Written by Sarah Stacey
MA Radio Production
When you’re an undergraduate student, it’s usually expected that you will live in university accommodation for your first year. But the experience of living in student halls as a postgraduate is not often talked about. When I decided to apply for my course I had no idea what my living arrangements were going to be, and I assumed that postgrad accommodation would be quite limited. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that BU offers a range of options to suit everyone, from studio and cluster flats to Unilet housing. There was also a guarantee of a place in halls if I accepted my course offer by a certain date, which gave me peace of mind as I didn’t particularly want to go house hunting in a place I wasn’t yet familiar with.
I was lucky to get my first accommodation choice: a cluster flat in Chesil House. I live with five other girls, who are also Master’s students, and we share a large kitchen and each have our own ensuite bedroom. I didn’t enjoy my previous experience of living in halls during my first year as an undergraduate, so I was slightly worried about what it would be like now as a postgrad. But everyone has been so easy to live with. I get on extremely well with one flatmate in particular (she’ll be reading this and will know who she is!) and the place is lovely. I’m very close to town, so everything I need is on my doorstep, and the bus to uni only takes ten minutes and is very frequent. Overall, I’m really happy with the experience so far.
I think the biggest difference about living in halls as a postgraduate is that it’s more peaceful. Everyone seems more mature, which minimises any difficulties. It’s sometimes noisy outside at night, which is to be expected, especially in such a lively student area, but inside it’s quieter because Master’s students are busy people with lots of work to do! And most importantly, I can’t tell you how nice it is to live with people who understand the importance of a clean kitchen!
Another advantage of living in university accommodation is knowing that there is always a member of staff at reception who can help if something goes wrong. Sometimes there are things that need to be fixed, and the maintenance people are quick to respond and get the problem sorted, which is great.
Having a good living experience is essential when it comes to enjoying your studies. I’m much more able to focus on my work if I don’t have extra worries and stress caused by accommodation problems, which has happened in the past. I’m very fortunate that living in postgraduate halls has turned out to be a positive thing. The only annoyance is when someone sets off the fire alarm with their wonderful cooking skills, but nothing’s perfect!
By Sarah Stacey