Anonymous #1
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Long story short, I chose my college for all the wrong reasons and I thought I could grow to love it. It was very important to me that I had someone I knew close by, but they unfortunately got reallocated, and ever since then I've been very stressed. Even before then I did have a gut feeling but I ignored it.

My mental health has been terrible, especially thinking about all of this on top of everything else I'm going through. It's turned an exciting experience into one full of dread and tears. It got so bad that I did email and ask about being reallocated to a Bailey college, but they said I needed medical evidence. After that I literally paid an admin fee to my GP so she could explain everything, but Durham just got back to me and said it wasn't enough reason.

Is this allowed? I didn't even get maintenance loans so I'll be paying with my own money for a college I don't want to go to. I keep trying to make light of it but I just hate it so much. I never would've considered it if I didn't think I'd have someone there to settle in with, but I forced myself to like it as much as I could. I realise my mistake, but I just think it's so unfair that they've been so firm. They haven't even tried to check other colleges or help me.

What can I do??
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KatetheLecturer
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I feel for you - I *hated* my college at Durham too (though it was a very long time ago).

Am I right in thinking you haven't actually started yet? (You are likely to be in a stronger position to move if you are already there.) If you haven't, you may be very surprised when you actually get there - I'd suggest really throwing yourself in to things for the first term, and then reassess - most people who have decided, before they get there, that they won't like the college they've been allocated, end up absolutely loving it. And - even if you don't: college isn't everything even so. Put yourself out there to get involved in societies, your department, sports- whatever your interests are, and you'll find people: in my second year, I didn't live with anyone from my college (or my subject, actually).

If you are there already - speak to your Personal Tutor or the Senior Tutor in your college: they'll be able to advise you how to advance this.
Last edited by KatetheLecturer; 1 month ago
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Anonymous #2
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Moving colleges is rare and almost always for medical reasons. The only other circumstances I am aware of involve severe bullying or serious musicians moving to participate in college music.

Nevertheless, I'd recommend giving it a go at your college. There's really fewer differences than there are similarities, and you will find all sorts of people in your college. In the event that you still dislike it, there are always societies. I hated my college and successfully spent my time involved in societies - it isn't difficult to find other places to be. For me, college was just where my bedroom was.

Also remember that almost everyone lives out in their second and third years. Out of my five housemates, we had five different colleges. If you don't want to, you can easily never end up going to your college after first year.

I hope this helps.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by KatetheLecturer)
I feel for you - I *hated* my college at Durham too (though it was a very long time ago).

Am I right in thinking you haven't actually started yet? (You are likely to be in a stronger position to move if you are already there.) If you haven't, you may be very surprised when you actually get there - I'd suggest really throwing yourself in to things for the first term, and then reassess - most people who have decided, before they get there, that they won't like the college they've been allocated, end up absolutely loving it. And - even if you don't: college isn't everything even so. Put yourself out there to get involved in societies, your department, sports- whatever your interests are, and you'll find people: in my second year, I didn't live with anyone from my college (or my subject, actually).

If you are there already - speak to your Personal Tutor or the Senior Tutor in your college: they'll be able to advise you how to advance this.
Thank you for being so empathetic, I was quite worried that I'd get backlash for this as it is really my mistake, so this is really kind. Mind if I ask what your college was, I wonder if it's the same?

You're correct that I'm not there yet. It's really reassuring to know there's a better chance when I'm there! I've been trying to get it sorted thinking that once I'm there it'll be too late because it's set in stone.

Thank you so much for your advice, it's much appreciated.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Moving colleges is rare and almost always for medical reasons. The only other circumstances I am aware of involve severe bullying or serious musicians moving to participate in college music.

Nevertheless, I'd recommend giving it a go at your college. There's really fewer differences than there are similarities, and you will find all sorts of people in your college. In the event that you still dislike it, there are always societies. I hated my college and successfully spent my time involved in societies - it isn't difficult to find other places to be. For me, college was just where my bedroom was.

Also remember that almost everyone lives out in their second and third years. Out of my five housemates, we had five different colleges. If you don't want to, you can easily never end up going to your college after first year.

