Calling all Sussex freshers, here are your campus accommodation starter packs 2020
Welcome to pesto pasta and Circuit Laundry
As we scramble into the 2020/21 academic year, a cascade of freshers will be descending onto Sussex University campus within a matter of days. If you find yourself to be one of these freshers: congratulations, you managed to dodge a global pandemic, botched A-level results, and whatever else 2020 has thrown your way, and landed yourself at the 21st / 40th / 59th ranking UK university (depending on which league table you’re looking at).
Now, with the clubs still closed and lectures looking like they’ll be predominantly online, it’s safe to say you’ll be spending quite a lot of time in your new abode, wherever that may be. And whilst the Sussex on-campus accommodation website may be direct and informative, it gives little to no information about the general ~vibe~ of the housing you’re about to find yourself in. Of course, they’re all pretty similar: bed, desk, lamp, IKEA fairy lights, 1,000 Free Prints blue-tacked to the wall etc. etc., but then again, they’re all pretty different. With price tags ranging from £95 to £167 per week, and architecture ranging from luxury hotel to 1960’s abandoned asylum, each place is bound to attract different people from all walks of life, and, as a fresher, you probably want to know in a bit more detail what the fuck you’ve gotten yourself into.
Cue The Sussex Tab, here to provide you with everything you need to know about being a Suss student, and our first order of business to kick off this academic year is to tell you exactly what your on-campus accom will be like. We give you, your Sussex Uni accommodation starter packs:
One of the largest accommodation options, Northfield flats house all kinds of persona, to the point where it seems almost unreasonable to group them into one single starter pack. But you can bet that they all have that tapestry off Amazon (and will tell you they bought it on their gap year).
Pros: deemed one of the most sociable places on campus with seemingly normal people. Grab a puffa jacket and you’ll fit right in.
Cons: approximately 500 miles away from the library, Co-op, and the rest of the universe. Hope you like walking.
A bit of a mixed bag in terms of location, cleanliness and lighting, but you’ll soon find that ‘It’s near the train station!!’ will be your rallying cry as you try and convince your mates to trek to the edge of campus for pres (in groups of no more than six, of course). The windows are pretty small (to block out the noise from the road), limiting access to sunlight, but not to worry – the post-apocalyptic orange glow of the Amex will be your new sun.
Pros: time it right and you can roll straight out of bed and onto the bus/train to Brighton. Also, you’ll soon be best buds with Alan the Ethical Busker.
Cons: pretty far from the rest of campus, but that trek through the underpass will really perk you up on the way to lectures. The tiny windows are also a bit troublesome, so you might want to invest in some vitamin D tablets or a salt lamp.
If you haven’t heard of Swanborough flats, you definitely walked past them one hundred times on your open day and went ‘oooh’ at the pretty coloured glass.
Pros: if you happen to be living here, the central location may as well be the centre of the universe for the next year, with Co-op right on your doorstep, and Jubilee building only another few metres. Unlike your pals in Northfield and Stanmer Court, you can get up at 8:55 and still make your 9 am seminar.
Cons: according to past residents, the wifi can be a little dicey, and kitchen appliances are prone to breakage, but don’t worry, you can always live off co-op ready meals. Also, the nearest laundry facilities are located all the way over in Park Village, so have fun dragging your washing across campus once a week. Oh, and pro tip: those big windows are far from tinted – so no funny business up against the glass.
Not a great deal going on here, really. A halfway house between slumming it in Park Village and living the high life in Northfield or East Slope, Lewes Court is where you’ll find your average, middle-of-the-range Sussex student, as well as a lot of med students, who are generally up for a good time and can probably help you out when you give yourself food poisoning in week 1.
Pros: great proximity to the health centre and bus stops for those late night N25 trips. Bunny sightings are also common, if you need to boost your serotonin. Oh, and you might get a bath, if communal bathtubs are your thing.
Cons: allegedly rampant with silverfish, and you might have to hike to Northfield or East Slope to find a decent (socially distanced) house party (gathering of no more than six).
Not unlike that kid who used to eat snails and is now suddenly a high-functioning socialite, East Slope recently underwent a major glow-up, originating in the 1970’s as campus’ cheapest set of student homes, and redeveloping in 2018 as part of an ongoing project to turn Sussex campus into a luxury resort (presumably). Nowadays, the words East Slope mean less cheap pints and rowdy parties, and more Ocado deliveries and beanbags, serving the more economically-blessed of students at Sussex.
Pros: the double beds will definitely give you the edge on the campus Tinder scene (Covid-permitting), and at least one of your flatmates will have brought a games console to put in the generously-spacious communal area (extra points if it’s a Nintendo Switch).
Cons: you will grow to hate the staircase which separates you from the rest of campus, but at least you’ll have really nice calves by the end of the year.
One of the most homely accommodation options, Brighthelm houses are the slightly cheaper option for those who are seeking a good time but also want a relatively good standard of living. A great choice for students who might feel alienated by the compartmentalised nature of flat-living, but beware, the same rules of not shagging your housemates still apply.
Pros: washing machines. Washing machines. One more time, WASHING MACHINES. You won’t believe how much money can be saved by not paying roughly seven quid a week just for clean pants. Circuit Laundry? I don’t know her.
Cons: kind of far from the rest of campus, particularly Co-op. Be prepared to spend the money you save on laundry on takeaways.
Norwich House. The last man standing of what used to be Park Houses, the collection of cheaper-end accommodation at Sussex which, as of 2020, has been earmarked for demolition. Described by some past residents as ‘a mix of prison and hospital’ and ‘a little bit mouldy but manageable’, Norwich House is truly what you make of it, whether that be exploring the possibly haunted top floor, or idly watching the bunnies play on the Downs from your window.
Pros: cheap and cheerful, someone out front will always lend you a filter. Prime spot for telling ghost stories.
Cons: up a massive fucking hill.
Sussex’s cheapest accommodation, PV has naturally gained a bit of a reputation for being one of the rowdiest locations on campus, especially since the demolition of old East Slope. Some love it (largely due to its £95 p/week price tag), whereas some truly hate it, but we can all agree that it would benefit from a kitchen table.
Pros: Cheap and sociable (so long as you don’t eat every meal in your room). Also, everyone hates PV Circuit Laundry, but at least you’re closest to it.
Cons: very few hard surfaces to eat off, resulting in a lot of corridor meals. If you hate the sound of children, maybe look elsewhere – Park Village hosts family flats as well as rowdy students. Prone to ladybird infestations, and was used as an illegal brothel at one point, but don’t let that put you off.