My experience of student accommodation

Hey all! Hope the beginning to your week has gone well so far!

I recently uploaded a blog on the different types of accommodation, which I will link below now;

Life at Edge Hill: On-Campus Accommodation

This blog is a more general view of the accommodation that is on offer on campus at Edge Hill, so I wanted to offer a more personal view of the accommodation I was living in; the Margaret Bain (all female) Back Halls!

When applying for accommodation, you get to choose 5 different halls in which you would be happy with, in order of your first to last choice. Obviously, as a lot of students apply there’s the odd chance you might not get your first option, but they try their hardest to fit everyone where they want and both me and most of the people I know who lived on campus actually did get their first choice! I made Back Halls my first choice for a variety of reasons; it was fairly close to the centre of the campus, I didn’t mind sharing a bathroom, it was the cheapest option (so I could spend more money on food and social things!), and when I went on an accommodation tour when I auditioned for my course I loved how spacious the rooms were!

I don’t have any decent pics of my room last year, but it basically looked like this, but with the bookcase on top of the desk and the bedside cabinet at the end of the bed!

The great thing about Back Halls is that although it’s the cheapest option for on-campus accommodation, it’s not a dump! I know a lot of people worry about cheap Uni accommodation but I was more than happy with the building and even miss the homeliness of my room last year! The only real big different to the more expensive accommodation options, for example Founders Court and Chancellors Court/South, is that you share a bathroom with your cluster and you don’t get an ensuite or TV/computer in your room. Every accommodation has a shared kitchen, so that’s not any different to other buildings! The kitchens and bathrooms are maintained throughout the week by a cleaner that the Uni hire, the only time you have to keep it clean is throughout the weekend. So, it’s always clean, and to be honest I rarely even had an issue of waiting for showers or the toilet! There are also so many pros to not spending more money on accommodation:

  • You have more money for food (and Dominos… I know what you’re all thinking!)
  • You have more money for shopping and general student habits
  • You have more money to go to restaurants etc. on nice occasions
  • You have more money to go on nights out!

Another thing that I found amazing about Back Halls is that it’s the only accommodation on campus that has a proper declared common room area. There is a TV in this room that has a license paid for by the Uni and sofas for you and your flatmates to all sit and talk, get to know each other at Freshers’, and enjoy some TV together. It’s just such a wonderful atmosphere!

There are also even more perks this year than there was last year. Here are some of the new and old things I loved about its location:

  • Last year I loved the fact that Back Halls is right next to the SU bar! Not only is this good for going to the events, as it’s literally a 2 minute walk, but there is also the SU takeaway there too, the SU shop where you can buy clothes and Edge Hill merch and there’s now even a brand new Subway!
  • You just have to walk through the corridor that links all of these together and you’re right in front of the Hub. This is super useful if you want to use the computers on the top floor or drop in to get a Starbucks! It’s also a 5 minutes walk away from the library, which was useful when I’d forgotten to grab a book or two.
  • It’s just around the corner from the Durning Centre, where you collect post. Just round the corner from that there is also an exit to the Uni which takes you just outside Ruff Woods- the beautiful woods that are just outside the Uni. I loved just popping up there for a walk when I was stressed or just needed alone time.

Another great thing you’ll find about living in student accommodation is the friends you make! Of course, living with strangers can be nerve-wracking, and you might not be best friends with everyone, that’s just the nature of getting to know people, but you will find friends for life on campus. I’m living with two girls I was living with next year this year too, by choice, because we got so close last year! And I wouldn’t have met either of them if I wasn’t living in that building, so I’m forever grateful for the chance to meet likeminded and fun people that the on-campus accommodation and Back Halls gave me!

If you want to know any more about my experience, any questions you want, drop me a comment! I hope this has given you an idea of what it’s like and the pros of living in student accommodation!

