Important factors to consider when flat-hunting in London
Before coming to Imperial, I was concerned about how there is no campus accommodation after your first year. However, this offers flexibility for you to decide how you want to live. There are many options, living alone, with friends, in halls…so what are some factors you must consider?
Staying in halls close to campus
If you haven’t gathered the courage to find friends to live with, don’t worry. Evelyn Gardens is an accommodation for returning undergraduates that has similar layouts to first-year halls, letting you make friends with people on your floor whilst having your personal space in one-person bedrooms.
Don’t worry, I was calling it “Bait” right until the moment when my hall senior greeted me on move in day and I’d just made a fool of myself by pronouncing it wrong for months! My time in halls this year has absolutely flown by. Do I feel like I made the most of my time here? Probably not, but with 3 weeks left I look forward to enjoying the benefits of living in such a prestigious and lively area in the heart of London. I’ll split this post into 2 sections what I’ve liked and disliked about Beit, and what to consider when choosing halls.
I present to you- Woodward (WW) a.k.a #DiamondofImperial a.k.a Alaska (because it’s low-key a trek from campus).
In case you aren’t sure how it works, all first year undergrad students are guaranteed a place for accommodation as long as they accept Imperial as their firm. I received an invitation to apply for accommodation in July- you get to choose 5 preferences but these are all ranked equally.
My halls consist of three blocks: B, C, and D (I’m not quite sure what happened to A). Block D is arguably the place to be- where the kitchens have panoramic views.
So for the perfect Christmas dinner in halls, you ideally need: a good number of hungry students, at least two types of meat, a vat of gravy and a mountain of pigs-in-blankets. To be that little bit extra, like us (and the royal family), you could also add a lobster centre piece! Between 6 kitchens and 8 people cooking, we were able to feed 12 people, for only £8 each!!
Rather surprisingly, the dish that was eaten up first was the Brussel sprouts, traditionally a vegetable that gets slightly neglected! However, here are my top tips to preparing and cooking these surprisingly edible greens, in a recipe otherwise known as “sprouts drowning in bacon”.
Landing on the Queen’s land with no set date to stop complying to Her Majesty’s orders was as terrifying as it was challenging. Although I am not a very nervous person, I was specially content, literally in love with the unknown, or perhaps, with the image I had created of it.
Moving was fun. “Hello! My name is Constança” was said so many times that night that for a split second I thought my biggest achievement at Uni would be knowing everyone’s name. Due to living in halls, you meet a bunch of people on the exact same position as you, at least to some extent.
As a prospective student, I once wanted to know what a typical day for an EIE student was so here is my version!
Living in Wilson House as a hall senior I wake up at 8:00am to get to a 9:00 am lecture.
Wilson House is conveniently ~25mins from the SK campus and the walk is visually captivating since you walk through Hyde Park! For those from countries which are really full of nature like me, you probably won’t get what the big deal is to have a walk though a park.
But a park like Hyde Park in a city like London is not easy to come by, so living in a hall that allows you to enjoy this walk everyday is amazing (except during the winters 😀 )
8:00 – Grudging roll out of bed – too early for Electronic labs or Computer Labs
8:30 – Walk to uni
9:00 to 12:00 – This is usually some sort of labs in 2nd year (in first year you enjoy the great life and have labs in the afternoons!
I can’t cook to save my life. That was the greatest certainty I had, while stumbling confusedly from the stage in life called ‘moving out’. I’d never really needed to cook for myself (except on duke of ed over a dodgy portable oil stove) and whenever I tried, it either took FOREVER, or my mum would casually take over half way in an attempt to save the disaster. I mean I knew the general concept, its not rocket science, more chemistry 😛 … But, the fact remains that when I first arrived in halls I was completely clueless about food. What to buy from the supermarket?
Sometimes the excitement of a new environment, new people and generally a new life can be overpowering. Its easy to be carried away in the wave of new experiences, so when an inevitable crash comes its completely unexpected and hits you much harder than normal. Speaking to my hall mates, I think the most problem we’ve all been facing is loneliness. Its not as though we aren’t surrounded by friendly people, but when compared to the tight-knit friendships we all have back home or back in high school, the transcient nature of friendships at university is a whole new dynamic takes time to get used to.
When people started coming back after the Christmas break there was an inevitable rush of social behaviour as everyone caught up with each others holiday exploits and just like the first day of school after the holidays, everyone’s just happy to see their friends. A group of us decided to go take advantage of the 2 for £10 deal at Gourmet Burger Kitchen and after hanging out in an almost empty hall with the same 3 people for 3 weeks, it was the best night out I’d had in a while. Not to mention, the food was very satisfying after months of own pathetic cooking and ‘healthy eating’.