The Student Room Group

Is accommodation as claustrophobic & overwhelming as it seems?

Hello there. I'm a year 12 student who's probably going to be applying to universities this summer. I've been looking at various accommodations from a variety of universities and I'd like some insight. For some extra information, I've looked at accommodations at Exeter, Royal Holloway, and Imperial College London, however I have quite a few more universities I'm looking at and will research more.

For the sake of finances, I will likely need to get a small single room with a shared bathroom (which I am not sure I'm comfortable with, I'm quite overly-hygienic). More specifically, the cheapest thing available that is still comfortable enough. I am generally uncomfortable with the idea of being around so many people constantly and only having a claustrophobic room to escape it. Of course, I will be in some sort of student accommodation, but I am fairly nervous about my day to day life.

So, students currently in an accommodation, is it livable? Do you get used to it after being there for a while or is it as cramped/overwhelming as it seems? Is there anything you would tell a new student to best settle into their new home?

I would appreciate any information on daily life in accommodations (at any UK university). I'd like to prepare the best I can. Thank you so much!
Original post by MarinaKat
Hello there. I'm a year 12 student who's probably going to be applying to universities this summer. I've been looking at various accommodations from a variety of universities and I'd like some insight. For some extra information, I've looked at accommodations at Exeter, Royal Holloway, and Imperial College London, however I have quite a few more universities I'm looking at and will research more.
For the sake of finances, I will likely need to get a small single room with a shared bathroom (which I am not sure I'm comfortable with, I'm quite overly-hygienic). More specifically, the cheapest thing available that is still comfortable enough. I am generally uncomfortable with the idea of being around so many people constantly and only having a claustrophobic room to escape it. Of course, I will be in some sort of student accommodation, but I am fairly nervous about my day to day life.
So, students currently in an accommodation, is it livable? Do you get used to it after being there for a while or is it as cramped/overwhelming as it seems? Is there anything you would tell a new student to best settle into their new home?
I would appreciate any information on daily life in accommodations (at any UK university). I'd like to prepare the best I can. Thank you so much!

Hi there,

It's great to hear you're considering studying with us!

You can find some more information and details about our accommodation on this page: https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/student-life/accommodation/.

Feel free to ask one of our current students here about their accommodation experience: https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/chat/ - they'll be able to give you some advice and guidance regarding your questions.

You can also take a tour of our George Eliot Hall with Fiona here: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/7PZQYDNj9Q8 and Penrose Court flats with Katherine here: https://link.unibuddy.co/unibuddy/Wx5VdZdjoV4u3zb87.

Hope this helps!

Best wishes,

Royal Holloway, University of London Official Rep
Original post by MarinaKat
Hello there. I'm a year 12 student who's probably going to be applying to universities this summer. I've been looking at various accommodations from a variety of universities and I'd like some insight. For some extra information, I've looked at accommodations at Exeter, Royal Holloway, and Imperial College London, however I have quite a few more universities I'm looking at and will research more.
For the sake of finances, I will likely need to get a small single room with a shared bathroom (which I am not sure I'm comfortable with, I'm quite overly-hygienic). More specifically, the cheapest thing available that is still comfortable enough. I am generally uncomfortable with the idea of being around so many people constantly and only having a claustrophobic room to escape it. Of course, I will be in some sort of student accommodation, but I am fairly nervous about my day to day life.
So, students currently in an accommodation, is it livable? Do you get used to it after being there for a while or is it as cramped/overwhelming as it seems? Is there anything you would tell a new student to best settle into their new home?
I would appreciate any information on daily life in accommodations (at any UK university). I'd like to prepare the best I can. Thank you so much!

Hi Marina!

