Here's everything you'll find in student halls
For most students, halls is their first home from Home.
And let’s be honest, that’s a big deal. So if you’re heading to uni this year and feeling nervous about your new living situation, we understand.
Happily, this guide is here to rid you of that ‘fear of the unknown’ and offer some reassurance.
We’ve listed all the facilities, furniture and services you’ll typically find in both university and private halls, so you know exactly what to expect on arrival.
You probably have a fair idea about this already, but it’s good to be absolutely certain about these things.
As standard, the following should be provided in your bedroom, bathroom and kitchen in halls:
- A bed
- A desk and chair
- Wardrobe and drawers
- Shelving for your books
- Toilet and sink
- Kitchen facilities including a fridge, oven, hob and cupboards
It’s worth noting that the size and quality of furniture and appliances will vary depending on the halls and room type you opt for.
Depending on your budget, you can also choose whether to share a bathroom and kitchen or have these all to yourself as part of your room.
Most student halls offer other facilities in the building for communal use by all residents.
Here’s the most common you’ll find:
- Common room
This is a place for you to socialise with all the other students living in the building.
It typically includes sofas, a TV, tables and vending machines for all your snacking needs.
Some of the jazzier ones offer PlayStations, and Football tables too!
- Laundry room
Yep, it’s almost time to master the tricky science of washing your clothes.
Handily, you’ll get to hone this exciting life skill in laundry rooms within your halls-of-residence.
No prizes for guessing that these rooms are full of washing machines and dryers, often open 24 hours a day.
Operating instructions will vary from place to place, but typically you pay to use the machines, using coins or an electronic card. Some residences, including most of Liberty Living’s, offer a Laundry app that sends a notification when your cycle is finished. Handy!
On-site gyms are obviously ideal for those who love to get a work-out in every day. And for those who are usually put off by having to leave the house…
Not all halls include a gym, but those that do tend to have the standard machines like treadmills and cross-trainers, and there’s usually a free-weights area too.
Sizes and equipment vary from place to place so do your research if this is a decision-making factor for you.
One of the biggest advantages of staying in halls is that so much is already taken care of.
Staff and services are on hand throughout the week to help you out with all living queries. These include:
Almost all halls have a reception with on-site staff, security officers who patrol the residences, and CCTV.
Your room can only be accessed by you, with a key. Keep this safe and report lost keys (or key-cards or fobs) as soon as you notice it’s gone.
Blinking light or broken heater? In halls, you just need to report anything like this at reception or to a duty manager, and they’ll send someone to repair or replace the faulty appliances or furniture. Fuss-free!
Cleaners may come in once every week or two to clean shared bathrooms and kitchens, but it’s ultimately your (and your flatmates’) responsibility to look after your home and keep it a nice, non-hazardous place to live.
Creating a rota and setting reminders on your phone can help you stay on top of this.
As well as the above, halls often offer a couple of ‘bonus features’ to make your student life a little easier.
A couple of things you can scratch off your to-do list are:
- Sorting WiFi
In most cases, WiFi is included in your bills for halls. This means you can study and work from home rather than schlepping to the Library every day.
- Paying for insurance
Do check this is the case for your halls, but it’s common practise to provide contents insurance cover for items while they’re locked in your room. The level of cover will vary and may not include all your valuables e.g. laptop, phone, bike - so you might want to add to the policy if you’re particularly worried about any of your snazzier, high-priced belongings!
What you can and can’t bring
And finally, here’s a handy summary of what you should and absolutely shouldn’t bring with you to halls…
Everything on this VERY comprehensive list (we love a list) of what to pack for uni - from the essentials to nice-to-haves.
- Old toasters, kettles, irons – and anything of this kind. Best to get new ones that have been PAT-tested (portable-appliance tested) which just means they’re safe.
- Anything you burn e.g. candles, incense, shisha etc – for obviously reasons!
- Pets (These are of course different to assistance animals like guide dogs. Speak to your halls if you need to bring an assistance animal to uni with you and they can help with ensuring it’s accommodated properly.)
And there you have it: everything you can expect in halls. Not too shabby, right?
If you’re still on the look-out for student accommodation, check out Liberty Living’s residences across 19 UK cities here.
IMAGE: Liberty Gardens, Liverpool