Life at Edge Hill: On-Campus Accommodation

Hey all, I hope you are doing well and are having a great start to a new academic year so far. Some of you reading this will be thinking about university now, and if you are considering Edge Hill University (great choice, by the way!), one of the things that might influence your choice is the on-campus accommodation. Edge Hill has lots of lovely types of accommodation, with their own personality and with everything any student attending lessons here could need. Regardless of if you want an en-suite or are happy sharing a bathroom, or if you need a cheap accommodation alternative or don’t mind spending a bit more money on accommodation, there’s something suited to everyone!

There are two different types of accommodation that I will split this post into – catered and self-catered. I have also listed these different types in order of most expensive per week to the cheapest per week;

Catered

Main Halls- £109 a week

Main Halls is part of the probably the first beautiful building you will see upon entering the Edge Hill campus. The two sides of Main Halls link to the Main Building, which gives you great access to the Hub’s services, including the Sage Hall food court, Starbucks, computers and printers. It is also very close to the library. As this is catered accommodation, there is only a small kitchen area in which you can grab snacks and make yourself hot drinks and such, however you are given a Unicard which has money on it from what you pay towards your rent. This can be used to buy food from the various places on campus serving food, such as the Red Bar in the Arts Centre or Sage Hall.

In the kitchens there’s a fridge, freezer, cooker, microwave, toaster, kettle, iron and ironing board, and a cupboard to put any extra food you do buy. As well as the shared kitchens, there are shower cubicles and bathrooms which are shared with your specific cohort within Main Halls. These are kept clean throughout the week by a cleaner, so despite them being shared, they’re kept clean! I know some people worry about sharing bathrooms, but if everything else about Main Halls appeals to you, honestly don’t let bathrooms change your mind, it won’t be the nightmare you might be imagining!

In your rooms you get a single bed, desk and chair, wardrobe, drawers and bedside storage, everything you could really need! The bedrooms are great, especially for the price, and once you get your stuff in there will definitely feel homely.

As with all the other accommodation types, there is free WiFi, 24/7 security walking around campus and on call if needed, and the contract is a 40 week contract.

 

Self-Catered

Chancellors Court and Chancellors South- £124 a week

The Chancellors accommodation buildings are in probably the most beautiful part of the campus. They are close to the Creative Edge (the building most of the film and media based courses are based in) and Sporting Edge (the building that the gym and swimming pool reside in and sports lessons sometimes also occur) buildings, and also surrounds one of the two beautiful lakes on campus – perfect to walk around and chill, and even has its own little beach!

This is a self-catered type of accommodation, so you do not get money to spend on campus from the University and have to cook your own meals in a kitchen you share with your cluster (either 6/8 people). The kitchens include a fridge, freezer, oven, induction hob (with induction pans and such), microwave, kettle, iron and ironing board, and a TV with a license paid for by the Uni!

Unlike Main Halls, in your rooms you get an en-suite shower room. So, if sharing a bathroom really is a deal breaker for you, then this would be perfect for you. In your room you also get a single bed, desk and chair, wardrobe, drawers, bedside storage and mini fridge. If you need an adapted room, call this number: 01695 584190.

As with all the other accommodation types, there is free WiFi, 24/7 security walking around campus and on call if needed, and the contract is a 40 week contract.

 

Founders Court and Palatine Court- £119/£124 a week dependent on the hall

Founders Court is situated very close to the Arts Centre, so is perfect if you’re doing a creative, performance based/orientated course and want to get to your lesson quick (lets you stay in bed those extra minutes!). Palatine is a little further away, closer to the Creative Edge building, however, the same principle applies!

Again, this accommodation type is self-catered, so you have a shared kitchen (shared with 6/8 people in your cluster) in which you can store and cook your meals. The kitchens in these buildings also have the same things as the kitchens in the Chancellors buildings (fridge, freezer, etc).

Also, similarly to the Chancellors buildings, the bedrooms have the same layout and things in them, and an en-suite shower room (perfect for people not keen on sharing bathrooms).  If you need an adapted room (only available for Founders Court), call this number: 01695 584190.

