Reflections on Dwellings

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(Coastal view from St Andrews and surrounding areas)

Aloha dear reader! Apologies for my protracted absence – March flew by in an essay panic, to which I awarded myself with a two week vacation. It was the first time I didn’t spend all the one month break in Turkey which, I can conclude, was a superb call. I’d like to dedicate this post to the hefty topic that is accommodation – not so much address and assess the options but rather discuss some widespread myths and rumours that spread like wildfire among first years. All practical information I will include in the links to at the end and, as always, feel free to use the comments section to ask me any questions!

I lived in Wolfson House in my first year. I had applied a few weeks past the deadline and in a parental induced frenzy, I found a room in a flat share on Gumtree whilst anxiously awaiting my homelessness. Ultimately, the room proved to be an unnecessary measure (as a first year international I was a priority). At the time, Wolfson House had not been refurbished – the rooms yet had a roadside motel feel with their stained blue walls and worn out burgundy carpeting. Yet, the apartment’s prime location just a few hundred meters from London Bridge and its relatively affordable cost more than made up for its lack of appeal. Now however, Wolfson House is the whole package – that dusty feel has been replaced by modern furniture and fresh painting.

People tend to ponder on this mystical sociability of particular halls, as if it’s the corridors that make obligatory small chat each morning or the shared bathroom contemplates which over-publicised student night to pass out in on Tuesday. Well, I get it: the layout of the apartments or the level of sophistication of the common rooms undoubtedly have an effect on the minute per encounter ratio. Upon first glance, the more people you bump into on a regular basis, the higher the chances of making friends with them. I agree with this position (I met the most memorable person of my first year in the lift) but what I don’t comprehend is that how this sociability factor can be the sole or the major determining factor of your first year social experience. What I’m trying to get at is that where you live it doesn’t matter as much as you probably think it does. That being said, meeting like-minded people ain’t always easy.

Take me, for example, I made a near minimal effort for the overwhelming majority of the year in getting to know my flatmates. While most made friends in our halls within weeks, for whatever reason, I chose to stand on the sideline and it wasn’t until May that I had made a couple solid friends that I actually wanted to spend time with. University can be a bit of a pressure to socially thrive and for many (yes, many) the pace at which things seem to move is just too fast. Therefore, while I’d strongly encourage one to make the effort in meeting people, I’m not an advocate of doing things out of one’s element. Pushing your comfort zone is great but there’s no need for conquering foreign territories.

A sixth form student approached me yesterday, asking for my honest opinion on how sociable King’s is, which is what prompted me to take the issue of accommodation from the angle I have. General information on accommodation can be found here and click here for detailed information on King’s halls!