As my third year of uni is fast approaching, I thought it would be nice to reflect on this time two years ago. I was packing up all my stuff and preparing to move down to Glasgow on my own.
I was terrified, but I was definitely excited too! Like many students, my plan was to live in student halls for my first year. I definitely couldn’t afford to rent privately, and I thought halls would be a good social experience.
Halls are amazing!
It’s the best part of your university experience.
You’ll make friends for life!
These were all things I heard a million times before moving, so I guess you could say I had high hopes. To cut a long story short, I was left feeling pretty disappointed…
Before I go into it, this has nothing to do with my flatmates. They were all lovely, but personally I didn’t enjoy my time living in halls.
It wasn’t easy to to go from the comfort of home to living with strangers in a new city. I knew it would take some time to adjust, but unfortunately it felt like I never really settled in…
Here is why student halls weren’t for me…
I had to eat, sleep, study and relax in the same small room. My student accommodation had a kitchen, one toilet, two small showers and our bedrooms. It sounds so silly, but I really missed having a living room… Having no shared communal space meant that 99% of my time was spent in my bedroom and I felt quite trapped.
I’m a huge introvert, but I was lonely. Spending lots of times with people wears me out, so I wasn’t up for going out and drinking every single night. As a result I probably didn’t bond with people as much as I could have, and that upset me. It felt like everyone managed to find their own little group of friends, and I never really did…
I couldn’t make the space my own. All of the bedrooms were identical – each room having the same bed, desk and wardrobe. You weren’t allowed to hang anything on the walls, and you couldn’t remove the navy and brown curtains (yes they were as bad as they sound). It never felt like home!
It made my mental health much worse. Being unhappy in my surroundings definitely had an impact on my mental health. I was having several panic attacks a day, and I was honestly pretty miserable. It got to point where I didn’t want to see anyone… I’d often wait till my flatmates were sleeping or out for the night to leave my room and make food. I definitely don’t miss it!
Looking back, it was a pretty horrible way to live for the year and I wish I’d spoke up about it a bit more at the time. I don’t regret going, but I do wish things had been different.
While I didn’t have a great experience at halls, I know that so many people do. People really do make friends for life, and that’s amazing. If you’re heading to university in September and you’re staying in student accommodation then I wish you the very best of luck!
Have you stayed in student accommodation? Did you enjoy it? I’d love to know!
In the mood to read more? Check out my last post.