As with all the other accommodation types, there is free Wifi, 24/7 security walking around campus and on call if needed, and the contract is a 40 week contract.

 

Graduates Court- £119 a week

Graduates Court is located close to the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Health and Social Care buildings, and is also close to the other wonderful lake on campus. It’s also a very short walk away from the centre of campus, library and the Hub, so its services are easily accessible, which can often be useful!

Again, this accommodation type is self-catered, so you have a shared kitchen (shared with 6/8 people in your cluster) in which you can store and cook your meals. The kitchens in these buildings also have the same things as the kitchens in the Chancellors, Forest Court and Palatine Court buildings (fridge, freezer, etc).

Also, similarly to the Chancellors, Forest Court and Palatine Court buildings, the bedrooms have the same layout and things in them, and an en-suite shower room (perfect for people not keen on sharing bathrooms).

As with all the other accommodation types, there is free WiFi, 24/7 security walking around campus and on call if needed, and the contract is a 40 week contract.

 

Forest Court- £99/£88 a week

Forest Court is more or less next to Palatine Court, and so would be great for anyone in Creative or Sporting Edge. It is also just on the very edge of the centre of campus, which means you can easily get to the Hub and the library.

Again, this accommodation type is self-catered, so you have a shared kitchen (shared with usually 6 people in your cluster, some halls in Forest Court are slightly different though) in which you can store and cook your meals. The kitchens in these buildings have a fridge, freezer, cooker, microwave, kettle, iron and ironing board.

The bedrooms are a little different to the more expensive accommodation on campus, but is still homely and provides you with everything you need; a single bed, desk and chair, wardrobe, drawers and bedside storage. There is also an en-suite shower room option, so again, perfect for people who worry about sharing bathrooms. This option cost £99, but if you don’t mind sharing you can save an extra £10 and share a bathroom. There are also accessible rooms available upon request.

As with all the other accommodation types, there is free WiFi, 24/7 security walking around campus and on call if needed, and the contract is a 40 week contract.

 

Back Halls- £74 a week

Back Halls is the most cost efficient accommodation on campus, but is still lovely to live in (known from personal experience! Keep checking back on the blog for another blog on my first year experience in Back Halls and on campus). It is also just behind the SU Bar and the brand new Subway that has been built on campus, and is in front of the Durning Centre where you pick up your post – so super convenient! It’s also a short walk away from the Hub, like Graduates Court.

Again, this accommodation type is self-catered, so you have a shared kitchen (shared with the people in your cluster) in which you can store and cook your meals. The kitchens in these buildings have a fridge, freezer, cooker, microwave, toaster, kettle, iron and ironing board and individual food lockers. In this accommodation there is also only shared bathrooms, however, as in Main Halls they are regularly cleaned and are never an issue in terms of cleanliness.

Again, the bedrooms are a little different to the more expensive accommodation on campus, but is still homely and provides you with everything you need; a single bed, desk and chair, wardrobe, drawers and bedside storage. You also have a sink basin in your room, which is great for brushing your teeth before bed without having to go to the bathroom.

There is also a common room area within Back Halls, which is perfect for hanging out with your flatmates and friends and meet new people on Freshers’ Week.

As with all the other accommodation types, there is free WiFi, 24/7 security walking around campus and on call if needed, and the contract is a 40 week contract.

 

And that’s all the different types! All the different types are all great and lovely to live in, but if there are specific things you want then I hope this info has helped! You can also request to be in all female accommodation, quiet accommodation and alcohol-free accommodation if you so wish.

If you want a little more information on living on campus at Edge Hill, then click here to follow a link to the Uni’s official page on accommodation and living on campus. Otherwise, feel free to drop me questions in the comments below also! Hope you have a great week!

