Living in halls is AMAZING! You get to live independently on our beautiful campuses, and you’ll be minutes away from your classes. (So you can sleep in that little bit longer and still be on time for your 9am lecture!). There’s no excuse for missing them when you live this close!
Another great thing about campus universities is how everything is in the one place; it's a real community. For years to come, the people you meet at Heriot-Watt will be asking you what halls you lived in!
Your first week in halls is undoubtedly the most exciting. You might have already got in touch with your new flatmates through the Halls Facebook Groups, but this could be the first time you meet them properly!
Depending on your halls, you might live in a long corridor of people, or you might share a little flat with between four and nine other people. The very first day is a good time for a cup of tea (or something stronger) with everyone in your kitchen. Try and remember their names!
Aside from your new flatmates, there will be plenty of other new people moving in all around you. Be prepared for sometimes awkward introductions and the inevitable three questions:
“What is your name? Where are you from? What are you studying?”
Prop open your door as you unpack and try and say hi to everyone who goes past. You might find that your best mates aren’t your flatmates; they actually live upstairs, or just along the corridor.
You’ll also meet your Residence Life (ResLife) Warden team in the first few days. They'll arrange a halls meeting, so you know the rules and all the essential information. Contrary to popular belief, the Wardens are not there just to tell you off if you’re making too much noise! They’re there to help you if you have any issues, so make sure you know where the Warden is in your halls, just in case. They can also help you if you get locked out (in some halls the doors lock automatically behind you!) or if there are any disputes in your halls. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for events they run throughout the year!
There are loads of events in the first few weeks to help you settle into halls and meet your new mates. We promise these don’t involve cringe ice-breakers at all….
During the first few weeks, you’ll probably find a lot of people using the lounge or kitchen areas – this tends to die down a bit once classes and coursework start to pile up. Do remember that you need to keep communal areas like the lounge and kitchen nice and tidy. If you do have a mad one and the lounge looks like a bombsite the next day, make sure you drag your hungover self out of bed and do a quick tidy up. The cleaners aren’t there to clean up party mess, and they might even lock your lounge if they’re unhappy with you.
An inevitable part of your halls experience is the fire alarm. Sometimes it goes off as a scheduled drill, and sometimes someone is using their hairdryer right underneath the smoke detector. Either way, you must get out as soon as you hear the alarm go off, no matter what time it is or what state you’re in. Not leaving the halls can be dangerous if there’s a real fire, and you will be fined if you’re caught. Your halls meeting will include more information on how not to set the alarm off – it’s actually harder than it sounds! The number of times it’ll go off in your first week will prove that! It can be very annoying, but sometimes a 4am fire alarm is a great bonding experience.
You’ll grow very fond of your new bedroom. Eat pizza for breakfast, have ridiculous debates with your flatmates, forget the name of the guy down the corridor, come in from a night out as people are going to lectures, sit up all night chatting in your friend’s room, and have some incredible lounge parties! So make the most of it all and embrace the once in a lifetime halls experience.
If you haven't already joined your hall's Facebook group check them out here.