Freemen’s Common is the most underrated halls in Leicester
You didn’t just sign up for a BA in Politics, you signed up for a Masters in street cred
You’ve not only been accepted into the University of Leicester, but accepted by the halls equivalent of that group of edgy school kids you always wanted to be in.
Late night predrinks and parties in halls, hidden walks of shame because students only live floors apart, sharing dominoes and banter, having friends… – to name a few of the supposed mythical joys of Oadby. But let me tell you, the pleasures of Freemen’s Common don’t stop at 11pm, which is when Oadby security tuck those sheltered Oadbabies into bed.
Oadby was always going to be too mainstream for you. You, my friend, didn’t just sign up for a BA in Politics, you signed up for a Masters in street cred.
You may know it as the most uninviting first year accommodation in Leicester, but the beauty of Freemen’s lies in its chilled-out atmosphere.
Freemen’s common ain’t called “free-mens” for nothing. You’re not just free from the extortionate rent of Oadby, but free from bedtime regulations, free from security, free from bus fares and early mornings- unlike Oadby students, YOU rock out of bed ten minutes before your lecture.
Also, given it’s perfect location, opening your window at different times in the day welcomes the sound of your lecturer’s voice, the Dry Dock’s bangin’ tunes, AJ’s customer banter and the occasional police car- ridding you of the need to play Radio 1 or even engage in any social contact.
And if you’re lucky, you just might get a private viewing of the pimped up rides of Leicester- Citroen Saxos giving off some baller rev appeal down Putney road.
Chilled and made for practicality- Freemen’s Common doesn’t waste time on the sugar-coated superficial stuff, it’s honest. Like a mother, nurturing and preparing her children for the realities of life. And nothing paints the picture of your optimistic future like those bright yellow walls.
Whether you’re assembling in the kitchen to bluster about your imminent breakdown regarding deadlines, or trying to rationally conduct a flat meeting regarding bin rotas, you’ll notice a slight uplift in your mood as the smear of piss coloured paint shines glimmers of hope into your coursework-riddled lives.
As for those flat meetings, unlike the drama-fuelled rants regarding uncleaned dishes in Oadby, in Freemen’s it’s different. Generally it’s accepted that the tea-stained floors and ponds of raw chicken juice on the kitchen surfaces merely serve to add to the loving and edgy demeanor of the place.
And any instances of insulting word vomit are avoided, released through little notes of love or artful drawings.
On the rare occasion tensions do arise, the tumbleweed of hair circulating the kitchen, cultivating a population of bread crumbs, harkens back to the days of the Wild West: You holster your newly acclaimed street-wise sass and conceal that poker face.
On your settlement into Uni life, everything simultaneously becomes both more independent and communal. And nothing says communal love like the two bathrooms, shared between ten people, that you are blessed with in Freemen’s.
After 4 weeks, having to queue for the toilet gives you time to catch up on valued reading in the corridor, or that nap you’ve been procrastinating from.
And those ancient splatters of vomit displayed on the wall begin to resemble one of Kandinsky’s finest abstract pieces. Strands of hair coating the floor, yet to form a tumbleweed, collect in your toes- making the scurry downstairs, through the cold corridor, a little less chilly and saving you from investing in slippers. A nice furry hug.
Serena, second year, recalled her time as a Freemen’s Commoner: “There was once poo on the back of the toilet seat”
For you Freemen’s Commoners, who receive the occasional visit from rats, the response to this is not who– but what species left it there. A mystery that’ll leave you budding Bear Grylls enthusiasts excited for answers.
As for the bedrooms, the climate of Freemen’s is much like any other halls- moist. But acclimatising isn’t a problem, you adjust. You evolve: You become a Freemen’s Commoner.
The majority of residents in Freemen’s are international students, and you soon grow to love it. Do you learn how to cook killer Chinese food or swear in Mandarin in Oadby? That you do not. Meal-time conversations are made a lot more interesting than who-banged-who behind the Fast Food Factory van on Wednesday night. Plus, visiting your newly-made friends in China or South Africa is way more appealing than spending the weekend trying to appreciate the sights of Hemel Hempstead.
Overall, your first year at Uni is filled with a lot of new experiences, many of which solidify you as a true, probably gross, student. This greatly applies to Freemen’s Commoners, whose entrance into the student life is made apparent when the bush outside their front door is the abode of a rat and they’re not phased.
After all, buying a goldfish is about as adventurous as it gets for most students. Freemen’s Commoners, however, have got disease-spreading rodents, but they’re furry.
Who’s the winner?