I hope this helps.
Yeah I've been made quite aware by the admissions staff that it's not something they want to do haha.

The main things for me are that it seems quite far out, and I'll probably be getting a shared bathroom which is a nightmare for me. Thank you for sharing your experience though as it's quite hopeful.

I am looking forward to flats in one respect but the whole point is that I don't want to be isolated, and any accommodation I found is even further out than my college. I guess not everything can go in my favour though!

Thank you for your help, it really is good to hear.
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XanaXoid
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Hi, I'm really sorry to hear about your situation. But there are also some drawbacks of getting allocated to a bailey college. Most of the rooms are not en-suite and many first year students have to share the room.
Also you said that your college seems quite far out, so I'm assuming is hild & bebe, if so yes it's further away from all the other colleges and departments but everything should be in a walking distance. More or less 10 minutes to get to the city centre and 15 min to get to the science site
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by XanaXoid)
Hi, I'm really sorry to hear about your situation. But there are also some drawbacks of getting allocated to a bailey college. Most of the rooms are not en-suite and many first year students have to share the room.
Also you said that your college seems quite far out, so I'm assuming is hild & bebe, if so yes it's further away from all the other colleges and departments but everything should be in a walking distance. More or less 10 minutes to get to the city centre and 15 min to get to the science site
I wasn't aware of that actually so thank you. From what I saw I figured the Baileys were mainly en suites and single.

Haha, yeah. I didn't want to talk too much **** about it but it is Hild Bede. I managed to actually get up to Durham a few weeks ago and it just made it all even worse. Such a stupid mistake.
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Anonymous #3
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off topic but you're paying for it all without a maintenance loan?? you must be super rich. i've never heard of anyone doing that.
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XanaXoid
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I wasn't aware of that actually so thank you. From what I saw I figured the Baileys were mainly en suites and single.

Haha, yeah. I didn't want to talk too much **** about it but it is Hild Bede. I managed to actually get up to Durham a few weeks ago and it just made it all even worse. Such a stupid mistake.
I'll be in a bailey college and most of our rooms are single not en-suite, double en-suite and double with shared bathrooms...
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Anonymous)
off topic but you're paying for it all without a maintenance loan?? you must be super rich. i've never heard of anyone doing that.
Ha, hardly. I'm just trying to be smart with my savings and I have a small investment that I'm hoping will help me handle it. If I end up near death in the first year I'll apply for them in the second. I didn't want too much debt by the end so trying my best to avoid it. I'll let you know if I succeed 😂
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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Yeah I've been made quite aware by the admissions staff that it's not something they want to do haha.

The main things for me are that it seems quite far out, and I'll probably be getting a shared bathroom which is a nightmare for me. Thank you for sharing your experience though as it's quite hopeful.

I am looking forward to flats in one respect but the whole point is that I don't want to be isolated, and any accommodation I found is even further out than my college. I guess not everything can go in my favour though!

Thank you for your help, it really is good to hear.
Living out is, for 99% of students, far more fun than living in college - I'd recommend finding friends from societies to live with. I did that and had a wonderful time.

Shared bathrooms are usually a non-issue. In college I rarely saw anyone else around the halls - we all had different schedules.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Living out is, for 99% of students, far more fun than living in college - I'd recommend finding friends from societies to live with. I did that and had a wonderful time.

Shared bathrooms are usually a non-issue. In college I rarely saw anyone else around the halls - we all had different schedules.
That's a really good idea so thank you.

Ah that's good to hear at least. I'll probably settle in fine then, the thought of it is just causing a lot of anxiety and distress right now.
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KatetheLecturer
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thank you for being so empathetic, I was quite worried that I'd get backlash for this as it is really my mistake, so this is really kind. Mind if I ask what your college was, I wonder if it's the same?

You're correct that I'm not there yet. It's really reassuring to know there's a better chance when I'm there! I've been trying to get it sorted thinking that once I'm there it'll be too late because it's set in stone.

