What it's like to live in The Sidings

20 March 2024

The Sidings' open-plan living area with kitchen and cluster of soft seating
Type: Text
Category: Student Voice, Accommodation

This article was written by Dance & Choreography BA(Hons) student Lucy.

When it came to choosing my accommodation, I knew that I wanted to live off-campus. Taking advice from my friends who were already at university, living just that bit further away means there is more of an opportunity to explore the local area. On Penryn high street, which is a 5-minute walk down the hill, there is a corner shop that is good to grab a few bits in, a post office, some really good food places (my favourite being Pizza Pls) and plenty of chip shops to pick from!

The walk to campus from The Sidings is around 15 minutes and has a lot of the subtropical plants that can grow in Cornwall, so it's a really lovely walk that is even more stunning in the spring time when all the flowers start to bloom. Glasney Student Village and Packsaddle Hill are a short walk away, so visiting friends in other halls of residence is easy. There are lots of public transport options; buses run regularly up to campus for when the rain gets too heavy to walk in and buses also go into Falmouth town centre, where there are lots more shops and restaurants, having a good mixture of well-known chains and independent places. There are a variety of bars and clubs to fit whatever your idea of a good night out is. The buses run until the early morning, so are a good way of getting back and stop right outside the halls. The train station is right next to The Sidings, which is most people’s main way of getting home over the holidays. It also stops further into Falmouth, which is then a 10-minute walk to Gyllyngvase Beach, so it's easy to pop there in the evening after a day of classes.

I would say my biggest fear before coming to university was about what my flatmates would be like. It definitely took everyone time to settle in and I found that we got closer over time. I chose to live in a mixed flat, but there is always the option for single-sex. All the rooms are en-suite in The Sidings, so you really get to feel like you have your own space. The rooms feel spacious with a good amount of storage. I loved choosing out the decorations for my room and putting them all in made it feel really cosy. The communal area in each flat has a kitchen and living space combined, so you get to chat to everyone as they are cooking. There is also a TV and sofas - our flat really enjoyed watching The Great British Bake Off together each week! I would say The Sidings is more of a community, being one of the smaller accommodation options, so you get to know people easier. The Sidings team in the office are also lovely. They are always happy to have a chat when you are collecting post from there and are quick to help! 

I had 5 other people living in my flat, studying at both Falmouth University and University of Exeter. The mixture of courses means that there's generally always at least one other person in the flat so, when you inevitably do feel a bit homesick, there’s someone there to talk and relate to, since everyone is in the same boat. Looking back, I think I would tell myself to give my flatmates (and myself!) time. Move-in weekend and freshers week can be really hectic, especially as someone who didn’t go out loads at home, and the fact that I didn’t immediately gel with them did initially worry me somewhat, but over the year we have definitely become a lot closer. My favourite memory I have so far was the Christmas dinner we made in the flat before the holidays. There was lots of tinsel & decorations up and everyone helped prepare & cook all the trimmings. It was such a lovely thing to do altogether and really brought us closer. There are always little things that people do that bug each other - generally to do with the washing up (!) - but you learn to work it out between each other and it is part of the university halls experience. Once you’ve learnt to live with someone, they’ll be a friend for life!

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