Hall life in university can be scary, especially when you’re going in blind as a freshman. