What I Won’t Miss About Halls

Do you look back on halls with fond memories? This ex-fresher doesn’t. Here’s why halls suck.

Alcohol Fresher Freshers halls Student university

Rooms

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Hall ‘bedrooms’ are generally tiny. They’ll fit your bed, a desk and a wardrobe smaller than the Simpsons’. Single beds are never desirable, least of all in the one year you can pull whoever you like without being judged (too much). People’s rooms will inevitably become messy caves where it’s impossible to find anything. Especially your lecture notes.

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One of the hardest tasks is moving everything in, and out. Don’t expect there to be a lift…there won’t. The stairs will also transform into a labyrinth after 2am when you can’t remember how many floors up your room is.

Food

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You’ll ALWAYS be hungry in halls, and probably for the rest of uni life. All ‘catered’ means is you miss breakfast and eat the same tasteless meals everyday. Expect: chilli, hairs, and endless chicken dishes.

The dinner hall is also the hotspot for bumping into people you’ve met/slept with/vommed-over the night before. Learning the skill of fake smiles and keeping your head down is crucial and, if you’re clumsy like me, you’ll drop your tray and face complete humiliation at dinner.

People

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Even if you manage to avoid people at dinner, you’ll never be able to avoid people you live with. There’s no sleep due to music, people coming to see you and… the worst… Sex Noises. People honestly bang against the wall just to interrupt your peace; investing in earplugs was the best thing I did. (Unless you’re into that sort of thing.)

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With that many raging students holed up in one building there’s ongoing drama and gossip. The worst part is knowing you’ll have to look after at least one person who can’t hold their spirits pretty much every night.

Toilets

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Unless you’re one of the lucky ones with an en-suite (highly recommended), you’ll be lumbered with a shared bathroom. People use the showers/toilets as they please and render them useless by the third day of freshers’. Think: Skids, Vom, Piss and even birds nests.

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Bearing in mind there’ll always be someone lurking about, you’ll have to master the art of the ‘silent shit’. This is a serious point — if anyone hears you, you may as well drop out.

Likewise, there’s the fear of baring all in the shower. Some make the trip to the shower fully clothed and risk looking prudish. The exhibitionists go for broke. Your best bet is flip-flops and a towel, but be careful not to catch it in the fire doors.

“Slugs used to fall into my drink.” – Rhianna Smith (ex-fresher Liverpool)

The pranks

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They’re hilarious bantz if you’re not the one being pranked, but coming home to a room covered in bubble-wrap and water-filled paper cups is enough to piss off the Dalai Lama after a ‘hard day’ at uni.

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Fire alarms

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In no other residence will you have to stand outside for hours on end because someone burnt some toast or sprayed their deodorant. The worst are the 3am ones (what are you even doing in bed? You should still be out!) meaning dressing in the first thing you can find — even worse if the room you’re in isn’t your own…

Halls are an essential part of any students’ time at uni, but I doubt anyone would choose to go back, or if they do then they probably just don’t have friends to live with.

My mate Mary-Kate, an ex-fresher at Liverpool, says when in halls, “you live your life as a commodity.” It’s important to meet people and make the most of the fact that somebody will ALWAYS go out with you, but, beyond that, it’s basically a prison.