls. To start, you’re not living with your parents anymore, which means FREEDOM! You can eat what you want, drink how much and whenever, and have sex (casual or long term) LOUDLY without it feeling SUPER WEIRD you’re parents just down the hallway (Not sure about you, but my sex life seriously diminishes when I’m gone over the Summer). Living with new people can be great! You get introduced to people from all walks of life, who you might never have met otherwise. These are the people who will be there for you when you are chundering your dinner over the bathroom floor, who’ll remind you turn off the oven and clean the flat with you for inspection. Even if you’re not besties, they’ll be there for you and can be a lot of fun!
"You can eat what you want, drink how much and whenever, and have sex (casual or long term) LOUDLY without it feeling SUPER WEIRD you’re parents just down the hallway"
Flat and floor parties are a must and one of the best things about Halls. Ricky is famous for them, and you can count on there being at least one going down in your block a night, whereever you live. Even chilled out activities are fun; cooking and watching films together are a lush way to spend an evening, all snuggled in with your flatties sharing your blanket. As well as the social atmosphere, most of the accommodation for Newcastle Uni is relatively cheap (Compared to other parts of the U.K.), and the option of being Catered/Self-Catered. The fact that bills are included will be a saviour to those who can only find the right temperature with the scorching radiator on and the window open…
Although Ricky is frankly a pig sty, it’s got character, and if that’s not for you, there are a ton of other options including the View if you fancy somewhere a bit more upmarket. Some Halls are cleaned weekly (For you dirty lot out there), and all of them are within walking distance of the Uni, with the exception of St Mary’s which has a bus. Altogether, Halls are treat and should be enjoyed while they can be, before you get stuck in house-hunting.
Despite the glowing reviews, there are a few downsides to Halls. If you don’t like your flatmates, that can be uncomfortable. More than uncomfortable, it can be overwhelmingly lonely. Your flatmates you’re put with in Halls are completely random and there’s always a chance for this to go horribly wrong.
One of the advantages to private housing is that you can often choose who you get to live with. This means that if you know of anyone starting first year with you, you can make sure there’ll be minimal awkward first encounters that haunt the halls of well... Halls.
If you still want to be thrown in at the social deep then there’s the possibility to share a house with strangers but with a little added privacy that your standard halls. Smaller houses with multiple bathrooms and bigger bedrooms makes it easier for you to avoid awkward bathroom situations and gives you more flexibility with your showering schedule.
"There’s nothing worse than the cleaner coming round on a Thursday morning at 7am and shouting about why your dining room is still full of bottles from the night before"
A house also allows you to feel more independent. With no staff to impose strict rules on noise and cleanliness, a house is the only place where you are completely free to enjoy your university experience. There’s nothing worse than the cleaner coming round on a Thursday morning at 7am and shouting about why your dining room is still full of bottles from the night before.
VERDICT: While both sides do have their positives, the whole Halls experience is one not to miss out on. It forces you to submerge yourself in the university experience and shapes every aspect of your uni life for the next three years.