Thank you so much for your advice, it's much appreciated.
I have seen your later posts - yes, it was: but it's also super-relevant that I was there 20 odd years ago, so it will have changed a *lot*, and it was likely also to do with the fact that I was facing other challenges, and so I didn't do a lot to help myself on this score either - so don't take this as a bad sign! I would say, again, really give it your best shot when you get there - throw yourself into college things, force yourself to talk to other people on your corridor/floor, and really try hard to push yourself out of your comfort zone, and you may well end up one of those people who lives for the college reunion twenty years down the line. But- if you just don't gel with it: that's fine too. You will find friends at work (if you're planning on working), in lectures, on nights out, in societies, in sports, if you are religious at all, through the mosque/church/temple etc, getting chatting to someone when you're reading a book in Costa: in short, in all the normal ways- college is just an extra layer of possibility.

As others have also said, if you don't gel with HB, after first year, no-one will force you to return - people generally live out from second year anyway, but if there are reasons you need to live in, and you really can't bear it, you can apply to change college. It's very unusual - but that's because if people don't gel with their college, they just don't spend time there: but it is possible, for sure, and it's probably easier nowadays. I used to teach at Durham also, until a few years ago, and changes of colleges could be arranged, and I imagine, with greater awareness of, and acceptance of, the wide range of conditions that can impact on students, it may even be more straightforward.

The Bailey isn't all that, either - you'll be much likelier to have to share a room, for starters, never mind a bathroom: and shared bathrooms anything are nothing like they were back in the day (one shower cubicle, and six baths separated by partitions, all in one big room)- they are almost all fully self-contained and secure, it's just that you aren't the only person with the right to access it. Honestly - it's not something to dread, I promise!

I really suggest doing your best not to worry about your allocation right now, focus on getting ready for your first term, and, when you get there, try not to focus on not wanting to be there, and try to turn it into an opportunity: I know this is easier said than done, but for me personally, mindset has really been critical in how I manage things - my life has improved dramatically since I started trying to be Pollyanna about everything (even if it's only because I laugh at myself - "hey, it's actually really great that I missed the bus, and now I have to walk in the rain so I am not late for my class, because the rain will hydrate my skin and help prevent wrinkles"...) as it somehow makes it easier to manage difficult and stressful situations. Give it a go - and good luck!
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random_matt
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I was fortunate enough to have medical conditions that required ensuite.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by KatetheLecturer)
I have seen your later posts - yes, it was: but it's also super-relevant that I was there 20 odd years ago, so it will have changed a *lot*, and it was likely also to do with the fact that I was facing other challenges, and so I didn't do a lot to help myself on this score either - so don't take this as a bad sign! I would say, again, really give it your best shot when you get there - throw yourself into college things, force yourself to talk to other people on your corridor/floor, and really try hard to push yourself out of your comfort zone, and you may well end up one of those people who lives for the college reunion twenty years down the line. But- if you just don't gel with it: that's fine too. You will find friends at work (if you're planning on working), in lectures, on nights out, in societies, in sports, if you are religious at all, through the mosque/church/temple etc, getting chatting to someone when you're reading a book in Costa: in short, in all the normal ways- college is just an extra layer of possibility.

As others have also said, if you don't gel with HB, after first year, no-one will force you to return - people generally live out from second year anyway, but if there are reasons you need to live in, and you really can't bear it, you can apply to change college. It's very unusual - but that's because if people don't gel with their college, they just don't spend time there: but it is possible, for sure, and it's probably easier nowadays. I used to teach at Durham also, until a few years ago, and changes of colleges could be arranged, and I imagine, with greater awareness of, and acceptance of, the wide range of conditions that can impact on students, it may even be more straightforward.

The Bailey isn't all that, either - you'll be much likelier to have to share a room, for starters, never mind a bathroom: and shared bathrooms anything are nothing like they were back in the day (one shower cubicle, and six baths separated by partitions, all in one big room)- they are almost all fully self-contained and secure, it's just that you aren't the only person with the right to access it. Honestly - it's not something to dread, I promise!

I really suggest doing your best not to worry about your allocation right now, focus on getting ready for your first term, and, when you get there, try not to focus on not wanting to be there, and try to turn it into an opportunity: I know this is easier said than done, but for me personally, mindset has really been critical in how I manage things - my life has improved dramatically since I started trying to be Pollyanna about everything (even if it's only because I laugh at myself - "hey, it's actually really great that I missed the bus, and now I have to walk in the rain so I am not late for my class, because the rain will hydrate my skin and help prevent wrinkles"...) as it somehow makes it easier to manage difficult and stressful situations. Give it a go - and good luck!
Thank you so much for your help. It's kind of you to spend so much time with this.