I have been studying at the University of Exeter for 5 years now and have lived in quite a few different accomodations. In my first year I was in Duryard where I shared a kitchen and bathroom with one other girl and it worked out great. I also spent a year in Lafrowda sharing a flat with 12 people on 3 bathrooms and was also stressed at first but it all went smoothly! It always comes down to creating a comfortable environment where everyone helps with keeping the shared spaces clean. We worked everything out at the beginning of the year and the bathrooms and kitchen were always in a good condition. Also living in a space with so many people, especially in first year, was amazing because its such a quick and easy way to make friends and mingle as well as have someone you can debrief with at the end of the day and maybe even study together. I loved my room and it had just enough space for eveything and once you decorate it and make it your own space it doesn't really matter how big/small it is.

Because most people will probably be studying different subjects and join different societies/sports they will have their own routine. You will find that some days everyone will be in their rooms studying and other days everyone will be in the kitchen mingling but you dont have to worry about being 'locked' in your room. Even if you do not feel comfortable with your flatmates you will meet so many different people through your course or sports and socials you join or some other way. The university also offers a range of support for students in university accomodation.

Here is a lik you can look into for accomodation in Exeter which allows you to specify your budget and preferences:
https://www.exeter.ac.uk/study/accommodation/room-finder/

I hope this was useful and if you have any other questions about life and accomodation at Exeter please do ask! 😊

Laura
Exeter University Student Ambassador
Original post by MarinaKat
Hello there. I'm a year 12 student who's probably going to be applying to universities this summer. I've been looking at various accommodations from a variety of universities and I'd like some insight. For some extra information, I've looked at accommodations at Exeter, Royal Holloway, and Imperial College London, however I have quite a few more universities I'm looking at and will research more.
For the sake of finances, I will likely need to get a small single room with a shared bathroom (which I am not sure I'm comfortable with, I'm quite overly-hygienic). More specifically, the cheapest thing available that is still comfortable enough. I am generally uncomfortable with the idea of being around so many people constantly and only having a claustrophobic room to escape it. Of course, I will be in some sort of student accommodation, but I am fairly nervous about my day to day life.
So, students currently in an accommodation, is it livable? Do you get used to it after being there for a while or is it as cramped/overwhelming as it seems? Is there anything you would tell a new student to best settle into their new home?
I would appreciate any information on daily life in accommodations (at any UK university). I'd like to prepare the best I can. Thank you so much!

Hi @MarinaKat

I was also worried about sharing a bathroom and spaces with others before I moved into hall, but it honestly wasn't that bad, it just becomes normal and you make your own routine. I agree with Laura that the best thing to do is to try and make an agreement with your other flatmates when you start, to make sure cleaning is kept on top of.

I would also recommend when buying equipment, plates, glasses and cutlery etc for the kitchen try and get unique or stand out pieces and then you don't get your stuff mixed up with others and can easily identify it. Even so with a sponge maybe get a different colour from the regular yellow so you know which is yours. I also got a bucket for the sink to clean my pots in, which was useful if the sink got a little messy. I have a post here that might help The best places to shop for moving to uni (cheaply) - The Student Room

In terms of your room just make it your own, bring things from home that you love. I loved my room in halls and found it a really cosy and calm space to live in. I'm sure there will also be lots of outdoor spaces to go to and I found I wasn't in my room all the time anyways as I would be out with others, at the gym or just in the library.

Overall I would say you definitely get use to living with other people, you become comfortable. Especially if you take the time to get to know your other flat mates, it is nice to have people around.

I hope this helps and good luck :smile:
-Grace (Kingston Rep)
Reply 4
Original post by Royal Holloway, University of London
Hi there,
It's great to hear you're considering studying with us!
You can find some more information and details about our accommodation on this page: https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/student-life/accommodation/.
Feel free to ask one of our current students here about their accommodation experience: https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/chat/ - they'll be able to give you some advice and guidance regarding your questions.
You can also take a tour of our George Eliot Hall with Fiona here: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/7PZQYDNj9Q8 and Penrose Court flats with Katherine here: https://link.unibuddy.co/unibuddy/Wx5VdZdjoV4u3zb87.
Hope this helps!
Best wishes,
Royal Holloway, University of London Official Rep