What To Bring To Halls

Deciding what to take to university may seem like an overwhelming task and you may ask yourself many questions: How many socks are too many socks? Will I ever use this piece of kitchenware? Are you sure I can’t bring my dog/cat/fish/bird/etc??? The answers are: You can never have too many socks; No, you will not; I wish you could bring a pet, but we’re sure you can’t 🙁 But in all seriousness, here’s my advice, anything too big or inexpensive can be bought locally – don’t bother with the hassle of transporting an inconvenient number of things when you can just buy it from Ormskirk or even Liverpool.

Kitchenware is something that you’ll need but will undoubtedly end up having too much of. Since you’ll be sharing space with a number of other students, you could organise yourselves to buy only the right amount of cutlery, pans, etc. This is easy if you communicate and set up a groupchat on facebook via halls pages when they are set up for you in the summer. Basics here include: cutlery, kitchen knives, chopping boards, small oven tray, glasses, mugs, plates, bowls, saucepans – maybe a wok or a frying pan (both come in handy), also tupperware is useful too (but can be acquired through ordering takeout!)

A room in the Back Halls accommodation

Bedding such as your duvet, mattress protector, pillow(s), and sheets are essential. If you’re from the south then you may think you won’t be able to bear the cold winter ahead of you and be tempted to buy a high tog duvet – don’t. I found the halls to be well insulated and heated, but if you do find yourself cold, you can always buy a blanket – which will liven up your room and make you feel at home anyway! Other bedroom supplies include a doorstop (to make your time at uni just a bit more social), a laundry basket (or you could just use one of those big IKEA bags and save yourself the time it takes for you to inevitably transfer your clothes over), and a clothes horse/airer. You won’t need to bring a TV if you get into Chancellors, Graduates, Founders or Palatine, since they have TVs in the rooms (you’ll need your own TV licence for watching live shows though) but if you want to bring a TV to any other hall, don’t bring a big one – it’ll be too big for a university room anyway.

Chancellors Court

When it comes to clothes, it’s really a matter of opinion. You need casual clothes for lounging and everyday life, at least one smart outfit for formal occasions, and nice clothes for going out or if you just feel like putting extra effort in one day! The British weather is forever fickle, so be prepared, and you’ll be fine. Bring as much underwear and socks for a week, two – max. This will set how often you have to do laundry, although if you have an en-suite then you could just do them in the sink by hand – saves a lot of money and is convenient. For the bathroom, you’ll need your regular toiletries, as well as at least one towel. Again, if you have an en-suite then a small bin is useful to have too.

Finally, considering you’re going to university to study, you’ll probably need some stationery supplies too! Apart from the usual stuff, I found a binder with dividers was helpful during revision.

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What it’s Really Like Living in Back Halls

Today I’m going to be reminiscing on my first year of uni again, as today I’m going to be talking about my first year on campus accommodation, which as you can see by the title of the post was Back Halls. Now before I start I’d like to clear something up as there is a lot of negativity towards Back Halls as it is one of the cheapest accommodations on campus and it’s old, like really old. However I can honestly say I loved my time in Back Halls, and maybe that’s because I didn’t come from a household which has all the glitz and glamor in the first place, but for what Backs Halls is, I think it’s great. So without further or do, I’ll give you a tour of my old flat!


So just for context, I didn’t apply for back halls, my main choice was forest court and nowhere on my list was back halls, making the news of getting placed there quite sad. Luckily it turned out great, not only money wise but experience wise as well as I was placed in Margaret Bain, which for those of you who don’t know is self-catered, female only, and has 8 to 9 people on each floor, sharing those facilities. This might sound like hell for some people, as there is an assumption that fights would occur, and yes, there were times when people got on each other’s nerves, but that’s just what living together, in general, does to you, and honestly, it wasn’t bad at all. Now, this leads me onto the number one question I’d always get asked which was “What’s it like sharing a bathroom between that many people?”. And to answer that: it’s not bad at all, I never really found myself waiting to use it (only a handful of times, so not much at all) and the bathroom and toilet are two separate rooms, so no inconvenience there. The kitchen, on the other hand, was a different story.


