I’m Teresa, I’m Italian and in my second year studying Comparative Literature with Film Studies. As you move closer to starting at university, I thought I’d give some advice about student halls – my personal experience and top tips!
In my first year, I lived in King’s accommodation in Stratford, which I really enjoyed. There are lots of things to do in the area (see Lesser Known London: So, you’re living in Stratford) and its only a short commute to campus. Moving to a new city was daunting, but living in halls made me feel secure, homely and not alone. The facilities are excellent, and there is a 24-hour reception in case you need anything too. On move-in day, everyone was in the same situation and therefore super willing to make new friends! I think spending your first year in student halls is crucial, as it is one of the best ways to get to know people and make friends.
Some top tips I can give you:
- Use King’s social accounts to find people moving in your accommodation before move-in day! Every year King’s Residences has multiple official Facebook groups for each residence that you can join. It’s a good way to start building new friendships before uni starts. This will make you feel less alone or scared when you actually move in!
- Join as many activities as you can within your hall! Throughout the year, and especially during Welcome Week, student halls organise loads of activities and icebreaker events that you can join. I remember the first night I moved in, my accommodation organised a pizza night (pizza = good times!). There, I met one of the best friends I made at uni (with whom I’m living with in my second year), but also I got free pizza and had tons of fun!
- Make sure you bring some personal items with you that remind you of home. We’ve all been there, some days being away from home might be harder than others, so make sure you bring some photos of your friends and family, teddy bears or postcards that remind you of home.
- As tempting as it may be, don’t pack your whole wardrobe! Spoiler Alert: your room most likely won’t be as big as Buckingham Palace and space will be limited! Be selective with the clothes you want to bring, especially as you’ll probably find yourself going shopping in the first few weeks of uni with your new flat mates! Some key shops to check when decorating your room are: Primark, Paperchase, IKEA, Typo, Urban Outfitters and Stanfords. Check out Tamina’s guide to decorating your uni room.
- Explore! Get to know the residence and the area. You can ask the reception for suggestions on the best shops or cheap food places near you. There are also lots of free things to do in London, like ‘Friday Lates’ at museums and galleries so you won’t have to spend a fortune to create great memories. London has everything to offer you, make sure you enjoy it! For more tips on how to make the most of living in London (without spending loads!), check out Eleanora’s blog post.
Best of luck with your first year – you’ll learn so much and have a great time!