Carr-Saunders was my home for this academic year, and to say that I’d miss it is an understatement. I enjoyed meeting new people, building memories and, of course, my floors’ infamous kitchen parties. But I think it’s safe to say I won’t miss the mess the next day – the sticky floor from our spilt mixers and the general condition of the kitchen after a night out was not the one. Nevertheless, all good things must come to an end.
My tenure at Carr-Saunders came to an end with a strange forlorn sense. Not because I was leaving the hall, but because I realised how rapidly time had passed during the pandemic. There were glimmers of us enjoying the first year with a semblance of normalcy at various points during the year, but they were fleeting. Nevertheless, it is hard to believe it has been over a year since I joined the accommodation group chat to find out who I’d be living with, and now a whole academic year has passed. I lowkey joined just to see if there were any ‘normal’ people. There was, without a doubt, a few aha.
My penultimate week at Carr-Saunders Hall…
Despite the fact that I was studying for an essay-based degree, I spent my last week at my accommodation, squeezing in any last-minute revision and juggling all of my summative exams and essays. The accommodation was set to exam mode, which made it unprecedentedly quiet because everyone else hadn’t done their examinations yet, so we were all in the same boat. Alas, I remember everyone’s glum faces as they were in the midst of their 24-hour exams. Fortunately, at least for my course, the Department of Social Policy did not have any 24-hour tests; instead, they lasted a week. But before I can wallow in self-pity, these were far superior because the assessments were spaced out and we could choose when to begin and submit it in our own time!
However, surprisingly, after the assessments were over, there was neither a tremendous bang nor a great party. Instead, we all opted to celebrate in our own unique ways with our respective friendship groups. Unfortunately, any last-minute plans had to be cancelled because most of London’s major attractions were already wholly booked since restrictions had just been lifted a week earlier. Thankfully, Sticks’n’Sushi, All Bar One, SUSHISAMBA, Saatchi Gallery, Vicinity and the TATE Modern, to mention a few, were all packed solid for my final week. As you can probably tell, I like sushi, but my bank account was in tears that week. But hey, if you’re not going to celebrate yourself, who else will?!
After several farewells, the day had finally arrived to move out.
Last Monday marked my final day at Carr-Saunders. I chose to depart early in the morning because that is when I typically go to the PureGym on Tottenham Court Road. But, coincidentally, it was also the same time as I first moved in September 2020. Luckily, my parents had offered to pick me up from the halls, which was fantastic because, as usual, I had taken far too many belongings to the accommodation. After six trips up and down the elevator, I had successfully crammed all of my belongings into the car, hurriedly signed the leaver form, and we were on our way. If you have a father as impatient as mine, this still wasn’t quick enough.
Now, a sense of finality and relief had settled within me. The past year was intertwined with new challenges brought on by the pandemic; however, I am genuinely looking forward to what the new academic year has in store. As the lockdown restrictions are progressively relaxed, I will be able to venture outside of my comfort zone and attend social events hosted by various societies, something we were not permitted to do our first year. Ultimately, I think it really marks a new beginning for me; in the midst of the uncertainty, I expect and hope to have a more homogenous experience in comparison to the previous cohorts.
If you’re a fresher considering staying at Carr-Saunders, check out my earlier blog, titled “Is Carr-Saunders Right for You?“. Additionally, if you have any questions concerning my experiences at the accommodation, please leave them in the comments area below.
P.S. Please contact Carr-Saunders at email@example.com or call +44 (0)20 7107 5888 for more information regarding the halls themselves and any nitty-gritty stuff!