What to consider when choosing accommodation at Warwick?
Your university accommodation is a huge part of your experience. It can define who your close friends at uni are for the next 3 years, as well as being often your first experience living independently. Everyone is individual, and what accommodation you will enjoy most at Warwick is based on a number of different variables. I will be discussing what these different factors are, giving my own opinion on these factors from my individual experience and hopefully give some clarity when looking at the great options available. As a disclaimer, everything I will be talking about applies to accommodation in the academic year 2017/2018 and my personal experience with the accommodation system, all of which is subject to change in subsequent academic years, so some of this information made become outdated if you are reading after the 2017/2018 academic year. They’re many accommodations that I have no experience of, such as Sherbourne or Claycroft, both of which could be ideal for you as an individual. So use this blog to get some personal experience on some of the accommodations, and use the advice I have to offer as someone who has been a fresher to do your own research to reach your own conclusion.
Cost The University has a wide range of prices for on-campus accommodation. In 2017/2018, Cryfield and Whitefields are the two cheapest accommodations, offering very low prices at the cost of having little space available. Bluebell is by far the most expensive accommodation but offers a bigger bed and a larger room. The best middle of the road accommodation is definitely Rootes offering an average amount of room space for a not too expensive price. For a lot of people, coming to uni seems like a time when you are going to be constantly broke and therefore, need to choose the cheapest accommodation possible. However, this is not the case, and should not be the main reason you choose any accommodation. The university has a fantastic support network for helping you manage your money and budget well and if saving a few extra pounds a week meant you had a much better living experience, it is definitely worth it. However, this shouldn’t also mean you should go straight for bluebell and worry about the debt later. Think about how much money you are going to have, as you don’t want to be in April making out your overdraft and feeling stressed out. It is a balancing act, but take your time to find the right option for your situation, rather than defaulting to one.
Lifestyle Although in halls there is a variety of people in each accommodation, they each have their own individual personality. Rootes is definitely a more party and socially active accommodation, which at some point you will undoubtedly go to for a pres. Accommodations like Bluebell, Arthur Vick and Jack Martin are often a lot quieter, with people doing their own things due to having larger rooms and ensuites. Westwood has a very family feel to it, as you so far away from Campus and other accommodations you do become very reliant on one another. Although these are not universal truths and there are exceptions, finding out what kind of people will most likely be living in each hall is a great way to know if it right for you. The best way to do that is to come to open days and speak to the students leaving in the accommodations, ask them what it is like and get a feel for it yourself.
Facilities This will either be something you are not bothered by in the slightest or the be all or end all of your choice. For some, the idea of having a single bed is something they can not imagine. With Bluebell being the only accommodation on campus without a single bed, if this is what you are looking for it is your only option, unless you look off campus. Another key facility is ensuites. Many accommodations have ensuites: Bluebell, Arthur Vick and Jack Martin to name a few. Again, if this is a real deal breaker for you, and sharing a bathroom is your worst nightmare, do your research and focus on finding accommodations which fit the facilities you would like from your living experience.
Location The walk to your 9 am is also something you will be thanking yourself for if you do your research. If you have a lot of your lectures in Oculus, Arthur Vick, Tocil and Whitefields are all very close by and will make getting up at 8:55 am a regular occurrence. However, if you don’t mind the walk and would rather be in a more picturesque environment Heronbank and Lakeside are located a short 5-10 minute walk from campus but in a very good location to take photos to show your friends from home. Ultimately, location is again up to what you would like from your halls. Would you prefer convenience, being central in campus or close to where your lectures are, or would you prefer a more enjoyable location, somewhere you feel more at home and comfortable? Either decision is completely fair, but just make sure when you are looking at Lakeside photos you take into account the short walk to campus, as 10 minutes does not seem a lot until you are walking home from Pop and it is -5.
My Experience During my first year at Warwick, I lived in Arthur Vick in a flat of 12. The reason I choose Arthur Vick is that I knew financially it wasn’t going to be too much of a burden, despite being one of the more expensive accommodation and I really didn’t want to share a bathroom having only lived with my mum for most of my life. Despite the majority of the building is very quiet, the accommodation team did a brilliant job of putting me with a group of people who I really got on with. We became friends with the flat next to us on day one, so 12 became 24 and we had our own little family in halls. I was lucky that most of my lectures were only a short walk from Arthur Vick, making it both convenient and helpful for when I was running late or wanted a last-minute session in the library.
My experience of halls was very positive, so I am aware that my view on the accommodation system was biased. But I can identify why my choice in halls was so successful. It is not a choice which should be done last minute, or the moment you get the chance. Take your time, discuss it with those who know you best and use all the resources you have available to you in order to make the right choice for you, so you can have the best first-year experience possible.