Admittedly when the time got closer and I began to pack, I started to become really nervous but I gritted my teeth and pushed my fears down to do with later on.
When packing was done (I never realised I had so much stuff) I set my eyes on planning “FreshersFest16.”
Purchasing a “FreshersFest16” wristband, Kate and I planned to go to a great number of events and late night parties all covered by the wristband.
I couldn’t wait to go to the Freshers Fest, Opening Party, Freshers Ball, Freshers Fair, Demon Media Information Day, Freshers Old School Disco, the Activity fair and of course the Bonkers Bar Crawl!
The day I moved to Leicester and into Bede Halls of residence was upon me and I was so nervous. Kate and I managed to fill three cars worth of our belongings and personal possessions.
Travelling twice in two days, we packed six cars worth. We did have a lot of things, possibly more than we needed but we wanted to make our rooms as homely as possible, so the transition would be easier.
The journey to Leicester was an hour and all the way there we all spoke excitedly about things that was going to happen in the next two weeks and the year ahead.
Though my tummy was twisting uncomfortably with nerves, I couldn’t help feeling slight excitement. Locating Bede Hall, we entered the car park.
Coming to a halt, we tried to get into a space but it was packed; cars, trolleys and people everywhere, trying to get around each other to get everything out cars and into the halls of residence.
Finally being able to step into the lobby, looking around, I reminded myself of the layout of the lobby.
Straight ahead was the halls management office, then to the left was another main door which led onto the main road which leads through Leicester.
Then next to me was cupboards with block numbers and floor numbers on each one. I felt reassured as our post would be found in the cupboards which matched our block and floor number, then our particular cupboard was on a level which was easier for me to get to and use without much difficultly.
I would be able to access my own post independently, which is a better system then the halls of residence I stayed in when I was studying at Solent University.
Kate and I moved to the desk in front of the management office and had our names checked off a very long list and received the keys to our block where we would be staying.
On realising it was me, the halls managers came over and reminded me where they were and they’re there to help.
They were eager to assist me and ensured me that at least one of the members of their team would be contactable at all times and do not hesitate to contact them.
This was a great source of comfort and relief to me as I knew there would always be someone there.
Crossing the beautiful courtyard, which had a ramp to improve access, I imagined sitting there when the weather improved.
It would be a great chance to relax and socialise. Moving to the block where I’d be staying, I used the electronic key to open the main block door and then the flat door.
This was another aspect that enables my independence as the electronic key is much easier for me to use than a regular key.
On entering the flat, I saw the kitchen was directly to the right and then the eight rooms were around another corner and down a thinner corridor.
Using my electronic key, I unlocked and went into my room. I found it was a lot smaller than my room at Southampton Solent University but I saw this as a bonus. I found the room the perfect size as it was spacious and easy to navigate around.
There are already all the necessities in the room; a bed; chest of drawers; wardrobe; shelves and a computer desk.
Unpacking, we tried to make my room very homely as possible, spreading things out and personalising my room. I found there was still plenty of space to move around easily, which I was really happy with.
One of the great things about living in adapted accommodation is having an en-suite. This particular one is huge, really spacious; there is a toilet with handrails to enable the user to stand with assistance, a height – adjustable sink and a walk in shower.
There are also lots of places to put my toiletries. The en – suite was all flat access, there were no bumps or lips.
Glancing upwards, I saw the ceiling tracking hoist ran over my bed, across the ceiling and into the bathroom.
I found reassured by this as I can be hoisted from bed into the bathroom and be wheeled straight into the shower without difficulty.
One thing I found out on the day of move in, was I had to share the en-suit bathroom with another person that needed the facilities.
This was a surprise to me, but I dismissed this and moved on with the move in. Though the corridor in the halls of residence was thin, I felt I was able to navigate through it and make my way into the kitchen.
To access it, my electronic key was activated to open it, to get into it on my own. The kitchen space was very large and I would be sharing it with a number of others and started to put our things away.
I found everything easy to access; cupboards and shelves at a level which I can use relatively. Independently.
Being able to move around the kitchen with ease and at my own leisure. There were also height adjustable work surfaces, which also increase my independence.
My room was made considerably comfortable, but to also relieve my other anxieties of the noise level in the halls of residence, the halls management and the maintenance man fixed all the bedroom doors, prior to my arrival, so they are now on a magnet causing them to close slowly then click quietly shut.
Also on request, my bed will be placed on the back wall of my bedroom which I feel will decrease some of the noise level.
All of the doors being on magnet would also prevent other doors around the hall for banging or making noise.
Another aspect to reduce noise level was the fact that the halls were split into blocks, then smaller flats which mean only the seven I live with only have a key and can access the flat.
This was really going to reduce the noise levels, which was another added bonus. Seeing that these adaptions were put in place, made me more confident about sleeping in halls of residence at night.
Another reassurance that I had was De Montfort University is one hour from Birmingham, so though I’d be living away from home, I could come home every weekend and sometimes during the week, depending on my timetable, which would reduce the level of home sickness.
While I was unpacking, I saw other students arrive and move into our block, becoming my flat mates.
Not knowing any of them, I was looking forward to get to know them. In all, there were five girls including Kate and I, with three boys, I was so happy with this.
I would finally have girl interaction as well as being with the boys. Best of both worlds. Then upon finding out the courses, they were going to study.
Once I finished unpacking, I went for a walk to get a feel for where I was staying. The halls of residence was a ten minute walk from the university and ten minutes from the city center in the opposite direction.
This was reassuring, as I won’t need to catch a taxi unless it is pouring down with rain. The city centre was vibrant and has a lot of student influence; plenty of shops, restaurants and bars.
There are a small range of supermarkets, close to the university and the accommodation in which I could do my food shopping.
There was also an a ray of fast food places, including one of my favourites; Domino’s pizza.
I see that there were plenty of perks in becoming a student and living in the halls of residence.