Hello! I am Melissa, from Glasgow and I am studying Social Anthropology with Development at the University of Edinburgh. I loved my accommodation at Murano, it was fresh, new, and well-designed. There were two blocks of flats that faced each other in a gated area that you could access using your house key. Within the building, there is a reception desk, laundrette, common room, study space and space to lock up bikes.
‘Just room things’
My room was really lovely, I had an ensuite immediately on the left when I walked into my room. After the bathroom door on the left, I had a double wardrobe, a double bed with lots of under-bed storage and a shelf across the top. I had a heater attached to the wall, with a pinboard above, a mirror, and a large window at the far side of the room. Beside the window, I had my own desk, office chair, wall shelves and a few drawers. The room was compact but had all the space I needed and more than enough storage. I was able to do yoga comfortably on the floor. I personalised my room with a colourful duvet set, lots of pictures on the pinboard, books and mementoes on the shelves – I found this helped me settle in a lot and feel comfy in a new place.
‘But you don’t know anyone in your accommodation?’
I was assigned into a flat of four and we connected on a Facebook accommodation page before we got to university, it was nice to speak to others in the same position and realise we were all equally nervous. Having flatmates felt like having instant friends and for others, it was at least people to explore the City with. Generally, everyone is excited to be somewhere new and very keen to try and see new things. The social aspect made settling into university easier for me, I really enjoyed meeting new people with different experiences and from different places. Residence Life planned events for us all to meet, especially in the first few weeks so this was a great way to meet other students in my building. My flat often hosted brunches and potluck dinners, as well as movie days and study sessions. It was great to have people to just do normal daily things with. Having met people in other flats who were travelling to the same campus most mornings, a group of us walked together at a set time every day, which was a great motivator to be on time!
‘Self-catered? You must be a great cook!’
I am absolutely not the best cook in the world but thankfully the internet can provide very cheap, easy-to-follow, quick recipes (my personal favourites are vegetable stir-fry’s and anything I can put in a slow cooker while I’m out during the day). When selecting accommodation for my first year, normally you pick five preferences - I chose all self-catered options. I anticipated being busy with part-time work, societies and socialising so enjoyed having the meal flexibility that cooking for myself can give. On the other hand, living in catered accommodation with set meal times is a great way to transition to living independently whilst still having structure. I found food budgeting to be quite fun and you will pick up your own tips in no time, especially when talking with other students about where they buy their groceries. Almost every student I know prefers budget supermarkets like Aldi/Lidl especially for generic items like spices, tinned goods, sugar, baking ingredients. There are also loads of opportunities to shop local like at independent greengrocers and markets where you can often get fresh produce for much less than supermarket prices.
The housekeeping staff are more for overall cleanliness and common areas rather than to deal with specific individual mess – so you are still responsible for basic cleanliness like washing up your dishes, keeping surfaces clean, taking out the trash. In my experience, the person who cleaned our flat came into our open-plan kitchen/living room once a week hoovered, cleaned the floor/hob, and generally just ensured there were good cleanliness standards.
Moving into accommodation can feel daunting but everyone is feeling very similar and if you make the effort with people you meet as much as possible you should have a great year!
Please note, this student was staying in this accommodation prior to COVID-19. Guidelines on household numbers and socialising are likely to change in line with Government guidance.