Blog post

What will halls be like?

Moving away from home can feel like a big step, and understanding how university accommodation functions can be a huge help in feeling settled. Haze shares what they’ve learned about living in our halls.

By Haze Clayton - 10 November 2023

I’m Haze, a second year Photography student, and I’m going to explain what living in halls is like, what I experienced when I moved in and how I made friends within my flat.

Halls will feel very different from home, but from my experience, you can get used to it quickly. You share a flat with people you have never met, however because you're living in the same flat, you’ll get to know each other quickly and everyone will have the same mixed feelings about starting university. 

What to expect at your home from home

There are seven different halls of residence at the University of Derby, with nine different types of rooms available. For the premium standard room at St Christopher’s Court, there are two bathrooms to share between the six people in the flat. One is just a toilet and sink and the other has a toilet, sink and a shower. They also have a large kitchen with enough storage space for all six of you, which will be the communal area for you and your flat mates. My bedroom has a small double bed, and a desk and chair where I do university work and play games on my computer or games console. There are shelves above the desk and drawers, a large wardrobe where I can hang clothes, and more shelves above the bed. I have found there to be a lot of plug sockets and USB ports; however, I would suggest bringing an extension cable or two to give a few extra plug sockets and move them where you need them.

Haze bedroom at St Christopher’s Court
Haze's premium standard room at St Christopher’s Court

Bringing your flat together

When I moved in for my first year, I decided to bring a card game that could help bring my flat mates together. So when I saw someone in the kitchen, I asked them if they wanted to play UNO with other people in the flat so we could get to know everyone in a more relaxed environment. My other flat mates decided to bring a whiteboard for the kitchen so we could leave notes for each other and someone else made a group chat so we could communicate with each other easily. I find that bringing something and having an idea of how to bring you and your flat mates together will help a lot and it doesn’t have to be expensive or a games console that could be shared.

Security and getting help

In halls there is 24/7 security and staff are available in and around the accommodation to talk to about any queries that might come up. The staff I have spoken to are very friendly and I can always find someone in reception to ask about parcel deliveries or any problems in the flat. Our hall is one where a cleaner comes in weekly to clean your kitchen, bathrooms, and hallway to maintain everything.

Shared bathroom at St Christopher’s Court
Kitchen at St Christopher’s Court

While in halls, you might need some help with wellbeing or maintenance problems. For wellbeing, I would either phone or email the wellbeing center. But if it's outside of their working hours, I would use the Talk Campus app or Student Space text chat service to get advice or help. If I have a maintenance problem, I can use the maintenance form to let the staff know about non-emergency issues or I would use the emergency 24-hour phone number for anything urgent.

Accepting your new home

I find it strange having a temporary home for university, but after I placed comfort items and put a few things from home in my room, it felt much more my own. I started to feel like I belonged here when I got to know my flat mates and the people I was living with because I understood that everyone came from so many different places.  We were all learning what it was like to live from home for the first time and any anxiousness or nervousness I was feeling was felt by everyone else, so I didn’t feel alone. It also helps a lot when commuting to and from campus and you can still go home as often or as little as you like. You’ll make lots of memories and meet many other students, so I think it’s worth staying with them. 

A group of students in halls

Student living

If you're planning to move away from home to study, our award-wining halls of residence offer choice and value, great facilities and all you need to settle in quickly to student life.

Find out about our accommodationFind out about our accommodation

About the author

Blog profile image of student Haze

Haze Clayton
Second year BA (Hons) Photography student

My name is Haze. I am in my second year of Photography and I'm interested in mental health, and colour photography. I enjoy photography because I can explore my emotions and feelings in a non-verbal way and have other people relate to it in their own way.