It’s Fri-Yay! With just over two weeks to go until Arrivals Weekend, today we have some guidance about booking your arrival slot and we have another guest blog for you! Callum, a Student Ambassador who has been working with the Accommodation Comms Team this summer, shares his take on how to get the most out of living in studio accommodation.
When people think of university accommodation, the majority of people think of a flat with a shared kitchen and living space, where you might casually encounter your flatmates at any hour of the day. However, there is another option when it comes to accommodation, in the form of the studio flat. Studios are self-contained living spaces, a bedroom with a kitchenette unit in the room.
Being assigned this type of room can sometimes be different to what was expected, as was my experience when I was assigned one of the studio flats for my first year at Exeter. Fears spring to mind of isolation, and further struggles to make friends, but quite often these are unfounded. In my personal experience, before arriving at Exeter, I was worried about living alone but I quickly found that there were many advantages to a studio flat.
Firstly, you are not isolated. Much like more stereotypical university accommodation, studios tend to be in blocks, larger buildings containing multiple flats. Personally, I was on a floor with 20 other students all in studio flats, and you quickly found people visiting for meals and movies, and socialising in between the studios. In addition, a lot of socialising, even for those in other types of university accommodation, is done on campus or in the city, and you are just as able to get involved from a studio. The university has over 250 societies, so there will most likely be a society for your interests, and if there isn’t you can make one. Societies created over the last year include a Taylor Swift society, and the Guild is always accepting applications for new societies. I got quite involved with multiple societies over my first year, and socialised a lot through these, even getting to know people I was living with through these.
Secondly, you have a level of flexibility that other students might not. With a shared kitchen, you have to also work with your flatmates schedules so that everyone can use the kitchen and nobody has to rearrange timings as all the kitchen is being used by other people when you need to use it. With a studio flat, this isn’t an issue. You have your own kitchen, so you can work on your own schedule and make your meals whenever you want. Though, a word of caution: if you do set the fire alarm off, it will affect the whole building! So, as long as you pay attention to what you’re doing when you’re cooking, you can make what you want when you want, which leads me onto my third point.
Thirdly, people won’t steal your food. It’s a common bug bear of students, both in private and university accommodation, that one of your flatmates or housemates will take someone else’s food, or use up their supplies. With a studio flat, the only person who would be using your supplies is you. This means that you don’t have to worry about people taking your food and having to buy replacement supplies. Also, if you have a food allergy, you don’t need to worry about someone living with you is going to contaminate your food, and inversely, if you don’t have a food allergy, you don’t have to be wary about allergens affecting others, unless you invite them over.
In summary, studio flats provide a greater deal of flexibility in accommodation, whilst not negatively impacting the social possibilities of university. What I would recommend to anyone in a studio flat is to get to know the people living around you, get involved with people on campus, and make the most of your accommodation, even if it’s not where you were expecting to live when you applied.
Many thanks to Callum for sharing his experience; if you are living in a campus studio this year then you can take a look on our website at the communal areas which you can make use of. In other news…
Arrival time slots – what if it’s unavailable?
If you have accepted your accommodation offer and received a ‘Contract Formation Email’ then you should by now have received an email advising you to book your arrival time slot (not applicable to bookings at our nominations partners). If you haven’t seen the email, don’t worry: simply log in to your accommodation account and head to the “My application and booking” section. You should then see a link next to your booking to “confirm your arrival” and “check in”.
If the arrival time slot you wanted is no longer available then you will still be able to turn up on either Saturday 14 or Sunday 15 September, but we recommend arriving outside of the peak periods; before 11:00am or after 3:00pm. Speak to one of the Marshalls or Parking Attendants available on the day and they will be able to advise you when a space will be free in order for you to park and move in to your accommodation. We also recommend you aim to arrive at either 15 minutes past the hour or 15 minutes to the hour to ease the flow of people arriving at the same time. Priority will be given to students who have used our on-line booking system and have a pre-booked slot so you may be asked to wait in another location until there is a space for you unload at your residence. If this is the case, please do not try to book another arrival time on our system.
From next week our opening times will be 9:00am-5:00pm Monday to Friday and we can be contacted during these hours on 0300 555 0444. Have a great weekend!