Asda, alcohol and afterparties: an ode to Oadby
I’ve never seen more Chinos in one room than in JoFo’s dining hall
Oh Oadby. It was the first place you were almost all grown up. You didn’t have to explain to your parents why there was vomit in your bed, but the amount of shopping trolleys you rode in proved that you definitely didn’t have to behave like an adult.
Think domestic bliss, except with Asda’s bargain vodka and traffic cones.
At first it seemed like all freshers were the same – we’d all ended up at Leicester after getting a bit confused by the whole UCAS process and picking the uni with an O2 in the Students’ Union. But then, just as we realised that “Elite: Not Elitist” was code for slightly mediocre, we realised living is Lasdun wasn’t exactly the same as living in JoFo.
There’s an invisible divide in the grounds of Beaumont Hall that may be likened to that between the Montagues and Capulets: Glebe court vs Knighton court.
One thing that the blocks all share though is a common love for Beaumont’s elite entertainment: there’s no bar, few common areas and the top amusement is nursing a shabangover and gazing out onto the beautiful grounds in search of a walk of shame.
Watching your friend walk from Glebe back to Knighton is the ultimate scandal. Is this Leicester’s modern day Romeo and Juliet? Have two block-shaped worlds just collided?
No, they haven’t, because in reality it is Bro-mont before Hoe-mont.
Beaumont’s weekend brunches and large green spaces (the halls do neighbour the beautiful botanical gardens) ensure it’s a place full of banter and good times. By Christmas you’ll have realised the majority of the residents are looking at a view of stolen Asda trollies whilst block-warfare will be resolved in a common hatred of JoFo’s middle class fuck boys for putting them there.
Do your salmon pink chinos match your Oxford blue Ralph Lauren shirt? Does your vocab include the words “totes” and “bants”? If these sound familiar, then John Foster awaits you as your quiet university retreat.
JoFo, as the locals colloquially refer to it as, bears closer resemblance to Centre Parcs or a motorway Travelodge rather than a typical university digs. Students receive their own private bathroom, a “beauts” oversized kitchen and a private parking space for their brand new 16’ plate Vauxhall Corsa. JoFo is also home to the post office and the largest laundry facility meaning there is no excuse for not collecting your brand new Nike Huaraches and or not ensuring your tees are “fresh af” for long the night ahead.
Despite all these luxuries, the population of JoFo can be regularly heard complaining about the extra five-minute walk to Asda which they have to endure every time they run out of hummus and pitta bread. Moreover, they seemingly believe they are entitled to getting on the 80 bus first because it simply happens to leave from outside their halls.
Meadowcourt, or to anyone who isn’t a baby fresh, Digby.
Congratulations on getting the only halls with a double bed. You will soon realise how much of a luxury this really is.
If you’ve just moved into Meadowcourt you’re probably a little salty you didn’t get into JoFo. Let’s face it, you’re never going to fit on the 80 for your 9am and you’re gonna have to navigate to JoFo to catch the party bus. Inevitably after the first week you will give in and just get taxis to every night out.
Nevertheless, you’ll get some great pictures on the lawns in the summer as well as it providing a place for the lads to place heated games of football (what could be better). Until then you can watch everyone else in their kitchens because of the weird combination of a courtyard layout and floor to ceiling windows.
As your parents drove up the driveway you were full of hope: you’d left applying for accommodation til the very last minute but at least the trees looked instagramable. Then, as you turned the corner you were put face to face with what looked like a low security prison block.
You unlock your door and all hope fades. The wardrobes are the very same ones your Mum used when she lived there in 1984.
Yeah, the brick walls remind you of Orange is the New Black and you have to use an ironing board as a table, but you wouldn’t have it any other way. Living is Lasdun means that you’re right next to the S Bar if you ever want to drown your sorrows (which you will) and there’s that stray cat to keep you company when you learn that everyone in your block is just a little bit odd.
Soon, the constant smell of despair will make you feel right at home.
By Verity Bowman, Eleanor Martin, Max Longley, Sophie Dinnie and Mads Edwards