I remember the day I moved out so SO vividly, which is surprising as I thought it would be something I would erase from my memory completely. It was a scorching hot day at the end of August (very rare for the UK, even in the middle of summer) when we (mum, dad and myself) packed up the car ready to make the 90 mile trip to the city. On arrival I was shown to my new room, which was small but cosy and pretty modern as far as university halls of residence go. I also had my own bathroom – RESULT. I unpacked my things and got to work at making my new room look more homely, which basically meant pinning fairy lights to every bit of cork board possible.
We then headed for Asda. I remember traipsing round the pots and pans aisle whilst trying to hold back the tears as my mum waved another George home non-stick frying pan in my face (which I still have by the way, £5 well spent). We paid at the till with the checkout lady making jokes and asking if we were feeding a family of 50, then set on our merry way back to the accommodation – cue sobbing in the car and staring sadly out the window like I was in teen pop music video.
I said my goodbyes to my mum and dad, with mum crying equally as much as me and dad worrying that he might get a parking ticket if they stayed any longer – classic dad. Then I was alone. I wandered through to the kitchen to unpack said pans and was met by one of my new flatmates. She had a caring, friendly face and I instantly felt a sense of relief. I met my other flatmates as the days went on, 3 boys and the girl who I had met previously. We generally got on well, although I only ever seen one of the boys once again after the initial meeting (I think he might have been some sort of ninja as we never, ever crossed paths) and I’m pretty sure us girls did 99.99999% of the cleaning – honestly the smell of beef and tomato pot noodles that constantly filled our kitchen will haunt me for life.
Living in student accommodation was difficult as a student midwife. It dawned on me pretty quickly that I wouldn’t be able to go out nearly as much as other students, as our timetable was so intense and lets be honest, who could even think about going into placement a little bit worse for wear. So I had to adjust and make the most of student life as far as possible – which I did – although it was difficult seeing other students coming in from a night out as I passed them going out the door on my way to placement, but I knew I wouldn’t swap this for the world.
All in all, the year in student accommodation passed super quickly and I feel it gave me a good start for independent living. I was actually a bit sad when it came to packing up my room to leave, as I had grown quite fond of my wee room over the course of the year. So if any of you prospective students are heading for halls then here are some of my top tips to you:
- Buy earplugs for sleeping before shifts – honestly, I lost count the number of times Taylor Swift in the room upstairs kept me awake at 4am with her drunken renditions of ‘Shake it Off.’
- Get yourself a George home non-stick frying pan – for cooking or as a weapon in your post night shift grump, whatever you fancy.
- Make the most of your heating, water and electricity bills being included in the price of accommodation.
- Don’t buy beef and tomato pot noodles – this is a guaranteed way to annoy your flatmates.
- There will be constant fire alarms and they will always happen when you are in the shower. Always.
- Make your room as homely as possible (fairy lights, flowers, pictures, I even managed a sneaky candle in my room)
- Phone your parents every so often, they will miss you, I promise.
- Remember how lucky you are to be at university, studying a course you love.
- And lastly, have fun! Student years will be the best years of your life and trust me, they will pass in the blink of an eye.