Midterm. Ring of an alarm. The last five of them have been snoozed even though your practical starts in 30 minutes, so this time you have to get up. All of the productive morning plans that you made last night are fading together with that great big yawn. You put on sweatpants and a jumper and run into the kitchen to thank your housemate who bought bread for you on their recent trip to Aldi because you have been too busy to do that yourself. On to a bike and off you go. (Get a bike as soon as possible, it will make your life much easier) Park the bike right next to the back entrance of the department and beep the card. You walk inside of the room just as the lecturer is handing out the sign-in sheet. You made, it once again.
Living in the constant presence of University might seem intimidating at first. Though, as the days go by, the dramatisation above might start to seem all too familiar and suddenly the realisation hits you that having a campus is a luxury. It’s not just the ability to walk around in sweatpants and reach your department in less than 15 minutes, but it is also about the community and safety that living on campus provides. In this article, I have tried to gather my thoughts about campus life – most of the pros and a pinch of cons.
Having the ability to be spontaneous
One of the great things about being at uni is the number of opportunities that we get. However, there are so many of them that sometimes I don’t find out about them until the last minute. The good news is that on campus everything is so close. So that email that I read at 6:10pm about the networking and pizza event happening today at 6:30pm is not a missed chance, I can still get there. Even if something is happening on the other side of campus, you can be there within 20 minutes by bike or on the free shuttle bus.
Moreover, when you’re working on your essay at three in the morning and you realise that the book that you really need to finish your argument only has a physical copy in the library, you just have to change from your slippers to get a hold of it. (The library is open 24/7 – don’t forget to take your student ID with you!)
Most of your coursemates will also live in one of the colleges on campus. So walking back to accommodation together might be an unexpected start of a lifelong relationship. And if that doesn’t happen straight away, colleges have a bunch of socials that help you to find people with whom you share the same interests. Or, in my case, you might even meet people from your home country (which is always nice). Some of the examples of these kinds of events – Dog-petting, Yoga on Thursdays, Wine and cheese evening.
Help and support
In the first year of uni, there is so much to get your head around. On top of your course, you need to figure out how to cook your own food, do laundry and from time to time remember to vacuum your room. Therefore, it is nice to have things like electricity, heating, water, wi-fi, and contents insurance already taken care of. These are all included in campus accommodation).
In addition, if you happen to hurt yourself during one of your cooking experiments or something else goes wrong, your College Reception Team and Campus Security are always there to help. Although most of the time they are not needed, it is a calming thought to know that you have somewhere to reach for help.
I have enjoyed living on campus so far. I think, especially for first-years, having a safe and active environment around is very beneficial. With that being said, sometimes living with 20 people becomes a lot and having to walk to a different building to do your laundry can be annoying. But that is also an experience that will allow you to cherish the little things more.
Read more student blogs about campus life