Hey there, I thought today I would tell you a bit about the university accommodation I lived in, since choosing your accommodation is one of the most important decisions you make before coming to university.
You might have heard that the Towers are supposed to be a very lively accommodation for people who don’t mind the occasional party, and maybe that the South Courts are a more quiet choice for people who value the comfort of having their own bathroom.
But what about the University Quays?
I lived in Saint Quays while in my first and second year and can tell you, despite it being an “off campus” university accommodation, you will definitely not miss out on social life there. You can get to know your flat mates before even moving in by joining the according Facebook group which can be found on the university’s Quays accommodation website (click here).
My flat was shared by six people from various backgrounds, which I feel is a great size, as I would mostly meet someone in the kitchen to have a chat with if I wanted to, but I still had enough personal space. I experienced a great community feeling among Quays residents, which is supported by frequent activities organised by the resident assistants, like a pumpkin carving competition or cinema trips.
Dinner with friends 🙂
Campus is only a 15 minutes’ walk away and crossing the (legendary) bridge each morning with your mates is definitely a bonding moment (if that isn’t for you, you can take the 61 bus which runs every 20 minutes directly to campus and to the town centre).
If you are not sure how to approach new people there, simply ask them what they think about “The Bridge” which is a perfect conversation starter 😉
Going on a night out on campus is definitely no problem, since there is a safety bus run by the Student Union which will take you home afterwards. Also, the Quays have the great advantage of being situated right next to Dominoes and a Subway, which always proved to be a life saver for me when I just couldn’t wait ages for a takeaway to arrive!
Besides the nearby fast food outlets, the Quays are home to a few feathered friends which are either casually relaxing in the middle of the pathway, or giving a vocal performance outside your window – but they are really adorable!
The Quays are not only cheaper than the South Courts and the Meadows, but even have bigger rooms and bathrooms! Don’t be overwhelmed by the space and the standardised furniture, you can simply personalise your room with a few hacks!
Before arriving, I printed off photos of my friends, my family and my pets, which I pasted on the walls the evening I moved in – blue tack (or better white tack) will be your friend here! Be creative: arrange them in a heart shape, as a big collage with differently sized photos, or create patterns all over your wall. Alternatively you can strain a string and attach your photos on it with clothes pegs.
I also adopted a little room plant which is a perfect way to create a homely atmosphere in your room; at the beginning of the year there will be a fair on the squares offering flowers, cactuses and other leaf plants, so I highly recommend you to have a look there!
The bed will be the centre piece of your room so make yourself comfortable; dress your bedding with some nice bed linen, add a throw over and as many cushions as you like – welcome to your sleeping paradise!
Never underestimate the impact of good lighting! I really appreciated that, besides the ceiling light, the Quays’ rooms provide an over-desk lamp, which helps you focus on your reading. There’s also a dimmed lamp above the bed, which creates a more comfortable atmosphere in the evening.
In fact, I believe you can never have enough comfortable lighting, so I loooove fairy lights which are very affordable and pretty!
Looking back to my time in the Quays, I remember long chats in the kitchen, the obligatory Wednesday noon fire alarm test (don’t worry, they are normal for all accommodations) and walks on the beautiful Wivenhoe trail, which lies directly behind the Quays.
Finally I can only say, come and experience it yourself – it will be worth it!
Talk to you soon! Sabrina xx