From Oak House to Unsworth: A Freshers’ brutal guide to Manchester Uni halls
Don’t worry, your second-year house will be better
Whether you’ve moved in already or you’re giving it a few more days, here’s a guide to the UoM halls where you’ll be laying your head and nursing your hangovers for the next year.
Who needs to win the lottery when you can live in Unsworth? That, dear freshers, is a paradoxical question as the rent prices are extortionate.
For the luxury that comes with cleaners and modern kitchens come the negatives. Cons include that one in every three people you meet will be from private schools and already know each other. Without a huge student loan (or help from your loving parents) your days will be spent applying for part-time jobs and not hearing back until you are deep into your overdraft.
The only other people you should expect to meet are medics and nurses (speculation as to why includes STEM favouritism).
Its very social with lots of parties although, attend one and you’ll probably stand in a corner for an hour waiting for the huge kitchen to fill up (it never does).
Slanted roofs, one of the cheapest halls, close to campus and has a bar on site – what more could anyone ask for? In theory perfect, except for the fact it is situated far from Fallowfield and is known for being boring. If you’re in Manchester for ‘university’ rather than ‘uni’ then Whitworth could be a great experience but best not to get your hopes up.
While Oak’s biggest reputation is for its prison-cell rooms and grotty kitchens, if you’re only at uni for the parties and are partial to a bag on a night out you’ll find yourself surrounded by likeminded people in Oak. Halfway through your first pres expect your super cool flatmate to whip out a speaker and ask everyone if they’ve ever heard of Steve Lacy?
Bonus points if you are private schooled and/or going for the grunge aesthetic – you’ll fit right in. Top Tip: buy a pair of cargos and wear a peculiarly thin scarf for your own sake.
If you applied for Fallowfield halls and didn’t get any of them this is where the rejects end up. We’ve never met someone from Wilmslow who actually applied to live there but it’s conveniently placed over a Spoons, Lidl and Tesco and close to the uni so you wont be complaining. Very modern but expensive, expect literally anyone to be living with you as it’s a private accom. Close to UoM but if you don’t get a bus pass expect to be the friend who walks home alone after a night out. Such is life.
If the boarding school experience is something you’re looking for at Manchester you’ll be pleased to have been given Ashburne. The fancy hallways are like being at Hogwarts but word has it the catered food doesn’t live up to a grand hall feast. Kudos to Ashburne for being the first Manchester accommodation to allow women but it remains girls only to this day.
Cop a pair of flares and talk about your gap yah and you’ll fit right in. We’ve never heard of a party in Ashburne but maybe this year things could change if you manifest hard enough. We have to admit though, the library is a strong point and even if you don’t choose Ashburne it’s worth knowing somebody there so you can sneak in for a feel of dark academia.
International students on Erasmus years reading this – you’ll probably end up in Dalton Ellis. They have a student bar but rumour has it it’s been closed since Christmas 2021 and is yet to reopen. You’re not on the Fallowfield campus so expect to be in a Victoria Park bubble most of first year and enjoy the nature around you as there’s not much else to see.
Let’s be real, you probably wanted Unsworth but were stuck with the second priciest of the Fallowfield accoms – Richmond Park. Look no further for a true y2k aesthetic. The rooms resemble your primary school classroom: questionable patterned curtains that probs haven’t been changed since 2007 and breeze block painted walls.
You’ll have to be lucky with the flatmates to fit into a halls with no TV to bond over. Don’t panic though, even if you don’t get on with your flat there are always people doing Circuit Laundry to force conversation with (the not-so reliable washing machines are an easy common ground). You’re also close enough to the other halls to socialise your way into evenings of luxury at Unsworth or party at Oak.
Next to Ashburne is Sheavyn House, no-ones first choice of accom as there is nothing particularly notable about it. If you’re wanting somewhere where you’ll make friends and are willing to pay more for catered then you’ll leave first year feeling satisfied with Sheavyn. The only real benefit is using Ashburne’s library anyway and the green(ish) view outdoors if you’re lucky.
If you ask anyone on the Fallowfield campus where Uttley is you’ll probably receive a vague gesture in the direction of the Armitage. No one really knows who lives there or anything about it except that it used to be a hotel and is brand new.
It’ll take some effort to get involved with other accoms seeing as it’s tucked in the middle of nowhere but they’ve just opened a new Uttley bar so you’ll have prime opportunities to meet your fellow residents. Will it beat Squirrels? Only time will tell.
Do you want to write articles like this? Do you want to uncover the biggest stories on campus? The Manchester Tab are looking for new writers and we want you! To find out about how to join the team and come to our first open meeting, click the link here.