Close up view from the door.

Just like the bathroom, the kitchen is shared between eight, each person has a food cupboard with a lock on it, and the rest of the kitchen cupboards are shared out between you, there is also two fridge freezers and one cooker, so it has everything you need. One of the biggest issues with this situation was space, which in the end was okay as fridge room wasn’t too much of an issue because as a student you buy fewer perishables, the freezer, however, was a different story as sometimes people’s food would spill over into your draw. But overall I didn’t count that as a big issue, the only issue I really had was the cooker as there is one between eight of us so made tea time hell on times.

View from my window.

But overall it’s not that much of a negative as you only need to cook in there and it does that job, so I was happy overall. However one thing that many people don’t realise is that there are no tables in back halls, the kitchen is too small for one, so there just isn’t one, which means you have to eat your food at your desk in your room which was weird at first but I got use to it. So you think with that in mind people wouldn’t wanna eat at mine: wrong! Instead, takeaway night was held at mine every week. You might be asking yourself why this is the case when many of my friends lived in chancellor’s court and the simple answer to that is that the rooms in back halls are huge, and it’s amazing! Speaking of room, I should probably get on explaining that to you!

 


When you move into Back Halls you get given three keys, one is a fob which buzzes you into the building, one is for the food locker I mentioned earlier and the other is for your room, so it’s completely safe before you ask, no one can get into your room if you don’t want them to.
Anyway once you enter the room you are greeted to the “first room”, as the room has two doors/rooms: the sink area and the main room. The first little room has a sink on one side and a spacious cupboard on the other. I loved this little area as it made getting ready in the morning so easy as you could brush your teeth, wash your face, put makeup on if you wanted and get dressed in one area. The cupboard also had a little built in shelf area which was pretty cool. Anyway onto the rest of my room!


As I said before, the room is very spacious, which the pictures don’t do any justice. There’s a bed, desk, drawers and a huge cupboard that 3 people could fit in it easily without any effort. The room was really easy to decorate as there’s a huge pinboard on the wall which as you can see, I took full advantage of.
One thing I really loved about the room was the view as I had a tree outside my window which birds would sit on which made it feel more like home looking at them. The heating was also a big plus as I was never really cold as the heating was great! The bed was also extremely comfortable, which was a good and bad thing, as when I went home my bed felt rubbish compared to my uni one! 
Finally, Back Halls is in the centre of campus, which is great as it’s close to everything. It’s next door to the SU and laundrette and is a very short walk away from the Hub. But of course, nothing is perfect, everything has its flaws and Back Halls was no different, especially when it came to the noise issues. 


Back Halls has thin walls on times which can be an issue when you’re trying to sleep, and your neighbor isn’t. Additionally due to it’s location the SU music can faintly be heard some nights. However, that can all be forgiven when you consider how cheap it is to rent compared to other student accommodation, which honestly was agodsend.


So overall I love Backs Halls, I may be the only person to ever say that but I do.  And if I had my time again I wouldn’t change it as it was just what I needed in my first year when everything was new and sometimes scary, to have a nice warm, homely place to come back to was everything I needed and more.
I hope you got something from this post, I plan to write a blog post about what it’s like living in a student home in Ormskirk at some point next month, so look out for that!
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: Sherlock (2010-)

My experience of life in Back Halls

Hello all!

There are many different types and accommodation on campus that cater to everyone- whether you have a low or high budget, or even if you want to be in an all female accommodation.

I chose to live in Back Halls, and I couldn’t have made a better choice. My first four months living here have given me the confidence I need as I ease myself into the responsibilities of adult life and have given me friends for life.

