Which hall of residence is for you?
First of all, congrats on getting an offer from Warwick–you will love it here. Shoutout to all prospective students out there because this post is for you!!
It is that time of the year when all of you are frantically going through all possible forums to get as much information as possible to fill out your accommodation forms. Just to let you know, if you are not already aware, that they’re not given out on a first come first serve basis, so there is no need to hurry your decision. As long as you submit the form online by 31st July, 2016, you are good.
Having just finished my first year in Warwick, I thought I’ll give you a taste of what living on campus is all about and what each accommodation is like, so that it is easier for you to make your decision.
I thought it was best to ask students living in different halls of residences to share their opinion with me, so that you get the most accurate, unbiased opinions.
So, here it goes.
There are two Rootes Accommodations- New Rootes and Old Rootes but in the application form you just select Rootes. Rootes is stereotyped to be the party hall and where the most fire alarms occur.
New Rootes is superior to Old rootes in all ways possible. It’s got the parties and the social life and at the same time, it doesn’t look like a building that is going to collapse anytime soon. According to a fresher, Kriztian Pa, “Old Rootes is an alcohol paradise and study hell”.
Having lived in New Rootes for my first year, I would say its been quite an experience. Being allocated my third preference, I would say my thoughts about rootes have changed the past year. I was so apprehensive at first of the fact that I would not have my own bathroom and would have to share it with strangers, thinking I would bump into someone now and then, but reflecting back on the past year, I have never been in a situation like that. I have always got to use the bathroom when I have wanted, and majority of the times it has been clean. Living with seventeen others in the same flat can get quite messy at times, with the kitchen being filthy at times, with the cleaners refusing to clean it (lol) but one gets used to it and its all part of the experience. It is not like everyone is cooking at the same time anyway so its not bad. A fresher, Julie Derrien, describes New Rootes as: “Rootes is a hall with a joyful atmosphere where everyone can find people they can bond with; it is close to campus and at a reasonable price. It feels like a homely place since people celebrate birthdays or sometimes even Christmas together”.
Rootes is meant to be the party place, with several flat parties and pre-drinking before every clubbing night, (I wouldn’t lie) but its not necessary to participate and if you’re a person who isn’t social and doesn’t like noise, its good to mention this in the form, so that they place you with similar people. Being centrally located, with the launderette, the student union and the piazza located two minutes away, it is quite decent, if you are looking for an affordable option.
2. BluebellThe most expensive and fanciest accommodation on campus, and rightly called so, it is stereotyped to be “quiet”, (some flats may be quiet, so if you are social, you should mention this in your application form) full of French and Indians, but having been there and knowing people from there I can affirm it is not. I am still debating the fact that they have personal butlers, even though several of my friends have denied the fact. They definitely did have an extravagant and elaborate ball, which was exclusive to students living in Bluebell (how posh). Each bluebell hall lights up in a different colour at night, and so it is nothing short of living in a hotel. It is near a beautiful lake, and the closest accommodation to it is Rootes. If you want to live in a close-knit flat, with seven others, with the launderette in the same building, with a double bed and your own bathroom, all while being centrally located, Bluebell is the place for you. Tamo Koniashvili, the only Georgian in Warwick, puts it as: “Its new and clean. Relaxing atmosphere. The majority of rooms are clean and bright. We are proud to have a thriving geese community.” Arit Godefroy, a second year, recalls, "There was à foosball table, and one of my friends broke it.. we then made a proper burial for it in front of bluebell hahah."
3. TocilTocil, is the accommodation that is closest to the sports centre, so if you are someone really into sports, you should definitely pick tocil as your first choice. The halls are a beautiful set of cottages, amidst nature, animals with the launderette being on average a three-four minutes walk from each hall. With no lifts, you live in a flat of six to twelve people, either unisex or mixed (mention your preference in your application form) while sharing a bathroom. Unlike in Rootes, there is no washbasin in the room. According to a fresher, Dan Holubar, “Tocil is great with terms of being close to everything, Tesco the sports centre, and other campus facilities. What I never knew though was the closeness of the relations the cleaning ladies had with the students. It happened to me several times that I was peacefully showering, but due to the lack of locking systems on the shower doors, my cleaning lady ignored the fact that I was singing out loud and entered the bathroom ruthlessly and found me in there. I was shocked, but it’s things like that, that you can laugh about with her later on, later when you actually become close to them, both morally and with time being even good friends.” Another fresher, Nicolette Wong says, “Tocil’s great for convenience, near SU and academic buildings and best of all, nearest to Tesco. Only bad thing is the kitchen may be a bit small and soundproofing ain’t fab.” Graziana Ruta says: "Very close to campus, sufficient number of bathrooms per number of people, spacious enough rooms. The only thing I didn’t like was that we didn’t have sinks in our room."
