Student Blog Squad

My experience staying in university accommodation

Hi, my name is Nicole and I am studying Primary Education at Leeds Beckett University. In this blog, I will be sharing my experience staying in university accommodation and giving you my tips and tricks on how to have the best time possible.

Kirkstall Brewery

Moving to a new city can be scary, but never fear for there are so many exciting things you get to learn and experience! Let me take you through it. I'm staying in Kirkstall Brewery and I was incredibly nervous to begin with, thinking I wasn’t going to fit in with my flatmates. However, after staying in accommodation for the past five months I have really enjoyed it and I believe it was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. 

Familiarise yourself with the area

The first thing I did when I arrived was to familiarise myself with my surroundings. I walked down to the shops with my parents, making a note of what shops and facilities were present in the area such as a gym, supermarket, stationary shops etc. I found it was best to walk around the area with family members or even with someone from your flat as it helped me to feel a lot more comfortable about moving away from home. I’m incredibly happy with the surroundings of my accommodation as I can quickly run errands with a five or ten minute walk without having to think about transport.

Search for your flatmates

I recommend trying to find your flatmates on social media, if you have it, as this will allow you to make connections quicker and easier. This also takes the worry off a little when moving in if you are already speaking to someone beforehand. When I applied for Leeds Beckett, on the website there were links and invites to join different Facebook pages and groups. These groups allow you to find people who are not only living in your flat, but also from your course and people who share the same interests. I met my flatmate (who I’m sharing a house with next year) on the Facebook group chat as well as some of my best friends. It makes you feel so much better to know that you already have a connection with people in your accommodation before you have met them yet. In my flat, there are six of us, and we all get on well. Even though we hadn’t all got to know each other before we got there, it didn’t stop us all getting on well.

The Official Leeds Beckett Applicant Facebook Group for 2021/2022 is now live. Join the conversation using the link above. 

Managing homesickness

When I moved in, I found it tough when it came to leaving my family at the end of the day. I was homesick for the first few days and felt incredibly unmotivated. If you feel this way too, don't worry, that is completely normal. My tips for getting over homesickness is to find or involve yourself with your hobbies, so for me I got into art again. I brought most of my art stuff from home so I was able to have a piece of home with me, as well as having something that I could enjoy in my free time. Additionally, I found it easier to deal with homesickness by making my room feel like a safe space with reminders of being at home. I brought pictures and decorations from my room back home to decorate my new room with. This really helped me to feel settled as it started to feel like my space which made me comfortable and less stressed about the new environment.

Making friends

I was nervous about making friends at uni. The first time I went to the accommodation entertainment area which at Kirkstall Brewery we call The Vault, there were people all around me having a laugh with their mates and I couldn’t help but feel left out as I had gone on my own. That was until a girl and her friends walked over to me and we started chatting and began to build a relationship through laughter and funny stories. We’re good friends now and so stepping out of my comfort zone and into that social setting was worth it. So, from someone who has social anxiety, one thing I've learnt and want to share with you is don’t be scared to talk to people, they’re not all scary. When you're feeling afraid to talk to people, just remember that everyone is in the same situation and there to help each other.

Because of this experience, my confidence has rocketed through the roof, so I now feel more comfortable talking to people in all different situations throughout university. 

My top tips for getting the most out of your halls experience

  • Don’t be shy – spread your wings and fly, you have independence now
  • Get to know the area where you’re living – you can search the map of the accommodation on Google
  • Get to know your surroundings – which bus you can catch to the city, where the nearest shops are etc
  • Express yourself – don't be worried about standing out, this is your home for the next year so don’t be scared to be yourself
  • Make friends – the friends you make here will most likely end up being your friends for a very long time, you may even choose to live together in the future

Overall, my experience of student accommodation has been really positive and I would highly recommend students who are thinking of moving from their hometown to Leeds to stay in student accommodation. It allows you to find your own identity, which is incredibly important.

Accommodation Options

If you're still in the process of choosing which halls of residence you want to stay at, take a look over the different options available here. 

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