September 5, 2017, by Rebecca

Living in catered halls

There’s no doubt about it, living in halls will be completely different from anything that you’ve experienced before. If you are living on campus, chances are that you will be situated in one of the many catered halls. But what is living in catered halls actually like?

Cavendish Hall

Key things to know about catered halls:

  • The halls provide two meals a day – breakfast (or brunch at a weekend) and dinner (or is tea? By the end of Welcome Week this argument will already be well worn).
  • At the beginning of term, you are issued with a prepaid lunch card which can be spent in a variety of outlets on campus, ranging from the hall cafes to the wider range of shops in the Portland Building.
  • In your first term, you will elect a Junior Common Room Committee who will be responsible for overseeing your welfare and organising events throughout the year.
  • There are basic kitchenettes throughout the halls, which allow you to make your own meal if the choices on the hall menu disagree with you. It also gives you a place to make that essential cuppa!
  • Catered rooms are cleaned once every two weeks.

The members of my hall, courtesy of Cavendish JCR

Welcome Week:

Halls can be a little daunting to begin with – corridor after corridor filled with shut doors and the knowledge that behind each door lies yet another person to meet.

However, hall organised Welcome events are a great way to meet people, be it the Baywatch-themed Rock City night or the more relaxed pizza party. I would recommend making the most of these events, as this is the easiest way to meet the people in your halls. However, this does not necessarily mean going clubbing every night – there are plenty of non-alcoholic options available!

The friends that I made in Welcome Week remain my friends to this day

Hall activities:

Another thing that you’ll soon realise is that hall pride is real. Whether you are situated in Cavendish, Florence Boot, or Rutland, everyone is convinced that their own hall is best, as proven by the multitude of hall jumpers donned by Christmastime. There is also plenty of chances to battle out which hall is best – for example, the inter-hall sports day.

However, the social event of the year in the hall calendar comes in the shape of the formals, which are held four times a year. Not only does this allow you to sample the finest cuisine your halls have to offer, it also gives you the chance to don your glad-rags and hit the town with students from another hall.

The final formal of the year, held at Goosedale.

The rooms themselves:

Now you know all about the social side of halls, but what about the rooms themselves? In each room, you will be provided with:

  • A desk and chair
  • Bedframe and mattress
  • A desk lamp
  • A wardrobe
  • A rubbish bin
  • A fridge
  • Shelving
  • A noticeboard

My room in Cavendish Hall

All in all, living in catered halls is an incredible experience and unlike anything you have experienced before. There are just a couple more points that I would like to leave you with:

  • I would recommend taking earplugs. Although living in halls is a remarkable experience, living with 300 other people can sometimes be annoying, if they are partying when you have a 9 am deadline!
  • If you are worrying about locking yourself out of your room, worry not! You will have hall porters available to let you in, or failing that there is a security number to ring.
  • Enjoy yourself! You only get to live in halls once and living in catered halls is a great experience!

Good luck! Rebecca 🙂

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