You're definitely right that it'll be good to really throw myself into it. I'd be better usually I think but as I might have said I'm going through quite a few things that are making it a lot to handle, but your comment was really nice to read through actually. I'll try my best to keep an open mind!

Also thank you for letting me know about the shared bathrooms! That layout sounds a lot better than I was expecting. I was dreading it before but now I think I could definitely adjust to that.

You're 100% right about mindset. Hard to practice sometimes and easy to forget, but it is crucial.

Thank you so much!
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KatetheLecturer
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thank you so much for your help. It's kind of you to spend so much time with this.

You're definitely right that it'll be good to really throw myself into it. I'd be better usually I think but as I might have said I'm going through quite a few things that are making it a lot to handle, but your comment was really nice to read through actually. I'll try my best to keep an open mind!

Also thank you for letting me know about the shared bathrooms! That layout sounds a lot better than I was expecting. I was dreading it before but now I think I could definitely adjust to that.

You're 100% right about mindset. Hard to practice sometimes and easy to forget, but it is crucial.

Thank you so much!
You're really welcome to give me a shout if you need anything, or you could do with some advice down the line - but in the meantime, enjoy the rest of your summer, and remember to take a kettle and some coffee/teabags (and also a corkscrew, if you drink alcohol): they are invaluable for giving you an excuse to talk to people on the first day :-)
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by KatetheLecturer)
You're really welcome to give me a shout if you need anything, or you could do with some advice down the line - but in the meantime, enjoy the rest of your summer, and remember to take a kettle and some coffee/teabags (and also a corkscrew, if you drink alcohol): they are invaluable for giving you an excuse to talk to people on the first day :-)
Thank you so much! I'll definitely give you a follow, you've been so kind.

Been wondering what to take so that's a great idea! Much appreciated
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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by Anonymous)
That's a really good idea so thank you.

Ah that's good to hear at least. I'll probably settle in fine then, the thought of it is just causing a lot of anxiety and distress right now.
It's quite normal to be nervous - you really don't have to worry. All colleges have their pros and their cons, and for most students they come to enjoy their college or find other things to do.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Anonymous)
It's quite normal to be nervous - you really don't have to worry. All colleges have their pros and their cons, and for most students they come to enjoy their college or find other things to do.
Thank you so much for this!
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Ha, hardly. I'm just trying to be smart with my savings and I have a small investment that I'm hoping will help me handle it. If I end up near death in the first year I'll apply for them in the second. I didn't want too much debt by the end so trying my best to avoid it. I'll let you know if I succeed 😂
Somewhat off the main topic, but you should be aware that student loan debt isn't "real" debt. The student loan debt is only repaid when you are earning over the threshold, and you repay nothing if you are earning under the threshold and you repay an amount proportional to what you earn. Most months when I earn just over the threshold I only pay about £20-50 back I think...

Also it is paid out automatically from your paycheque with your taxes and NI contributions if you are a PAYE worker - to all intents and purposes it is a graduate tax in all but name. You will never have bailiffs knocking down on your door to take payments unless you leave the country without telling SFE or purposefully misreport your earnings as a self-employed worker/contractor. Also 30 years after taking out the loan it gets written off (or by the time you retire, whichever happens first), and it does not affect your credit rating.

There is literally no reason to not take out a student loan. It's literally the best line of credit you can ever get, with exceptionally low interest rates, you can't default on it, you never make payments unless you can afford to do so, you also don't need to worry about missing payments ever because it's all automatic.

There were lots of news articles that came out about 10 years ago about how rich families who didn't even need the maintenance loans would still have their kids take them out, and then they'd just invest the money - because the terms of the loan were so damn good that they made profit off it and there was no downside. If the rich people are taking them out when they don't even need them, clearly they are onto something. I assure you that you have nothing to lose by doing so as well, and everything to gain.
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