Thank you very much for the resources! I will certainly ask some current students about their experiences and take a closer look at the details. I appreciate your time greatly, thank you again! 😊
Reply 5
Original post by ExeterStudentRep
Hi Marina!
I have been studying at the University of Exeter for 5 years now and have lived in quite a few different accomodations. In my first year I was in Duryard where I shared a kitchen and bathroom with one other girl and it worked out great. I also spent a year in Lafrowda sharing a flat with 12 people on 3 bathrooms and was also stressed at first but it all went smoothly! It always comes down to creating a comfortable environment where everyone helps with keeping the shared spaces clean. We worked everything out at the beginning of the year and the bathrooms and kitchen were always in a good condition. Also living in a space with so many people, especially in first year, was amazing because its such a quick and easy way to make friends and mingle as well as have someone you can debrief with at the end of the day and maybe even study together. I loved my room and it had just enough space for eveything and once you decorate it and make it your own space it doesn't really matter how big/small it is.
Because most people will probably be studying different subjects and join different societies/sports they will have their own routine. You will find that some days everyone will be in their rooms studying and other days everyone will be in the kitchen mingling but you dont have to worry about being 'locked' in your room. Even if you do not feel comfortable with your flatmates you will meet so many different people through your course or sports and socials you join or some other way. The university also offers a range of support for students in university accomodation.
Here is a lik you can look into for accomodation in Exeter which allows you to specify your budget and preferences:
https://www.exeter.ac.uk/study/accommodation/room-finder/
I hope this was useful and if you have any other questions about life and accomodation at Exeter please do ask! 😊
Laura
Exeter University Student Ambassador

Hello there!
Thank you very much for your input, I greatly appreciate it.

Sharing a bathroom was one of my big worries, and I suppose I thought it would become dirty by default. I will make an effort to keep everything coordinated when the time does come around so everyone in the space is comfortable. I'm very glad to hear that things tend to be a lot cleaner and organised than I feared.
I'll be sure to maintain clear communication with my flatmates.

I'm glad to hear that the rooms are in fact comfortable enough to settle in. I'm sure the space will feel more personalised once I'm actually there, I find it hard to determine how something would be exactly from simply looking at pictures.

Thank you very much for the support! 😊
Reply 6
Original post by Kingston Reps
Hi @MarinaKat
I was also worried about sharing a bathroom and spaces with others before I moved into hall, but it honestly wasn't that bad, it just becomes normal and you make your own routine. I agree with Laura that the best thing to do is to try and make an agreement with your other flatmates when you start, to make sure cleaning is kept on top of.
I would also recommend when buying equipment, plates, glasses and cutlery etc for the kitchen try and get unique or stand out pieces and then you don't get your stuff mixed up with others and can easily identify it. Even so with a sponge maybe get a different colour from the regular yellow so you know which is yours. I also got a bucket for the sink to clean my pots in, which was useful if the sink got a little messy. I have a post here that might help The best places to shop for moving to uni (cheaply) - The Student Room
In terms of your room just make it your own, bring things from home that you love. I loved my room in halls and found it a really cosy and calm space to live in. I'm sure there will also be lots of outdoor spaces to go to and I found I wasn't in my room all the time anyways as I would be out with others, at the gym or just in the library.
Overall I would say you definitely get use to living with other people, you become comfortable. Especially if you take the time to get to know your other flat mates, it is nice to have people around.
I hope this helps and good luck :smile:
-Grace (Kingston Rep)

Hello there

Thank you for the information, it is incredibly helpful for me. I will make sure to set clear boundaries then and try to agree upon cleaning times / shared rules / etc.
Knowing that this kind of coordination is fairly standard is quite a relief to me and I will be sure to keep that in mind!

I appreciate the advice on kitchenware, I hadn't even thought of that! I'd be more than happy to get unique little things for me (in fact I'm quite excited for that now). Although small, I think that little part made me less afraid.

I'll also be sure to decorate my room, that's important to me. I am glad to hear that it is cosy and comfortable, I certainly could have underestimated the space based on images I saw. The library might also be a quiet and comfortable place to 'escape' to, another thing I hadn't immediately thought of.

