Halls vs House

2nd year Hannah weighs up the pros and convs of living in Halls vs a House in Selly

I loved living in halls last year. It may have been permanently littered with half-empty Roosters boxes and fully-emptied Glenn’s vodka bottles, but my Maple Bank flat quickly became a sanctuary where I could hide away from 9am starts and memories of the night before. When the time came to leave The Vale a few months ago, I’ll openly admit that I nearly shed a tear.

However, as September rolled in and Selly Oak once more opened its arms to the swarm of new second-years, I began to note some distinct advantages of being out of halls. So, here’s a comprehensive (ish) list on the pros and cons of each living arrangement:



The obvious one – heating. Trust me, you’ll regret not taking full advantage of all-inclusive bills when a year later you find yourself wearing five jumpers in October.

Neighbours Living in close proximity with so many people has lots of advantages. Can’t be bothered to walk to Costcutter? Borrowing milk/sugar/shot glasses has never been easier.

Sense of community Halls are great if you found the prospect of moving away from home daunting.

One big happy family


Uni ‘lads/ladettes’ For whatever reason, being in a novelty situation like halls seemed to bring out the worst in some people. Within four days of freshers’ week one of my flatmates had lost his phone, thrown up in our kitchen and pulled his bedroom door off of its hinges. Some of you might even recognise him.

Ladies and gentlemen…Luke Terry

At certain parts of the year, uni ‘lad’ behaviour also manifested itself in:

Extreme hall rivalry Now, I’m all for friendly competition. I happily donned the camouflage and pink clothing required to be part of the Maple Bank army when Colourfest came around last year. However, a couple of other ex-Bankers I know took it upon themselves to steal, piss on and then attempt to burn flags from other halls. Hmm.

At times the Maple/Mason divide got a little tense…

Annoying flatmates The element of choice isn’t there in halls, and if you didn’t get on with certain people in your flat, the move out probably couldn’t come fast enough for you.



Nicer It might be no surprise that a house – any house – is technically more aesthetically pleasing than Maple Bank.

Independence Although you’re still renting, it’s nice to know that no-one will threaten you with a £200 fine if your burnt toast sets off the fire alarm.


No meal plan If the thought of cooking for yourself scared you senseless and you opted for meal plan, I would at least try to learn some basics to prepare yourself for second year. Like rice. No-one can fuck up cooking rice.


Lack of ‘space’ It’s very hard to ‘get some space’ after a spat with a housemate that doesn’t involve either storming up to your room – only to come back down ten minutes later – or running straight to The Soak.

Second-year For most of us, moving into a house was at least in part a sad reminder of what has been. Freshers’ year is over: no longer will we try and do our reading whilst walking to lectures, and whilst questionable at best last year, cracking open a K Cider at 1pm is definitely not acceptable behaviour this time round.