So you’ve applied to uni, received your offer, accepted your place, but what next? It’s time to start thinking about student accommodation for your first year of uni! I can imagine many of you are wondering, questioning, panicking and even slightly hesitant to wonder what living in halls is like. I was too! To ease your concerns, here’s my essential guide to campus accommodation so you’re ready for your first year of uni.
My story of living in halls
Before I started University in 2016 I was extremely worried as to what my accommodation was going to look like, which accommodation to choose and who I would be living with (it is a scary thought!)
I’m going to give a quick run through how to apply for accommodation, how to know which halls are right for you and some of my experiences when I was a first year student living in campus accommodation.
Applying for campus accommodation
What do I do, WHAT DO I DO?!
They were my words exactly too! First off, do not panic! The main thing is getting your first and second choices in for applying for accommodation at the University of Worcester. You will have two options for accommodation: a university managed house or halls of residence provided by the University.
Once you accept your offer from Worcester as your first choice by May 1st, you can apply for undergraduate accommodation. The University offer an amazing guarantee: if you apply for accommodation before May 31st, you’re guaranteed a place in university-managed accommodation.
That is one good guarantee! I did this, and I got my first choice of accommodation. Top tip: it’s best to apply as early as you can, as accommodation is allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis.
St John’s Campus
St John’s Campus is the main site for campus accommodation at the University, with halls of residence ranging from traditional to en-suite extra. I would definitely recommend living in St John’s accommodation if the majority of your lectures are at St John’s Campus.
It’s sometimes difficult to know whether this will be the case – if you’re a business student I am aware that many of the lectures are held at City Campus. All of my lectures were held at St John’s Campus as I am an Education student.
City Campus are filled with en-suite rooms, shared dining areas and kitchen (a bit like en-suite extra at St John’s Campus). City Campus accommodation is extremely handy if you want to be close to town and especially if many of your lectures are going to be on campus.
The accommodation at City Campus is beautiful and as a student of the University, I feel privileged to a University that offers such great accommodation for us students. There is also additional City Centre accommodation, just a 10 minute walk from City Campus.
University managed housing
The University have a great connection with many landlords in the Worcester area. Many students will apply for university managed housing if they want the more ‘homely’ feel to a student life. The only downside to this is you could be quite a far distance out from the University. However, this is great if you own or hire a bike or you’d like to walk to campus for a bit of exercise.
Questions to ask yourself before you apply
Choose your accommodation wisely! When I was choosing accommodation, I asked myself 3 questions:
1) What do I want out of my experience living in University accommodation for my first year?
2) Will this accommodation suit me and will I feel comfortable?
3) Am I going to be within a close distance to the University and my lectures?
My experience of campus accommodation
I chose to live on St John’s Campus in my 1st year. My first choice was Standard and my second choice was Standard Plus. Now you might wonder, why did you choose an accommodation that was nicer than your second choice? Well, the main reason was my undergraduate loan. The first thing you need to do is find out what your student finance maintenance loan offer is going to be from UCAS, and work out how much the cost of accommodation will be over the year.
I sat down and worked out the cost of Standard accommodation (£126 per week). I worked out how much money I would have left over to live on weekly, and this was how I decided that the Standard accommodation would best suit me. The Standard Plus had the advantage of a sink in your room, however, I didn’t mind for my first year sharing a bathroom with other people. You can usually be sharing with five other people in Standard accommodation. I was lucky… I was only sharing with three other people (heavenly!).
Standard accommodation was how I expected it to be. I was a little worried at first with sharing a bathroom. It is a daunting experience, although we are used to it back home… We’re meeting strangers and sharing a bathroom with them? It’s normal to feel weird about that. However, your flat mates will be as nervous as you are – you’re all in the same boat! The best thing I did was organise with my flat mates how we would go about using the bathrooms. Luckily for us it was two girls and two boys so the girls shared one bathroom and the boys shared the other. BINGO!
Benefits of campus accommodation
Standard accommodation was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. I was in Avon Halls, so I was very close to my lectures and although the noise level can be a bit crazy surrounded by many other students, it had many benefits! Close to the laundry facilities, close to the SU (Students’ Union) and the kitchen facilities were great – we had 3 fridges and 3 freezers which apparently is very lucky!
The only downside to the Standard accommodation personally for me was that we were really close to the SU when it was the karaoke night (yes, I hate karaoke!) So when you have a 9:15am lecture and karaoke is on, it is a little bit crazy! Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed living in Standard accommodation for my first year. It’s definitely worth weighing up the pros and the cons of each halls type and choosing what’s right for you.
You can even make your home your own! Top tip: you can make your own cinema experience by moving around furniture in the kitchen haha. (Excuse the mess in the background… We weren’t the best looking kitchen in Avon that is for sure!)
Good luck with your accommodation application and congrats on getting your offer here at Worcester! I hope you enjoy your time at Worcester and that you’re exciting for starting uni in September. I’m so glad I had the experience of living in halls, and every student wants that experience right? Please do leave your questions and tips in the comments below!
Want to know more about campus accommodation? Visit the accommodation pages on the University of Worcester website.