I can’t believe I’m about to start my third year at Dundee and therefore it has been two years since I moved into Belmont Flats! I, like many other freshers, spent my first year at uni living in halls and I thought it would be interesting to share some of my experiences and other stories I’ve heard about halls. I hope you enjoy reading and it gets you excited for uni!
- Your halls flatmates will probably be some of your first uni friends. Whether you stay friends with them throughout your whole time at uni or not, they’re certainly the easiest people to make friends with in freshers week as you’re living together and spending time together in the communal areas of your flat. You’ll probably spend a lot of freshers week together, whether that’s going out to the Union or going to various events around campus such as library tours or free lunches!
- There will be that one flat that hosts parties every night of freshers and every weekend after that. Whether you’re into that or not, it’s definitely something everyone remembers from halls. Bonus points if you see post-it note conversations on the windows of flats across from each other!
- You will probably fall out over the rota – or lack of. Please make a cleaning rota, and make it fair. You’ll thank me later!
- You might also fall out over people using your kitchen things, be it pots and pans or that pie your grandma gave you for coming to uni. Passive aggressive sharpie-ing your things doesn’t really work – trust me, I tried. It’s a good idea to say from the first day/night whether you’re happy to share your pots, pans, crockery and cutlery, and what your stance is on sharing food. Some flatmates cook for each other, some do their own thing – either is absolutely fine! Just make sure everyone is happy with the situation.
- If one or more of your flatmates are on the same course as you, you will hold each other accountable! One of my flatmates did some of the same modules so we would force each other to leave on time for lectures. Sometimes you lose motivation and having someone to hold you accountable in your own flat is very useful.
- You might get sick from eating some slightly questionable food. Whether that’s a takeaway after a night out or a ready meal when you can’t be bothered to cook, or even if you did cook (just not very well) sometimes what you eat when you’re fending for yourself really isn’t the best and might end up making you ill! But don’t worry, this happens to loads of us and you do get over it! Make sure you have plenty of fruit and incorporate vegetables into as many of your meals as you can!
- You will roll out of bed at 11:50AM for a 12:00PM class and still make it on time – unless you’re at West Park of course! This was honestly me on a couple of occasions but I’d recommend getting out of this habit ASAP because it’s really not the same when you live in the city centre.
- You will be independent and you’ll love it! As all Dundee halls are self-catered, you have to learn to fend for yourself which, as mentioned previously, may not go to plan at first, but you do learn! The independence is probably the best thing about moving into halls as you really grow as a person and learn how to take care of yourself, all while having the convenience of not being far from campus or the city centre for when you need to get things done.
I know that this list of experiences isn’t 100% positive but I think it’s worth understanding that not everything is going to be perfect and fun when you move into halls – there’s a lot of learning and growing to do! However, when I look back on my experience in halls, despite any problems and issues we faced in my flat, I had a really great time and would recommend it to anyone starting first year at uni. I hope you’re looking forward to it if you’re joining us soon!