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A Second Year’s Guide to Living in Halls

By MeganRLA 19 Dec 2022

Moving to Uni is such an exciting experience! It’s the first taste of freedom for many of you and you finally get your own space to decorate. However, you may not have had to live with strangers before or not know where to start when it comes to packing. Below are some top tips from a second year who has plenty of experience living in university residences.

What to Bring

You may be quick to assume that moving into halls is like moving into a new flat – that it’ll be completely empty, and you’ll need to get everything from an ironing board to teaspoons. However, this isn’t true. Your mattress is already provided, along with your kettle and toaster in the kitchen, among other items. It’s recommended to check the Cardiff University Accommodation website to see what is included in your flat before you arrive to avoid spending money on unnecessary items. You’ll mainly need to supply things for yourself, like plates, a duvet, and bed sheets. A pro tip would be to bring some items from home, like photos or soft blankets to help you feel more settled in your new room, especially in the initial stage when you may be feeling slightly homesick.

Getting along with your Flatmates

We get it! It can be a daunting experience to live with new people and you may have no idea what to expect. Although, everyone is in the same boat and your new flatmates are just as nervous and excited to meet you as you are them.

The best way to socialise in the first few weeks in your new flat is by investing in a door stop and saying “Hello!” to every soul that passes your door. This is a great way to break the ice. Once you’ve met everyone you could make a group chat and make plans together to get to know each other better. Soon enough, you’ll be planning flat trips to the supermarket and cooking food together.

However, if there are any issues in your flat, you can always contact your Res Life team through the QR code left in your kitchen on your arrival, or at one of our events in your site social centre. The QR code is a confidential service where forms completed will be dealt with anonymously and the team will do their best to help settle your concerns.

Making it Feel Like Home

I must admit, when you first walk into your room and all you see is a mattress and some shelves it can feel just like an empty hotel room and not very much like your new home for the year. However, there are plenty of things you can bring to liven the place up and truly make it feel like yours. You could make your room feel like home by bringing your favourite soft blanket, buying some fairy lights to add to your pin board (make sure they’re battery-operated!), or adding a small rug to the carpet. Your pin board may be looking a little sad to begin with – but just think of the potential! If you head to FreePrints you can get a hold of 40 free photos per month where you only have to pay for shipping. This is a fun, easy, and hassle-free option to add some colour to your walls.

Other Tips and Tricks

Whether you’re sharing with four other students or up to thirty different people, it’s really important to label your cutlery if you plan to leave with the same number of knives and forks you went in with. Everyone is going to have their own plates, pans, and cutlery and you’ll all have spares – that’s a lot of stuff! Buying things in a distinct colour, like cutlery with stripy handles, is a great way to limit the number of things you’re likely to lose.