Deciding to live in halls

Niamh, English BA

The ‘Loughborough University Halls Experience’ is something which is hard to explain to those who have never experienced it. Even my friends at other universities, who live in private inner-city accommodation, just can’t get their head around how ‘hall life’ works here at Loughborough. It is better than I could have ever imagined.

Niamh and two of her friends sitting on the ground at Faraday Hall day.

I can very clearly remember that for me personally, while considering my university choices and options, the accommodation on offer was something I was very keen to get right. It sounds silly and probably even materialistic but it was something I was being picky about – and I’m sure a lot of you reading this can also relate to this – It’s where you are going to be every day of your university life; sleeping, eating, socialising, chilling, even sometimes working haha! So it’s somewhere you want to feel safe and comfortable.

I had repeatedly analysed every aspect of all the accommodation options on the Loughborough University accommodation website. I had made a list of my top three choices and had even shown the likes of my grandparents where I was going to be living – I had my head very set and didn’t really consider any other options.

However, Loughborough University halls are very popular; with both freshers and returning second and third years (for good reason too!) And as much as the accommodation centre try their upmost to accommodate applicant’s wishes, sometimes alternative options will be suggested.

Niamh and her Hall friends sitting on the pavement and grass at Faraday Hall day.

So, as you can imagine, when I logged onto the accommodation website to select my room and the name ‘Faraday, Catered Hall, Single Bed, En-Suite’ popped up on my screen as my only selection option – this was not what I wanted, so I went into panic mode – I wanted a double bed and also to be self catered, so this was almost the complete opposite of what I had in my head.  However, when calling the help line organised by the university to help with any accommodation issues, the man on the phone was very reassuring and calming and suggested this was a highly sought after room and suggested I accept this offer – so I did.

And all I can say is I am SO SO SO glad that I did. Faraday really is an amazing place. I now look back and think how narrow minded I was to exclude this from my favourite accommodation options list, purely based on the fact that the images online from the outside, show the buildings to be somewhat lacking in the modern aspect. As if I thought this would affect my halls experience… how far from the truth could I be!

As I mentioned, Faraday is one of 7 catered halls on campus. I am a fussy eater so this was a concern of mine – what if I didn’t like the food? What if I didn’t make it to dinner? Is there a kitchen in case I ever need to cook for myself? All big worries to someone who is really in the dark, unknowing of what to expect. However, the dining hall has a wide selection of options with choices to cater to all.

The meal times are also extended: I always can make dinner and lunch. And if you need to miss lunch or dinner for whatever reason there is always the option to get a packed lunch or your food to take away with you. With full fry ups, croissants and fresh fruit (and more) available every morning – guarantee if you were shopping for yourself this would not be the case!

Students playing volleyball in Sir David Wallace sports hall at Loughborough University.

The other aspect of living in a big university hall is the social aspect. Throughout the year there is numerous ‘high tables’, (fancy dinners where we all get dressed up), social events, well being activities, IMS sport  – the social possibilities are literally right on your doorstep! There are endless ways to make new friends, meet new people and allow yourself to grow as a person too.

Another major bonus of living in halls is the location – I have very often rolled out of bed at 8:50AM and made it on time for my 9AM lecture – trust me, you need all the extra sleep you can get when you’re a uni student!

But I guess what I’m trying to say is this place really has become my home – something I would recommend to all to experience.‌