Thank you very much for your input! 😊
Hi @MarinaKat

That’s lovely to hear you’re applying to universities and already getting prepared by looking at accommodation.

I can see you have been given lots of brilliant advice so far. I must admit I had the same fears about moving into shared accommodation. I am a mature student, so decided to move straight into a student house share. I like you didn’t want to live with lots of people, so I found a 3-bedroom student house, we share a kitchen and have a toilet and separate shower room.

We too have a cleaning rota and take it in turns to buy household items like washing up liquid and keep a record of it, so we know whose turn it is next.

I didn’t feel the need to move into halls of residence as I am a little bit older, but I know from my coursemates that lots of them really enjoyed spending their first year there as it was a great stepping-stone between living with family and living independently. Some of them have made their best friends through their accommodation be that flatmates or people they have met in the communal areas, especially because they were surrounded by other first years.

One of the pros of being in the halls of residence at Salford is there are staff on site all day to take any Amazon deliveries in for you and 24/7 security, plus it isn't far to commute to the Student union to meet your friends or to classes.

I totally get the worry about feeling claustrophobic, I had to move a lot of stuff to my house share, so I have invested in a few bits of storage such as a clothing rail, a clothing box, and even easy-to-remove hooks for the back of my door, so my room wasn't cluttered. Also, it is important to put your stamp on the room e.g., putting some photos up, getting your cushions, posters, so your room can be your chill-out space too etc.

It sounds like you have, but if you haven’t been in person, it is worth trying to see the accommodation options in person as well as looking at photos/virtual tours online as that really gives you a sense of if you’d feel at home somewhere. You could tie this in with an open day if you are attending any to keep the cost down some universities like mine (Uni of Salford) offer small travel bursaries to make attending open days more affordable.

Plus remember it is only your accommodation for a year potentially, so if there are any bits that you don’t like, then you can make a note of that as something to avoid for future years.

I hope that helps. Feel free to ask me any questions.

Lucy 😊
(University of Salford Student Rep)
Original post by MarinaKat
Hello there. I'm a year 12 student who's probably going to be applying to universities this summer. I've been looking at various accommodations from a variety of universities and I'd like some insight. For some extra information, I've looked at accommodations at Exeter, Royal Holloway, and Imperial College London, however I have quite a few more universities I'm looking at and will research more.
For the sake of finances, I will likely need to get a small single room with a shared bathroom (which I am not sure I'm comfortable with, I'm quite overly-hygienic). More specifically, the cheapest thing available that is still comfortable enough. I am generally uncomfortable with the idea of being around so many people constantly and only having a claustrophobic room to escape it. Of course, I will be in some sort of student accommodation, but I am fairly nervous about my day to day life.
So, students currently in an accommodation, is it livable? Do you get used to it after being there for a while or is it as cramped/overwhelming as it seems? Is there anything you would tell a new student to best settle into their new home?
I would appreciate any information on daily life in accommodations (at any UK university). I'd like to prepare the best I can. Thank you so much!

Heyyy I’ve just finished first year in Exeter, staying in Lafrowda (shared bathroom).
I was definitely intrigued how the year would go living with 11/12 people and sharing spaces with them. But honestly I found it to be completely fine!
My room had a single bed and came with my own sink. I’d definitely recommend decorating your room to make it feel homely. I didn’t find it to be too small, and sometimes with en-suites, you end up compromising room space anyways!
In terms of the shared facilities (toilets, showers and the kitchen) I found it completely fine sharing. There was never a time that all the showers/toilets were in use. Cooking in the evening can be quite sociable, but if I ever wanted a bit more peace I’d just cook slightly earlier or later! And with people having lectures at different times, I found I could easily have breakfast and lunch when the kitchen was quieter.
Unfortunately, it’s kind of inevitable that kitchens will get messy at times, but we had a cleaner come weekly to help keep on top of everything. Our toilets and showers were also cleaned weekly which was so helpful.
Best of luck :smile:
(edited 5 days ago)

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