Everything freshers need to know about Royal Holloway
The mirrors in the lifts are great for squad selfies
Don’t go to the SU
Okay, I lied: go to the SU, but only to realise how bad it is. It’s tolerable if you’re ragingly drunk. Other than that, it’s rather like a school disco. There’s not much to do around here nightlife-wise, so yeah, go to the SU. If you want. Or, like me, spend your Friday nights perfecting your scallop pasta recipe.
Also, Imagine is open until midnight five days a week. Imagine has a mini Starbucks and a Bubble Tea stand and SWINGY CHAIRS. If you don’t fancy drinking alcohol (but do fancy a vanilla latte), hang out here rather than drowning in other people’s sweat at the rammed SU. (N.B. Imagine is where all the cool Asians hang out so prepare to be in the background of loads of #kawaii Instagrams).
Don’t buy the Freshers’ wristband
I didn’t and everyone who did regretted it. You can literally purchase tickets to every single freshers’ event for £5 each on the website, which comes to about half the cost of the wristband. Plus, you’re forgetting about Monkeys Mondays. Sweet, sweet Monkeys Mondays. For the uninitiated, Monkeys Mondays is The Monkey’s Forehead’s student night and it’s amazing.
Most of the events included in the wristband are ones you won’t even go to (no-one goes to every event), and the only perk of the wristband is free non-alcoholic drinks. Let’s be real, even if they’re free, who really wants them? Get a tequila shot down ya, pussy’ole.
Bring a grandma trolley
Among all the things popular Youtubers will tell you are absolutely necessary for uni life is a doorstop. I’m sure you’ve all heard it from a distant cousin who went to Nottingham Trent and came back absolutely gushing about the advantages of a doorstop. Yeah, a doorstop is a good idea, especially for moving day, so you can wedge the door open and not need your room card. After freshers’ week though, I didn’t really use it at all.
What is completely necessary though, is a grandma trolley. Egham Tesco is miles away (okay, its less than a mile, but it’s up a fucking massive hill), and if you don’t fancy adding sliced white bread to your online basket as if it were an ASOS shop, you’ll be carrying your four pints of milk and 12 cans of beer all the way up that hill. Your only other option is the campus shop, which is convenient if you live in Founder’s, but also ludicrously overpriced.
I went through a lazy stage of doing my weekly shop there, and digestive biscuits were, no joke, £4.50 a packet. A grandma trolley, however, makes life super easy. Everyone here has one so you wont get teased. And if you do, they’re just jealous because they can’t buy 15 bottles of Lambrini in one go (I don’t know why you’d want to, but at least now you can.
Join a society, and not just for the free pizza
I’ll admit it, I went to Freshers’ Fair just for the free Dominos. Because RHUL is such a small uni, it can be quite challenging to meet friends who aren’t in your flat or on your course. Joining a society can help with this. I didn’t join one (I’m lazy, and not into Harry Potter or sport), and I regret it.
Don’t sleep with your flatmate, or future housemate
Just don’t do it. Once the eel has been in the cave, shit hits the fan and it gets messy. Apparently I can only discuss this topic in gross metaphors.
Avoid the shadowy lands, Simba
This is Runnymede (AKA, Runnyweed – I’m still trying to make that happen). Runnymede probably has some really nice residents, but walking past it at night it definitely has a ghetto feel to it. Maybe it’s because it’s located at the very bottom of campus, but yeah, Butler, Tuke and Williamson feel infinitely safer. *Prepares for backlash from ride or die Runnymederz in the comments section*
Be aware: ‘University of London’ is one big fat scam
There are no tubes here, children. We don’t even have a McDonalds. We’re the London/Surrey border, so you get the fabulous mixture of London prices with a Surrey lifestyle. However, the big city is pretty close. If you’re from super far away, it’ll feel like you’re really close to London. But I’m from Essex, which is about the same distance. To get to central London, you get the train from Egham to Waterloo which takes about 45 minutes.
That’s bearable, but the trains come every half an hour which is less bearable. Just prepare to be early or late for whatever your London plans are and you’ll be fine. It’s also pretty cheap to get into London, because of the whole border thing. On the weekends it something like £9.90 for a travel card if you have a railcard.
The nearest McDonald’s is in Staines
Staines is your new Westfield (or your Trafford Centre, if you’re from “up there”). You’ll grow to love the shithole that rebranded itself “Staines-upon-Thames” to sound posher after Ali G ripped it to shreds. It has a Topshop, a cinema, a Nandos, a Starbucks and a McDonald’s. If you close your eyes and squint a bit, it’s like you’re standing in the middle of Oxford Circus. Plus it’s like £2.30 for a return if you have a railcard, so prepare to go here a lot.
Most importantly, the best nail place is in the aforementioned Staines-upon-Thames
This one goes out to all the gurlz tryna keep their nail game emoji 100 per cent even while living the student lyf. As an acrylic connoisseur, I’ve tried and tested all the nail places in Egham. Don’t bother. It’s all about the Nail & Body co in Staines, just as you walk onto the high street from the station. Shout out to Elvis who does my nails perfectly every time: you da man.