A Guide to Living in Halls

Before moving into halls, you thought you knew exactly what to expect. You’d seen Fresh Meat, you’d used a toilet. What could possibly go wrong? The reality is, even if […]

Before moving into halls, you thought you knew exactly what to expect. You’d seen Fresh Meat, you’d used a toilet. What could possibly go wrong? The reality is, even if you win the Flatmate Lottery (most do), there are many teething problems. From slight awkwardness with strangers to inter-flat hatred, the Soton Tab is here to help with some completely subjective advice on the matter.

Romero halls room


While every other Freshers’ Guide will tell you that investing in a doorstep will guarantee friendships, many would say this is just a clever lie designed to make students part with just a little more of their hard-earned free cash. Instead, wedge your door open with a large personal item that will immediately give you something to talk about.

Do not reveal your darkest secret on the first night’s Never Have I Ever. You’ll likely regret it immediately, and everybody loves someone with a mysterious past.

Do not start, escalate or participate in any chanting about Solent. It’s infantile, they’re invariably nice, and it marks you out as clearly having gone to private school. You’re at Southampton, not Cambridge. Congrats on those results though.


Washing your clothes every single week is for millionaires and smelly trolls only- with a wash and dry costing an absurd £3.60, chances are that jumper still smells alright, and your vodka-soaked jeans will make everyone in your lecture think you’re a legend. If you’re accustomed to using fresh towels every day, you have my sympathy.


A cleaner is included in your halls fees. They are all lovely and willing to chat or ignore you depending on your preference, but if you don’t do the washing up the night before they will put all your greasy pans in a box on the floor, meaning if you want the privilege of using a fork, you will have to fondle through everyone else’s dirty dishes.

Don’t worry about people stealing your food- this won’t happen unless you’re living with a total degenerate. Living with others should teach you to trust people, and locking your cupboard won’t make you any friends.

The real battleground is milk, which you will need to mark clearly with your name. While researching freshers’ concerns about moving into halls, I came across a Guardian article that recommended you “add food colouring” as “no one will want to drink blue milk”. Don’t do this.

If you’re sharing a bathroom, courtesy flush. Do this every time. This is arguably the most important advice for anyone in halls.


Don’t eat fish. Once upon a time a Fresher had a strong liking for spreading a canned product called “Mackerel in Indian Sauce”, on pizza, which obviously made his entire flat and everything in it smell like an anus. Don’t eat fish.

Apart from that, practically anything goes. Bon apetit, if you like spag bol.


If your worries about settling in run deeper than milk etiquette and you actually need to talk to someone about anything from stress to homesickness, SUSU has an anonymous, student-run listening service called Nightline, which you can call on any term night from 8pm on 02380 595 23.

Got any halls horror stories? Let us know in the comments below!