The Rules of Residence – Your First Year in Halls

Take it from me, freshers: your first year in halls will be remembered as a seriously cool one. You’ll be in limbo – not quite trusted with the responsibility of a […]

Take it from me, freshers: your first year in halls will be remembered as a seriously cool one.

You’ll be in limbo – not quite trusted with the responsibility of a house to yourself, yet still miles from your parents and free to get mindlessly drunk in your kitchen in the middle of the day. Having just done this for the most part of a year myself, I feel semi-qualified to offer a few morsels of residential wisdom for your year of Uni accommodation.


There will be nothing in this article about keeping your halls clean. Don’t even bother trying.

Getting to know your halls of residence staff is a good start, and may well save you vicious confrontation in the future. Part of this process will probably and unfortunately involve learning to love your cleaner. The irritable minion whose job it is to scrub your shitty kitchen will quickly become the bane of your life. This group of mouth breathers and underpaid floor scrubbers enjoy nothing more than battering your door down with their hoover at eight in the morning whilst you are succumbing to one of those hangovers that makes your eye sockets ache.

Whilst mortal combat may be a plausible short term solution, unfortunately the only thing you can really do in the long run is make them a few cups of tea and suggest that they take it easy on the door whacking. Although if you’re really desperate, it may be a good idea to leave your kitchen in such a bad state that they refuse to enter for forty eight hours whilst you tidy – this worked a good twenty three times for us.

As far as kitchens go, here’s what i’ve learned: Peoples milk will leak on and around your food if you put it on the bottom shelf. If someone else has taken the top shelf, man up and move their stuff.

Either embrace kitchen communism or buy a padlock for your cupboard. Sharing is caring, and if your flatmates are anything like me, they will take your stuff. Nothing is worse than squirming from hunger pains to find all your bread has been cruelly taken. That said, there is nothing wrong with helping yourself to other people’s stuff.

Don’t make holes in your kitchen. This is probably unlikely to happen, but is worth mentioning because as we found out from playing hockey in our kitchen, holes in the wall are charged at £20 per square fucking centimetre. They never found the one in the ceiling.

If you like your cutlery, don’t have a ‘shared cutlery drawer.’ Chances are you will be sharing this kitchen with unhygienic slobs and petty thieves, so don’t pretend that this will be some kind of convenient arrangement that will make sharing a kitchen less of an utter fucking nightmare.

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Don’t break stuff. Don’t make holes.

Another handy thing I have learned is the importance of talking to the quiet ones. Every flat will have some form of nocturnal creature, a rare bird who only surfaces on special occasions or during a full moon. My advice for befriending these strange wallflowers is to get in their quickly, because ‘what is your name?’ is not an acceptable question in week three.

Admittedly, getting them completely loose on cheap alcohol is another effective tactic – we were confused yet sort of delighted when our spectacled introvert returned home in an ambulance after his first ever night on the lash. But remember, they don’t have the hardened alcohol tolerance that you do, and you may well almost kill them.

Upon arrival, your halls may seem a bit strict, but don’t take the rules of residence too seriously, chaps. The ten quid fine that is imposed after you get locked out one too many times will actually probably never happen. Don’t smoke in your kitchen, but you may well get away with it a few times. Definitely blast music as loud as it will go, because this is your constitutional right, and the staff love a bit of ABBA at three in the morning.

Pass out in the corridor because these people are employed to help you back into bed, and those last three metres to your bedroom are the inebriated equivalent of walking to freaking Mordor. Complain about your revolting shower at every given opportunity. Keep your room messy, because tidying is handy procrastination when you ought to be revising. Play real life fruit ninja at pre-drinks. Do whatever.

Test the ‘carry you to bed’ service that is included in the cost of your halls.

Most importantly though, have a ridiculously good time, all the time. Freshers year is pretty much a chaotic doss around, and your grades don’t count anyway. This is the perfect excuse to utilise your new found halls of residence by having extremely rowdy pre-drinks at least four or five times a week. So whilst you should probably save the pyrotechnics for when you have your own house, you can do pretty much whatever else in the mean time. Take it easy kids, buenas noches.