One of the Back Halls buildings

One of the many benefits of Back Halls is that, unless you wish to go for the catered option, it is Edge Hill’s cheapest accommodation choice. If you wish to opt for the catered option, the price is the same as Main Halls. The difference between catered and self-catered is that the rent you pay extra in the catered halls goes on a card you can use to buy food at the many food outlets around campus, such as the Red Bar situated in the Arts Centre, or the Hub, which is situated in the centre of the campus. For 2017/2018 the rent for the self-catered Back Halls is £72 a week for 40 weeks, bills included, and the rent for the catered Back Halls is £109 a week for 40 weeks, bills included.

Inside the Hub- one of the many places to get food as a catered Back Halls student!

There are many benefits to choosing cheaper accommodation choices, here are just a few;

  • You have more money for food (let’s be real here, every student loves to have food in it’s masses and it’s always handy for those times you’re craving something from the local Chinese takeaway or Domino’s!)
  • If you are getting a low amount of Student Finance or are self-funding your studies, cheaper accommodation is also very useful and leaves you with less money worries
  • If you’re worried about budgeting and want to ensure you don’t go over budget, this is easier to do if you’re less worried about paying a smaller amount of rent

In the Back Halls accommodation, the rooms are split into clusters of students with whom you share bathroom and kitchen facilities with. I share a cluster with 9 other students, and I know what you’re thinking- sharing a bathroom with 9 people??! Some people I know at the Uni and friends from home find sharing a bathroom to change their mind when it comes to accommodation, but you shouldn’t let it! I’ve never once had an issue with the bathroom in all 4 months at the accommodation. Everyone is in and out of their lessons all throughout the week, so I’ve always found time when the shower and bath is free, and there is a cleaner who cleans Monday-Friday who ensures the toilet and bath are clean and suitable for use. The cleaner also keeps the kitchen is usable shape, and the common room, which is shared with the four clusters in the buildings.

Speaking of the common room, one of the biggest benefits of living in Back Halls is how friendly it is and the sense of community. It’s like living with one big supportive family! The common room is a great way to get to hang out with the people you share a cluster with plus the people in the other clusters for your building. Each cluster has a TV with a TV license, suitable for everyone to come watch the evening football together, or, as my Halls did, watch the finale of the Great British Bake Off! Recent events have been very festive in my Halls, with collective meals of party food for the Christmas season occurring and Secret Santa! If you’re a big fan of such events or just the idea of having a communal place to lounge around and chat with your friends, or even make new friends at the beginning of the semester when everything is scary, Back Halls is the place for you!

There are 5 Back Halls buildings- the catered ones are called Eleanor Rathbone, Katherine Fletcher and Lady Openshaw, the self-catered ones are called Margaret Bain (which is also the all-female Back Halls building) and E.M. Butterworth. Although you will only be living in one building, they are all so close to each other that you will definitely get to know each other. My Student Assistant also set up a Facebook chat for the entirety of Back Halls, so we can always contact each other if we want/need to!

My flatmates- friends for life!

The best thing about this sense of community and being with so many people is that in the early stages of Uni, even if you aren’t hanging out like best buddies to begin with, and especially if you get homesick or lonely, there are always new people to meet who are going through the same thing as you, and once you’ve made first introductions you can always go knock on someone’s door so you’re not alone in your room. I’m a very awkward person, but once I’d broken the ice I couldn’t have been in a better place!

It’s always good to be as close to the facilities around campus as possible on lazy or ill days too- another good thing about Back Halls; you’re literally next to the laundrette, the Durning Centre (where you can collect parcels) and the Student Union bar!

If there is anything you wish to know more about Back Halls, feel free to pop me a comment! I’ll be happy to answer anything 🙂

I hope you are all having a great weekend, speak to you soon!

If you are wishing to see what other places of accommodation are available for students on campus, below there are a few links to show you the range of accommodation that is offered and some useful tips and info:

https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergraduate/accommodation/living-on-campus

Accommodation Guide!

Which Accommodation is Right for Me?