Why Kingswood isn’t the worst hall
Everyone else hates it, but Kingswood-ians should celebrate it
Recently, we found out most of campus believe Kingswood is the worst hall at RHUL – but I’m here to tell you you’re wrong.
I lived in Kingswood in my first year, and it might just be the best thing that happened to me at university. Despite this, everywhere I went people would respond to learning what halls I was in with either a look of pity or disgust.
Not one person ever just went “Oh, OK then”.Kingswood has a huge stigma attached to it, and there’s only one reason why – a fear of the unknown. Most students at Holloway have never even been to Kingswood, so can’t properly judge.
What most people do know is that Kingswood is divided into Kingswood 1 and Kingswood 2. The former is an old building that’s part former-monastery, part seventies curiosity with wooden corridors that make it look like a weird prison.
Kingswood 2 though is more modern. If you live in Runnymede, congratulations: your room is basically exactly the same: en suite shower and toilet.
You’d think this would set up a small-scale class divide in the Kingswood community, but there wasn’t one. Note that I used the word “community” too, because that’s what Kingswood is.
Nearly all of my friends lived in 1, even though I was in 2, and they absolutely loved it. The social life completely made up for the disgusting bathrooms and general design. Unlike any of the other halls on campus, there was no key-card locking system in 1, which meant you could freely visit other people’s flats and never risk getting locked out. As a result, everyone just mingled a lot more.
Perhaps the only thing people at Kingswood have a right to complain about is the food. Kingswood is catered and the dining hall is basically pre-school, dominated by brightly coloured plastic chairs and polka dot tablecloths.
The food can only be described as foul, but it at least has a great atmosphere. Coming down for dinner and sitting together with your mates only to complain about the insect in your salad was a shared experience. It makes us closer.
Having all your friends living in the same place, sharing the same bar, dining hall, common room for pres (not to mention the laundry room to pre-drink in if the common room was a no-go) made living in Kingswood great.
It was a little retreat away from campus where everyone knew each other (unlike in the anti-social Butler for instance). Hate it if you want, but I pity anyone who didn’t get to experience it for themselves.