Here’s everything you absolutely will not miss about living in UoN halls

Two words: Circuit Laundry

There’s no doubt about it, as all second and third years know, being in a house is far superior to any halls, unless your house is located in Beeston/Dunkirk/anywhere that isn’t Lenton.

Rest assured first years, halls weren’t all that, even pre-Covid. Here’s 10 things we’ll never miss about our first year accommodation:

A room so cramped you can touch all four walls at once

Somehow the single bed nearly manages to touch three of the room’s four walls and a footstep across the room will take you from the bed to wardrobe, leaving you worrying that the wardrobe will topple on you in the night. The full-sized double beds of Lenton put campus accommodation to shame.

Fire Alarms. Need I say more?

Regardless of whether it’s yet another unnecessary drill or an actual fire, these alarms go off at least twice a month at the most inconvenient times – you’re either in the shower, on the loo or asleep. The piercing noise is enough to send everyone into disarray with some running out the door, while others just stand still in confusion. Then comes the half an hour wait in the cold while the tutors read out the registers.

Praying you don’t get food poisoning at every meal

As much as I appreciated having breakfast and dinner provided (and the lunchtime meal card was incredible), I think we can all agree that the food of catered halls is not missed. Too often a trip to the Co-op by West Entrance was required to pick up a ready meal to heat up in the ‘kitchen’ (which more closely resembled a cupboard). The hot beverage machine permanently out of use, providing only hot water, was a further disappointment every morning. This ‘chicken pie’ was a particular low point…

Always missing post collection times

There’s no point paying for next day delivery, because by the time your parcel has made its way through the central campus sorting room, more than a day will have certainly passed. Likewise, a Saturday delivery is a complete waste as collections from the hall office can only be made weekdays before 4pm. If you had a full day of lectures, you would unfortunately arrive back at your residence only able to stare at your package from afar through a glass door. The ability to have your clothes for Crisis delivered to your door in Lenton the afternoon before, without the extra complications, is bliss.

Moving your stuff out each holiday

If you were one of the unlucky ones with a 31-week lease, going home for Christmas was accompanied by the dread of moving the entire contents of your room down multiple flights of stairs into your parents car, only to do it all over again when moving back in January and out again for Easter. Those 39-week kids really were living like kings.

Being woken up the one time you decide to get an ‘early night’

Whether it’s the cleaner’s radio playing Christmas tunes on full blast at 8am or your flatmates stumbling down the corridor at 4am, any wakeup that doesn’t come from your own phone alarm is an inconvenience and certainly not missed. This does still happen in a house, but to a lesser extent as you tend to go out together and you’re living with less people.

Hearing everyone shagging through the paper thin walls

Your student house might still have thin walls, but no walls are thinner than those of halls. When your flatmate came down with freshers’ flu, you might as well have had it too as their coughs and sneezes were like miniature earthquakes, shaking the wall between. The flatmate on the other side watching MIC every Monday night while you’re trying to finish your seminar prep really does need a pair of headphones. Oh, and let’s not forget the familiar thumping of the wall as your bed shakes with the sound of your flatmate having sex and you’re left wondering how old your own mattress is.

Noise and mess complaints

As we’ve just established, the walls in halls are paper thin. Therefore, noise complaints are dished out nearly as frequently as chicken is for dinner.

Coming home drunk and being locked out 

In first year, you don’t just need to remember your room key, but also your student card, which has been all over campus and is pretty easy to lose on the sticky floor of Ocean. A call to security at 5am asking to be let back in after you’ve attended afters really isn’t a vibe.

Spending your life savings on Circuit laundry

Rumour has it some first years refuse to do a single laundry wash the whole of first year because it’s so overpriced. Despite this, having around four washing machines between 300 students was not ok and nor was the unreliable outcome of the wash. At least the ones in Notts don’t set on fire like Sheffield’s though…

As the above list shows, the regular fire alarm drills, questionable food and rude awakenings make halls undeniably inferior to student houses and they shall not be missed.

Related articles recommend by this author:

• Every disaster you’ll experience in Nottingham halls

• A definitive guide: The eight types of housemate you’ll find in Notts

 How to survive in an all-boys house during lockdown