Moving into halls can seem like a very daunting idea, which is totally understandable as you are likely to be moving to a new city with new people to do something you have never done before. So feeling some nerves is totally normal! But this is also such a rewarding time as it is a new stage in life where you can meet new people, explore new places and try something new.
When it comes to settling into halls my biggest piece of advice is to ‘Go for it!’ Make the most of all of the opportunities that you have been given as there’s no other stage of life that compares to being a student.
I moved into halls during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was obviously a very strange time for everyone and it did make moving in and meeting people look a little bit different to how I had been expecting and how it will be when you move in! Nonetheless I loved it! And despite all of the rules and restrictions I had a great time and have been able to make lifelong friends as well as trying out new sports and activities.
My halls were on campus, I lived in Eastwood which is an accommodation that generally hosts 10-13 students depending on the accommodation block. Eastwood, unlike other accommodations, are houses as opposed to flats which make them feel a little bit more like a home as there is a central staircase and communal area at the bottom of the stairs. Eastwood has a shared kitchen and shared bathrooms, which a lot of my friends were apprehensive about initially, however, I lived there in lockdown with 13 people and didn’t have to wait for the toilet or shower once, so it really isn’t that bad!
The bedrooms in Eastwood are a really good size with a huge desk as well as a sink and lots of storage facilities, making them great for studying and chilling. I loved having the shared kitchen as it was a great way to meet and get to know people.
I would say that one of the best ways of settling in is to be around the kitchen, whether you are watching the TV in there or whether you are cooking or just eating dinner. It is a very communal area which makes bumping into people very easy and allows for conversations to happen and relationships to form. The kitchen is also an area that generally you have to walk by on your way out of the house which makes it really easy to invite others to accompany you wherever you are going. I built a lot of friendships by simply walking to the local campus shop with people , each of the 5 minute journeys adds up!
Another great way to help settling in not only to halls but also to the city is by exploring new places with others. This way you get to find out more of what Bath has to offer and do, as well as making some new friends along the way and making lifelong memories! Check out here for some of the things that you can explore around Bath.
If you are still feeling apprehensive about moving into halls or have more questions, let me reassure you that the level and range of support is vast. At the University of Bath there's always someone to talk to, no matter what your concern is. There is an on campus security team available 24/7 who walk around campus, so they are never too far away and are really friendly, so do talk to them, even if it is just to say hello. This also helps to build community and make campus feel like home. The university also offers a range of mental health services, such as the be well, talk now service which again is also available 24/7 and there will always be someone who is happy to listen and be there for you, no matter the issue.
Specifically when it comes to settling in there are student living ambassadors who are there to help make the move in process smooth, easy and fun! This team run various activities both in freshers week and throughout the year to facilitate making and developing friendships both with those who you live with and those who also live on campus. Each house will be assigned a group of ambassadors who you can contact and ask questions around living and settling into halls.
I have made great memories with those who were in my halls and with others who lived around me or did the same activities as me. Moving into halls is a really fun experience and allows you to try so many new things. So my biggest piece of advice for you is to make the most of it, try out new sports or activities, initiate conversations with people and enjoy it, it is rare that you will have an opportunity like it again!