Moving away from home for the first time can be an extremely daunting experience which is why on-campus accommodation is great, as it makes the whole experience a lot easier and means you are surrounded by people who feel exactly the same way. I haven’t met anyone who wouldn’t recommend the accommodation they were put in and didn’t come to love it – so don’t worry if you aren’t given your first choice initially.
Having lived in Jack Martin in my first year, I am obviously going to be a little biased, but I could not recommend choosing it enough. Although most people would opt for the slightly newer Arthur Vick, I can personally vouch for the great experience I had in Jack Martin.
I was so worried about making friends but couldn’t believe how similar my flatmates were to me when I moved in
I found it to be one of the most sociable accommodations and I had absolutely no problem making friends. The bigger kitchens mean that there are up to thirteen people sharing one flat so there is more of a chance that you will find someone who you get along with. In freshers week, we went to a lot of the events together as a flat and the kitchen was a place for us to get to know each other, bond over pizza and have drinks before we went out. I was so worried about making friends but couldn’t believe how similar my flatmates were to me when I moved in. They had matched our interests so well.
The rooms themselves are incredible. I was so pleasantly surprised upon moving in to find that I not only had an ensuite but also a bath, which is not the case for most student accommodation. The room is a good size and there isn’t much variation between blocks or flats which makes it a lot fairer. One of the biggest perks of Jack Martin is definitely the location. It made walking anywhere on campus so easy and meant I could get out of bed at 8.50am for my 9am lectures in the Oculus.
Moving out over the Easter holiday is not the most ideal, but this made the price cheaper annually. The room was very good value and Jack Martin is a great option for anyone wanting an ensuite room, but not wanting to pay Bluebell prices. Although, if you do live far away, having to move in and out over Easter is something to consider.
It has a good reputation as a fairly mixed hall; it is good for when you want to study and be quiet, but also a great place to be social.
It definitely has some downsides. One of the biggest things I would note is that it is not as secure as other accommodations as there were no locks on the flat doors and you had to walk through the corridor next to us, which made it very noisy at night sometimes. However, you do get used to this and anytime we had any issues with security, the campus security team came extremely quickly.
Another minor problem with Jack Martin was that we had one fridge between thirteen of us which meant that we had less than half of a shelf each, which wasn’t ideal. However, it meant that we were all less wasteful and I cooked with a flatmate so it wasn’t much of an issue.
Overall, I honestly don’t think there was another accommodation I would have wanted to be in. It was great and one of the best accommodations to be social in, but also to get work done.
Bluebell has a great international community which is something that international students might prioritise when choosing accommodation
I had a few friends in Bluebell last year so I visited different flats and got a feel for the positives and negatives of the accommodation.
The biggest positive has to be the double bed and the high standard of the rooms. The rooms are huge and extremely nice. The ensuite bathrooms are so lovely and modern, and the rooms are twice the size of some of the rooms on campus. If a double bed is something you particularly want in first year, definitely choose Bluebell as they are guaranteed in all rooms.
Additionally, the rooms have lovely views and floor-to-ceiling windows so feel very light and open which is nice. The flats are secure as they have locks on and there is a maximum of nine students in a flat which makes it a little less daunting.
Bluebell has a great international community which is something that international students might prioritise when choosing accommodation. It is, on the whole, quieter and more relaxed than Rootes, but still closely located to everywhere on campus. The kitchens are large and have a lot of storage space. They are more modern than the Jack Martin ones.
However, Bluebell is not for everyone and a lot of my friends did complain about it being very expensive compared to other accommodations. They also found that it was necessary to make friends outside of their flat as some flats were a little less sociable. This is not a problem though, as there are so many ways to make friends outside of your flat and this is not just a problem for Bluebell.
I had heard all sorts of myths about Rootes, but after spending quite a lot of time there with friends and my boyfriend, I can honestly say that a lot of them aren’t true and it really depends on the flat, much like any other accommodation.
The rooms and flats are a lot better than people claim they are. It is also not as noisy and chaotic as it is made out to be.
Rootes is one of the most sociable accommodations as it is arranged in long corridors, making it easy to make friends in the flats next to and above you
The kitchens have no more than thirteen people in them and they get just as messy as other student accommodations, but are cleaned often so this is not something to worry about. As long as everyone does their bit to keep the kitchens tidy, this isn’t an issue.
Rootes is one of the most sociable accommodations as it is arranged in long corridors, making it easy to make friends in the flats next to and above you. This is one of the best things about Rootes as most of the people I knew that lived there were friends with people in other flats and blocks, which was something I couldn’t say about Jack Martin.
It is a really well-located accommodation as it is so near to everything and right in the centre of campus – perfect for going to the Learning Grid to do some work or going to Curiositea for a coffee. It is also reasonably priced so a great option if budget is an issue.
The biggest complaint about Rootes that I can see is the disparities between rooms. Old Rootes has smaller rooms than New Rootes and the refurbished rooms are much nicer than the older ones, which is somewhat unfair as everyone pays the same price. Also, depending on the flat, it can get noisy because there are so many people in corridors and so many rooms in general. Nonetheless, Rootes is great and really easy to make friends in. It is a cheap option and good value for money and great for student life.
Hopefully, this has provided insight into what it is like to live in these accommodations, but my biggest advice is to embrace whatever hall you are put in as they are all amazing.