Just 10 minutes away by bus from Nottingham Trent University, you’ll find Simpson’s Halls, a very welcoming and lively accommodation in the heart of Lenton.
1. Everything you could possibly need is only a five-minute bus journey, or a short walk away
When I arrived in halls as an international student, I had nothing but my guitar, 2 suitcases and the clothes on my back. That first day I got off the coach from Heathrow to Nottingham, I had to put all my stuff in my room and, situate myself, and seek out a store to buy food, toiletries, everything else I’d need for the year. Luckily for me, a Sainsbury’s local was right around the corner and was only a two-minute walk from my doorstep. There was an even larger Sainsbury’s down the road by the canal for everything else I needed. Throughout the year I found that it wasn’t a necessity to go into town, whether I needed to go shopping for groceries or on an outing with my friends. Savoy cinema is a couple of blocks away from Simpsons and offers discounted films for students. We used to have movie nights and only spend about £4 each. Wollaton Park is by far one of the most beautiful places in Nottingham and it’s only a couple of bus stops away. I’ve been there more times than I can count. Overall, just enjoy the area that you live in, seek out pubs, restaurants and hidden hole in the wall spots where you might just make yourself a regular and feel more apart of the Nottingham community. Those places and experiences and the ability to explore new surroundings is what makes first year so special.
2. 9 am lectures are surprisingly easier to make if you live further
Hear me out on this one. Living so close to town to be able to roll out of bed 5 minutes before a lecture and still make it on time is a luxury to some, but for me, some of the closest friendships I made first year began on those 9 am busses into uni. There’s something about mutual tiredness that has a way of bringing people together. Seek out people on your course living in Simpsons as well and ask them if they’d get the bus with you to your lectures. Those 10 minutes on the bus allow you to simply talk and actually get to know the people around you. I’d fully recommend investing in a student bus pass. I was one of the few who thought a 30 minute walk into town before a lecture would be a good way to save money, and I completely regretted it once I had to walk up Derby Road every day for a week. However, living in Lenton still gave me more incentive to wake up early, eat breakfast and feel refreshed before finally making my way to my university.
3. Beware of overpacking
I lived in one of the budget rooms available to students and it was cozy, but also extremely small with limited storage areas, especially for clothing. There were a couple shelves spread out across the walls but other than that, space was limited. I made the mistake over overpacking my clothes and ran out of places to hang everything. I would recommend that if you choose to bring a lot of things with you, also invest in good storage boxes because those would have been incredibly helpful for shoes, socks, and whatever else you may have that you don’t want lying around. Even the shelf space in the kitchen was limited. Living with 8 other people entails keeping food storage in the fridge to a minimum and pot and pans in a singular cupboard. The less items you bring also means less mess to clean up after which I wish I would’ve known because some of the hours I spent cleaning, I could have been revising, or out with friends.
4. Bus rides into town during freshers is one of the highlights of the whole week
There’s nothing that says “it’s freshers week” more than a bunch of rowdy, drunk uni students singing chants while packed on a bus to the student union. Having a common mode of transport for everyone in halls really brought people together and allowed me to constantly meet people that first week. Because I made friendships the first night, knew how to get there and back from the clubs and had some sort of organized activity to depend on, being alone for the first time at uni didn’t feel so lonely. I remember playing beer pong with my flat and other people we met those first few nights. It felt more like a little community. If you’re nervous about making friends or feeling alone in halls, I wouldn’t be too concerned. If you invest in the activities the reps organize and fully go out of your way to meet people you will. You might not make friends that last all of the years you’re at Trent or even for the entirety of the first year, but at least freshers week won’t feel so daunting.
By Autumn Sevy
Feature image courtesy of Flickr