Every week we get lots of questions from prospective students who are trying to decide whether to live in halls or commute from home. So for this blog, we have sat down and spoken to our third year student Beth Duerden about her experience of living in halls, and what the worst and best things about living in halls were- to hopefully give you a better understanding and to help you decide.

So Beth, what made you decide to live in Halls?

Well being from Chester it would be pretty far for me to travel to each day, so living in halls seemed like the most realistic option. I was a bit apprehensive about moving away from my family and friends, but I was excited about the new chapter ahead of me. Plus, you can’t really beat living in London!!

red double-decker bus passing Palace of Westminster, London during daytime
Photo by Aron Van de Pol / Unsplash

Where did you live in your first year?

Pearson College London don’t actually own their own accommodation, but recommend you private accommodation providers that a majority of their students live at. I decided that Tufnell House was the best fit for me. Based in Islington and only taking me 20 minutes on the train, it allowed me to have a longer lie in in the mornings, whilst being able to mix with people who go to my college. I lived in a studio flat as it was extremely important for me to have my own space, this included having my own ensuite and a shared kitchen area.

What was your favourite thing about living in halls?

The common area was fantastic and they would sometimes hold events like movie nights and you would get free pizza and drinks. Everyone on my floor were students and a majority were from Pearson College London so I was with familiar people from my college before I even started my course. There was also an onsite gym which was free, which I regularly used, especially through times when I had deadlines as it was a great way to help me relax.

What were you not too overstruck on?

The price of laundry was rather expensive, it cost £5 every time I wanted to wash and dry something, but overall that's quite minor. The staff were nice and extremely helpful, but sometimes if you asked for something to be fixed it would take a while to get it done. Lastly, I did find it hard to budget due to paying £265 per week for my studio room, but working throughout the summer helped me to ensure that I was never strapped for cash.

Do you have any advice for our prospective students looking to live in halls?

  • Get a penny jar, it’s crazy the amount you can save when you do this. Change it up after a couple of months and you can put this towards a night out!
  • Download the app Daily Budget. Whilst living in halls, you have to make sure you budget as it is extremely pricey. This app advises you on what you’re allowed to spend every day within the budget that you have, it takes into consideration things like phone bills etc.
  • Make the most of it, you don’t have to answer to anyone. Your parents aren’t around, so within limits you can do what you want. It’s nice to have that sense of freedom and independence.
  • Always clean up after yourself and never take what’s not yours!