LSE - Small Logo
LSE - Small Logo

Students@LSE

June 23rd, 2020

Accommodation queries – your questions answered by current student Ishaaq

0 comments | 1 shares

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Students@LSE

June 23rd, 2020

Accommodation queries – your questions answered by current student Ishaaq

0 comments | 1 shares

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Ishaaq Shafi

Hey my name is Ishaaq and I am both a BSc Management student and the current President of Bankside House halls of residence. I’ve lived in London for most of my life, although I also briefly lived in Singapore. I love cars and have been involved in many businesses and start ups revolving around them since I was 12. In general I’m quite inquisitive so I like to keep busy, taking advantage of the many opportunities that arise at LSE as well as others outside of it!

With COVID-19 making it hard to see what accommodation is like in person, the clever folks over at LSE thought it might be a good idea for a current undergraduate student to answer some of the common questions that offer holders/ incoming students have.

So the plan for today is to answer the following, feel free to skip through to the parts that you’re interested in, although for a comprehensive look at what living at LSE is like, I’d read it all!

1. Why did you choose to live in student accommodation?

2. How did you select which hall to live in? What were your priorities?

3. What’s the social life like? Has living in Bankside had a big impact on your student experience?

4. What does the student committee do?

5. What to pack for university: top 3 items

1. Why did you choose to live in student accommodation?

So I actually live in London, I never needed to move into halls, in fact the walk from Bankside to LSE (15-25 mins depending on how late you are (; ) is only 10 minutes less than the commute from home would have been. I decided I wanted to move out for two main reasons:

– To experience the independence and freedom of living out: I wanted to try something different, to experience what living life on my own schedule was like. Living away from home is completely different in the sense that, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want – with no judgement. It’s crazy.

– To make friends: Whilst I’m sure you don’t HAVE to move into halls to make some great friends at university, one thing I can say for sure is that it helps. By living in halls, you naturally find yourself bumping into other students more often and this really helps to make connections in the first few weeks. So much so that many people attempted to move into halls once the year had begun.

2. How did you select which hall to live in? What were your priorities? 

So, I was lucky in that I have a family member who was just finishing his undergraduate degree at LSE and he recommended Bankside House to me as great accommodation for first year students. Aside from this, it ticked my key boxes; it was catered (which makes life so much easier) and had single en suite rooms. The best thing about Bankside is the space, in the building – we have a massive bar downstairs with pool tables, air hockey, table football and a mini stage!

I should reiterate that I am biased towards Bankside as its current President (more on what this means later). When choosing halls check out the LSE accommodation web pages and first narrow your shortlist by finding out which halls have both the room type you want (i.e single, single en suite etc) and the catering option (catered vs not catered). Each hall has its own pros and cons and wherever you end up, you’ll have a great time. I would recommend LSE halls whenever possible, simply because this way you’re guaranteed to be living with lots of other LSE students, in private halls you’ll be with others from different universities (although some prefer this too).

3. What’s the social life like? Has living in Bankside had a big impact on your student experience?

So, here’s my story of how university started. I got the key to my room at Bankside and immediately went downstairs to the bar to make some friends. I sat down at one of the sofas with probably 10 other people and I got really lucky. Those guys ended up being my friends! Over the next 2 weeks, as the freshers events took place and classes began, I began to meet more people and make loads of friends. In the first few weeks you’ll probably hang out with loads of different people and over time you’ll slowly move to hanging out in newly formed friendship groups. Although don’t worry, these change easily, and I found that I found it easier to get along with people at LSE than people at my secondary school. It’s also very true that university is a much bigger place than school, so you keep meeting new people and making new friends as the year progresses.

I’d say living at Bankside made my first year a lot easier and more fun. I made a lot of friends by sitting with random people at dinner and just walking around the bar in the basement. It was nice to live around so many friends and I’d strongly recommend living in halls in the first year, because think about it, when else will you ever get an opportunity like this? From what I hear, this experience is similar at all the different halls, the main difference being that Bankside has the most 1st year undergraduates.

4. What does the student committee do?

The student committee is an elected group of residents in charge of making life at Bankside as fun as possible! We manage a budget which comes directly from the accommodation fees to throw events like pizza parties, movie nights and my favourite – Friday night DJ sets in the bar.

But we’re also there to make sure that everyone is enjoying their time living in halls. If there’s a problem, 9/10 times we can help you fix it and if we can’t, we know who can. The aim of the committee is to represent the views of the halls’ residents, so make sure you get involved by either running for a position you’re passionate about or giving feedback!

5. What to pack for university: top 3 items

This one sounds fun, let’s break it down:

You need something which makes your room feel homely!: For me, this was a rug from IKEA, having a nice thick soft carpet just made me feel so much more comfortable in my room and was definitely the most important for me.

You need something which helps you make notes: The main one for most is likely going to be a laptop, but I know that some people (like me) don’t like typing notes, so I also stocked up on some lined paper and nice pens! After a few weeks I switched to an iPad and Apple Pencil and I’d really recommend this! I used notability, an app which meant I could upload slide decks and make my notes on top of them. It also meant my work was always on the cloud, which is a plus!

At the end of the day you just need something which you’ll be comfortable making notes on – and the more fun you can make this process, the better your notes will be!

You need something warm!: London can get very cold and wet in the winter months; therefore, it is important to prepare by ensuring you have a nice big winter jacket. You’ll pretty much wear this every time you go outside from October/November to February/March, so make sure you like it!

I guess that pretty much concludes this blog post, I hope this has shed some light on how to prepare for moving to university. We’ve covered how to decide where to live, what to expect in halls, how you can help shape this experience through the committee and what to bring!

If you’ve got questions comment them below and we’ll try to answer them.

Take care!

About the author

Students@LSE

Posted In: Student life

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bad Behavior has blocked 371 access attempts in the last 7 days.