Why you should keep Rootes
For weeks on end, I zoned out of revision into daydreams of what my new life at university would be like. Among visions of fresher’s raves, lectures and newfound freedom, I also imagined my flat. I would re-watch all the Warwick accommodation videos on YouTube, browse through endless pages of ‘university room ideas’ on Pinterest and excitedly make plans on how I would decorate my room and the ensuite bathroom I had prematurely convinced myself was guaranteed. Among those excited thoughts were also pangs of anxiety. What if I was too far from my lectures? What if I had to share a bathroom? What if my flatmates and I didn’t get along? Thankfully, having joined the official freshers group chat after results day, I was moderately comforted by the knowledge that hundreds of other Warwick freshers shared my concerns.
When I eventually received my accommodation allocation, I was stunned. I’d been given my very last choice. Suddenly, I was envisioning all sorts of awful scenarios and explaining to my mother between tears that my university life was basically over. Although I did not have the chance to attend any open days, thus, had not actually seen any of the buildings in real life, I was convinced I would hate Rootes. Without even giving it a chance, I immediately started looking into avenues to switch accommodation and when I finally realised there were none just yet, I was filled with dread.
During the weeks leading up to move in day, pangs of anxiety that had been previously curbed were heightened. Added to fears of not getting on with flatmates were avid concerns about not getting my first choice of accommodation. To make matters worse, or so I thought, none of the freshers I knew were placed in Rootes. As an international student already anxious about finding a community with some semblance of home, I was scared I would be extremely homesick. I had also heard news of Rootes being infamous for being the ‘party’ accommodation and was worried about how a relatively quiet ‘homebody’ like me would fit in.
A year on, I now see that there was no reason for me to be that anxious. Although the circumstances were scary and new, I should have had a more open mind. Rootes in many ways, was everything I’d heard, but it was also a lot more than that. People loved to party, and kitchens could get quite filthy but you could also leave your room 10 minutes to the start of a lecture and make it in good time. My flatmates were some of the nicest people I met on campus and I enjoyed spending time with them on our special ‘flat bonding nights’. There could be friction at times as expected in any living situation but in retrospect, all those experiences blended in well to give me the best first year experience. I learnt how to live and socialise with people from all over the world and also air out my grievances respectfully when the need arose. My flat became my safe haven and even with the occasional 3am drunken song sang loudly outside my window; I definitely grew to love my accommodation.
I would advise freshers anxious about accommodation to:
1. Have an open mind. There’s no way I could have predicted half of what happened during my first year. Having expectations is inevitable but it’s also really important to be open to new people and experiences. Que Sera, Sera!
2. Personalise your room. Along with the university essentials, make sure to pack a few personal Knick knacks such as family photos, fairy lights, posters etc. to make the standard accommodation room feel more like home.
3. Organise and/or attend flat bonding events. One of the best memories I have of first year is sitting with my flatmates on pancake day just eating and listening to music. I got to appreciate my flatmates for the really cool people they are.