4. Heronbank and Lakeside Heronbank and Lakeside are a fifteen-minute walk from central campus, but lovely in their own way, with their picturesque lake and accompanying wildlife. You share the flat with seven other people, but benefit from having your own bathroom. The kitchens are fairly big and the launderette is within the hall itself. Quynanh Le, describes Heronbank as: "The only things good about heronbank are its bath tub and the fact that you get to exercise every morning or excuse yourself not to come to lecture under a rainy for how far it is". Anne Huang, another fresher says, “If you like animals like ducks, geese, swans and if you prefer to be in a quiet environment, Heronbank should be your first choice because you’re literally living in the nature. But if you like to hang out with your friends and go out occasionally, choose anything other than Heronbank because honestly all your friends will live in rootes and the walk back to Heronbank after a night out is just a pain in the ass.” Another fresher, Giedre Jukneviciute, on the other hand, has more positive things to say about it, “I’ve spent a year in Heronbank and I would never choose any other accommodation – it’s quiet, beautiful, surrounded by nature and wildlife (the cutest baby swans, geese and bunnies!!), and, what’s also important, it’s not too far away from the central campus, regardless all the stereotypes that it’s in the middle of nowhere.” So it really depends on what you want and what you like! Jessline Heinz James, who lived in Lakeside her first year describes her experience as: "I’ve had a wonderful time living in Lakeside. The rooms were spacious with all the necessary amenities. But the best part of living in Lakeside were my flatmates. Our horror movie nights, sleepovers and study sessions in the kitchen made up some of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in Warwick."
5. SherbourneFurther away from Heronbank and Lakeside, it is ensuite, has its own launderette and is basically called a more pretentious bluebell. The flats are pretty small and close-knit and like heronbank and lakeside, is set amidst nature. The buildings, like Bluebell, are modern and each hall lights up at night. According to a fresher, Alex Balderstone, “you applied for Bluebell but clearly didn’t get it. It’s as far away from campus as Westwood, just instead of Tesco you get fields and lakes”.
6. Arthur Vick Arthur Vick was my first choice because I fell in love with its rooms and the surrounding environment. The rooms are quite spacious, have a lot of desk space. The only let down is that they are 34 week let and so you have to store your stuff for Christmas and Easter vacations. However, on the plus side, storage space is provided by the university so you don’t have to worry about that. They are quite social, en-suite, quite centrally located and have their own launderette, within the hall. Unlike other accommodations, they boast of a common room too and have flats ranging from nine to twelve. George Williams, a fresher, shares a funny experience from his time living in Arthur Vick: “I remember being at pre-drinks in our kitchen, and some girl was there that no one really knew. She was shy at first, but as soon as Gangnam Style came on she picked up a broom and did this mental dance”.
7. Jack MartinJack Martin is Arthur Vick’s younger sister. Like Arthur Vick, Jack Martin is thirty-four-week let, en-suite and quite social. It has a kitchen shared with eleven to thirteen people, slightly cheaper, more centrally located than Arthur Vick, but has tinier rooms and no common room, sadly.
8. CryfieldI wouldn’t lie, Cryfield was built based on a Swedish Prison. The cheapest accommodation on campus, its corridors are so narrow, that barely two people can fit in them. It is located quite centrally, though, has a kitchen shared with ten to sixteen people, and a bathroom shared with six, with the launderette being within a two-minute walk. The good thing about it is, that, like Rootes, it has a washbasin in the room which turns out to be super convenient. Moreover, it is thirty-week let, so you have to move your stuff and store it even more often than Arthur Vick and Jack Martin, which is quite annoying. However, if you are looking for the most affordable option, go for Cryfield.
9. WhitefieldsPopularly called shitefields, it is quite shite. Located right adjacent to Rootes, it is the most centrally located accommodation on campus. These are self-contained houses, each housing up to nine to twelve people, and you share a bathroom with up to six people. The launderette is a three-minute walk. Honestly, I have not been inside any Whitefield house, but if your only criteria is location and price, Whitefields is for you.
10. WestwoodWhere do I even begin? Westwood is the furthest away from campus and if you live in Westwood, every conversation of yours in the whole first year will begin with one of these sentences:-
- Hahahahha, you live in Westwood??!!!!
- How is the weather there??
- Do you even Warwick though?
- How do you manage to attend your 9 AMs?
- OMG (yes just the word omg, I am not even kidding right now)
- I have heard people say its really far…is it really that far?!
- I feel you (actually I don’t because I don’t live there).
- Well, AT LEAST you have your own common rooms if nothing else!
- Wow, you are a legend mate.
- Just plain *laughter*
So basically, you got the idea. It is made fun of. You will be mocked, but at least you got the postroom, the great common rooms, the famous “café westwood”, the poshest restaurant on campus, varsity, tesco, a running track, indoor tennis centre and astro pitches within walking distance. The launderette is within the hall, you share a bathroom with five others and the flat ranges from eight to seventeen people.
Atene Kecoryte, a fresher, had positive things to say about Westwood, so its not that bad after all. "The rooms are quite spacious and bright, although the blue-coloured curtains and carpets are kind of annoying, but you can get used to it. Blocks are divided into corridors instead of flats and it builds small communities among each block. It’s a quiet place to live with a beautiful surrounding nature and I would not choose to live anywhere else during my first year, despite what everyone else says."
If you want to live in wilderness, in the middle of nowhere, and LOVE walking, Westwood is for you.
At the end of the day, it honestly doesn’t matter where you end up living. Even if you don’t get your first choice, the people you live with matter the most.
Hope my post didn’t confuse you even further, but rather, served useful. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me.
Hope you have a wonderful day xx