As you (might) know, I’m a second year now (yayy… not so much T.T) and this year I’ve decided to stay in Evelyn Gardens.
For those of you who don’t know, Evelyn Gardens is an Imperial-owned student residence for returning undergraduate students (meaning second years and above). There are three halls in Evelyn Gardens, namely Willis Jackson, Holbein and Southwell. Unlike freshers’ halls, it has a 51 weeks contract period (instead of 39 weeks). You can read more about it here.
Having lived (and am living) in both a first year hall and a senior hall, I decided to compare these two so it’ll be easier for those of you who might decide to consider staying here next year.
Now I’m not sure why exactly, but I’ve heard quite a lot of stigma surrounding the senior hall in my first year. Normally I’m not usually one to listen to rumors, but there were so much bad reput. about the place (cough- Felix and some of my ex-floormates- cough) that I was quite nervous about applying here initially.
However, being the lazy ass and cheapskate energy-and-financially conservative person that I am 😉 , Evelyn Gardens is very strategically placed. It’s relatively cheap(er compared to Princes Gardens), it’s a reasonable distance from campus (~15 minutes walk from South Ken. campus) and there’s a Sainsburys Local AND an M&S Foods (and cough- a cinema -cough) right up my doorstep.
Long story short, after some contemplating (and pressure from my parents who happened to guess that I’d probably be too lazy to travel > 15 minutes if I only have ONE lecture on a particular day), I decided to just apply there and see for myself.
The application process itself is fairly straightforward. You go to the website after it opens sometime in ~April and fill in your name, student ID, etc. Then, you get to pick 3 choices/ room preferences, and… you’re good to go.
Yup, it’s that simple! They’ll send you a confirmation that they’ve received your application and (here comes the hard part) you just have to wait until ~June/ July ’til they allocate you a room.
P.S Remember to confirm if you’re happy with your offer once they come out. They’ll think you’re rejecting it and offer it to someone else if you don’t and then you’ll be left homeless😱
I didn’t get my first choice of en-suite single, instead I got a standard single room in Willis Jackson.
My first reaction (when I first got the offer VS when I moved in for the first time)?
Nooooo, I have to go outside to go to shower or use the toilet!!! (hey, in my defense, it’s quite a hassle to have to bring your toiletries, your key AND wear your headscarf every time you have a tummy ache or need a quick shower, y’know)
Oh well, at least I got a single room. And moreover, it’s pretty cheap. Yesss, my bank account is grateful…
While lugging luggage, “Of all the places, *pants* why *curses* do I have to get a room on the freaking third floor?! And there’s not even a lift? Curse my luck!”
Finally got in the room, takes one look, “That’s it, I’m moving out right now!”
P.S Now that I think about it, I really feel for my friend who was helping me move in… not only did she have to help me carry several huge and heavy suitcases, she had to deal with my whining. Thank you and I’m sorry, Bam :’) #appreciationshoutout
That night, all alone, *rolls around in bed screaming “I’m lonely” *fake cries
Umm that sounded pretty bad huh *sweat drops* but really, I was ~mostly~ just being a drama queen. Honestly, after venting to my mum (who was sadly but understandably very unsympathetic about my situation) and cooling off, I realised (after viewing it more objectively) that it wasn’t that bad after all.
I’ll put it in a table so it’s easier to compare them.
Linstead Hall (Freshers Hall)
|Willis Jackson Hall (Senior Hall)|
|Room types and price
(pw for the room I got)
|Various (but I got standard single),
|Contract period||51(2) weeks|
|~5 min. walk||Distance from South Ken. campus||
~ 15 min. walk (3), ~10 min. bus (4)
No (5) :'(
Friendly, welcoming environment suitable for coaxing introverted, shy freshers out of their shells lol.
You do pay £ 2 per week (included in rent) for hall activities and there’s where the subsidised tickets, etc come from.
|Everyone ~mostly~ keeps to themselves. We do say hi when we see each other in the hallway or kitchen, but we don’t make an effort to see each other, or go out together, nor do we have subsidised holidays/ trips/ dinners.
Also, no hall-wide celebrations/ parties/ BBQs/ brunch.
(For all it’s worth, I miss my floormates in Linstead *sigh)
|Priority towards first years (unless you apply to become a hall senior). Any vacancy is then opened to returning students earliest sometime in ~September||Availability||
All returning students considered equally as long as you apply before the application deadline.
1 I think they increased the prices slightly this year though.
2 This is including the summer, so ideal if you’re planning to apply for an internship or UROP in London that year.
3 It’s closer than walking from Pembridge Halls (~ 25 min.) if you’ve ever lived there.
4 There’s a bus stop literally right in front of the road. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve taken the bus more often than not.
5 Bad news if you’re like me and got a room on the top floor. Not so bad if you got a room on ground or basement floor. Part of why I now do most of my grocery shopping online (Thank you Tesco delivery guys who have helped this very-much-weak-and-not-fit girl carry her groceries to her floor kitchen <3 ).
*I’m so sorry, for some reason idk why the footnotes won’t appear as footnotes in the real post
IZRYNNE’S (hopefully helpful) ADDITIONAL NOTES
In terms of security and cleaning, they’re fairly similar. You need a card and/ or a key to get into the building + room + kitchen. The washrooms are cleaned every two days (?) and the kitchen once a week (don’t quote me on that), while rooms monthly (this one’s I’m sure of).
Regarding room sizes and conditions, I do feel like my current room is slightly smaller than my room in Linstead but I’ve never actually measured them so it might just be me being biased. One thing to note is that the wardrobe is quite small (aka ~half or two-thirds the one in Linstead) so you might consider bringing less clothes or being creative about where you put them. Instead of a lockable drawer, you have a safe in your wardrobes to keep your valuables. Also, although the toilet and shower are shared, you do have a sink inside your room (I suggest buying a rug to put under it so you won’t get the carpet wet).
So that’s it! I think it was more of a description rather than a comparison, but hopefully it’ll still be useful and/ or informative read on Evelyn Gardens. Hope you enjoyed it and thanks 😀 Byeeeee