If you have ended up living in The Glasshouse it is likely that you were offered a room through clearing or, in my case, you were too lazy to apply for accommodation before all the uni ones were taken.
However, you may not realise it but you have done extremely well to get yourself a place in The Glasshouse. I have zero regrets with choosing to live there and honestly don’t think my first year of uni would have been nearly as good if I had lived elsewhere. Despite being a private accommodation, it is not filled with students studying masters who are drowning in work and unable to leave their rooms, as you might have imagined. There will be a lot of people in the same position as you.
Here are some things, and a few bits of advice, you need to know before embarking on your first year at The Glasshouse.
1. It’s a very sociable accommodation
The Glasshouse consists of many different blocks centred around a large courtyard. It is likely that your new friends will not only be your flatmates, but people from all over the accommodation. My advice to achieve this is to attend as many flat parties/ pres that you possibly can during fresher’s week and interact with as many people in the room as you can. There will always be a pres taking place in the first few weeks and I wouldn’t worry about an invitation because everyone is in the same position as you. Everyone there will be trying their best to fit in and feel comfortable and should be willing to talk if you are. If you can endure the initial awkward small talk, you will have friends to spare.
2. Find the Accommodation Facebook Group
Trust me, there will be one somewhere. You will probably find it by searching the very original name “Glasshouse 2019/20.” Make sure to get yourself involved. There will be a group chat (and if not don’t be afraid to make one) consisting of the majority of students living with you. This is an easy way to communicate with a large number of people at once, whether it be to organise or find out who is hosting pres that night or to buy and sell tickets to events taking place that week.
If you are planning on taking first year as seriously as possible, this group chat gives you the opportunity to find fellow course mates, giving you someone to walk to uni with, find out about your deadlines, or even an easy way to tell your noisy neighbours to shut up when they arrive home drunk at 3 am.
3. Do not lose your keys.
On arrival, you will receive a fob to allow you into the whole accommodation and your individual block, and a separate key which will open your flat door and the door to your room. As you can tell, the accommodation is very secure, and you will definitely feel safe whilst living there, not to mention the 24-hour security that patrols the area and are on hand to help you back to your flat if you have had a few too many drinks. However, my advice to you is, try your best not to lose your keys. In order to replace them it will cost you £25 each, totalling £50 for a full new set of keys. This is £50 that you will not be able to spare once you have lived alone for a while and have had to pay for everything yourself.
If you cannot be trusted on a night out and lose absolutely everything, I suggest leaving them at home as there will always be someone to let you back in, no matter how annoying it may be.
4. It’s in the perfect location.
As the cheapest supermarket, Aldi will soon become your best friend. Luckily for you there is one just below the accommodation making the struggle home with bags of shopping slightly more bearable. It is predominantly students who shop there, so if you do happen to pop down in your pyjamas or with no makeup on, you will probably blend right in.
I should also mention it is the best place to get last-minute change when you need to use the washing machines and tumble dryers, and it shuts at 10 pm meaning you have plenty of time to grab last-minute snacks or pre-drinks.
5. Keep it clean.
As cliché as it sounds, talk with your flat about introducing a cleaning rota. There are regular flat inspections throughout each term to ensure everything in your communal kitchen, corridor and shared bathrooms (if you have them) is still intact. If you fail inspection after a second visit to your flat, they will begin to charge you depending on issues such as how many bin bags are left around the kitchen or how dirty the work surfaces are. It really isn’t worth wasting the money if you can mutually maintain a clean flat with ease.
The sofas in your flat are located in your communal kitchens, and it is a much nicer environment to sit and socialise in if there aren’t dirty plates, leftover food and flies swarming at all times.
6. Make the most of it!
Finally, enjoy your time at The Glasshouse as much as you possibly can. You will be spending the majority of your time there and therefore, it will shape your first-year experience. Make sure to decorate your room to make it as homely as possible and dedicate time to getting to know and socialising with the new friends you make. It will certainly distract you from any homesickness you may be experiencing during this hugely life-changing time.
By Hannah Perrett
Feature image courtesy of Homes for Students