Sorry for the sporadic nature of my blog posts lately, hopefully next week I’ll be fully settled into my new schedule and start blogging at a consistent time again. This week I’ll talk about how living in university accommodation has been like so far.
I live in Twyford Court. It’s very close to the main campus entrance by the stag statue I’m sure you’ve seen in pictures by now. My building has 3 different floors, I live on the top floor. Each floor has several rooms and a shared kitchen, in my case the kitchen is shared by 12 people.
The kitchen is very spacious, we have a table with lots of chairs to sit and work, read, eat or just talk to each other. Each of us has both a large cupboard and a smaller cupboard that we can put a lock on, as well as a shelf in the fridge and freezer. There are two fridges, two freezers, two sets of hobs and an oven so several people are able to cook at once and the fridge/freezer space isn’t as crammed as I initially imagined it would be due to the amount of people sharing it.
My room is a band D room so I have a room of my own and a bathroom inside my room. I also have a desk, two shelves that I use for books and things like paper towels and black sacks. The desk has 3 drawers so I have plenty of space to store both paperwork and writing instruments, I have a bedside table with 2 other shelves which I primarily use for keeping medicines, three drawers and two closets which I use to store some food and cooking utensils that I decided to keep in my room instead of the kitchen (like a baking tray, which I don’t use very regularly) and clothing. There is also some storage space under the bed but I haven’t used it yet.
To enter the building we need to use an RFID reader and our student IDs, so only the people living here have access. Campus security is also available 24/7 and they arrive promptly every time they get a call. They can deal with anything ranging from noise complaints to more severe issues, like fires. We have fire sensors in every single room (except for the kitchen, as far as I know) and a fire blanket in the kitchen which residents can use to put out small fires if they feel confident enough to do so.
There’s also several different kinds of support available for students living on campus. During the first semester we had a student life mentor (a student who has been at the university longer and received training to deal with things arising in shared accommodation) visit us every week to check in on us and there’s a number that students could call if they needed any support on a day the student life mentor wasn’t dropping by. During the second semester they’ll be stopping by every two weeks instead but they’re still there if something comes up. The student life mentor team also organized several events for students living on campus, such as ice skating.
We also have a warden team. I haven’t really seen them since the first few weeks but my understanding is that they are the people who deal with any issues that might involve taking disciplinary action, and they also help when things like fire alarms happen. There’s an email that people can use to contact them and they seem to be very accessible, even though I haven’t needed their help so far. My understanding is that all wardens are people who have a day time job at the university and live on campus with their families year round.
In addition to all those things there’s also the court reception. I don’t go to mine much since it’s up the hill but I know every student living on campus can book rooms at the court reception for parties and the like and those facilities are also available for people to use as they please if the rooms aren’t booked by someone else. Post that is sent through the royal mail is also delivered at the court reception, in pigeonholes with the students’ initials. All post that isn’t sent through the royal mail is delivered to central distribution, which is just a few steps away from where I live (I can actually see it through my window).
Overall I’m really happy living in university accommodation and I hope I can live here during the next academic year, though that’s still something that’s up in the air (only first year/first time students and students in certain circumstances are guaranteed housing). I guess I’ll keep you updated on what happens!