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Vice’s guide to university halls

Lesson two: personalising your room University halls, the characterless squares deemed accommodation we consign ourselves to for at least one academic year. A place you'll spend many an hour in attempting to study, a place you’ll lay siege to a come down, a place you'll burn the candle at both ends for deadlines, a place you may consecrate your first acts of love. Irrespective of this for many students it will be the first time they'll left the safe padded cells of familiarity, both the warders and other inmates, the people you live with and hate. Though many will claim otherwise, as teenagers are by far the wisest sentient beings, this can be a daunting prospect. No matter how new the kitchen, the strength of the shower or the quality of the cork board these 'halls' echo dystopian soulless boxes that one must be transformed to provide identity. For girls, you need no education in personalising your rooms, you'll plaster the wall in pictures of friends, prom, family, holidays, selfies and whatever else you may need to tell strangers you’re popular and to support you in those hours of low self esteem. You'll paint the walls fuchsia or coral if permitted. You'll have bought new bed sheets, various accessories such as cushions and unforgettably draped some sexy fairy lights to provide the dim lighting required during foreplay. Once you've spent a couple hundred pounds on these necessities you'll be set up for, hangovers, homesickness and one night stands.

‘One key thing to remember, the room only owns you for a year’ Males on the other hand it’s a different ball game, pack light. You’ll need to represent a sports team you may follow vaguely or truly use a scarf or shirt, hang it in clear sight. This avoids being thought of as a homosexual and can provide early small talk if one becomes trapped. You need tissues or loo roll to accessorise your laptop, Lisa Ann and Shyla Stylez won't be there to clean it up. You can buy posters of generic iconic imagery to possibly demonstrate a political or cultural view point but this nailing your colours to the mast can be a risky business and a little bit 80's, you don't want to try take home a feminist spicebox to slogans such as 'no jobs better than a blowjob'. (But then that’s not exactly “Get out of the Left Bank” either …) Bed sheets x2, after a while you'll begin to smell yourself at which point you know they've got another month or so left in them, and turning them and the mattress over isn’t fooling anyone. Aside from this is your sartorial being, size? Exclusive air max, your knowledge of the latest up and coming deep house DJ, your V05 and Ck One should carry you through the year. Irons, clothes hangers, shower gel, tooth paste can all be acquired by the kid whose mother went consumer happy in Morrison’s prior to arrival, trust me he'll have more than two of everything thus commandeering one is actually doing him a favour, get him corona something equally as luxurious if reparations are required, you'll have now created a periphery mate until you move out. One key thing to remember is the room only owns you for a year, girls you'll always take your life’s worth of ornaments such is the mode, boys on the other hand, pack light the more you put up, the more you take down… By Jacob Miles Davis

Vice Magazine 1

Guide to University Halls: Lesson two  
Guide to University Halls: Lesson two  

Coursework for LL530 Writing in the media: A practical approach