Halls of Residence: The Beginner’s Guide

Moving into halls of residence is an experience with a steep learning curve. There’s no easing into it – you start the day at home with your family and end it as just one person in a big block, surrounded by other students who are also settling in.

Some people have more experience in making themselves at home in a new environment like this. Travel, summer schools and residencies will help you feel less overawed by the situation, and if you went to boarding school you’re already practiced at making yourself comfortable among your peers.

If you don’t have that experience, you need a guide. Fortunately, today we’re looking at how to settle in to a hall of residence and feel at home there.

Bring a Teapot

There’s no better conversation starter than a cup of tea, especially on moving day – when the dust has settled sitting down with a hot drink is a great way to meet the people in your flat, on your corridor or however else your accommodation is arranged. It’s a truth universally acknowledged whether you’re in halls of residence in Oxford or Cambridge or the student housing Sheffield offers.

It’s a low stakes, low stress way to kick off some conversation that could turn into lifelong friendships. Even if it doesn’t, it’s good to know the names of the people around you, and it makes it easier to get along with them. Even if you don’t find people you’ll make firm friends with, it’s important to feel a sense of community with those you’re living in close proximity with.

Consideration for Others

It could be the first time you’ve lived in close proximity to other people – and that’s a tough adjustment to make. Everyone will be coming and going at different times, and have a different timetable of key deadlines and exams. 

It’s important for you to show a bit of consideration for others: if you’re starting arguments by coming home late and noisily when others have important deadlines to concentrate on you’re going to find your home a hostile place to be. On top of that, if you’re not respectful of other people you don’t have much of a leg to stand on if you need to ask someone else to keep the noise down when you’re trying to sleep.

Learning to adapt yourself to other people around you, and to solve the issues that arise without destroying the relationships you’ve built is as valuable a life skill as any you will learn in lectures and seminars!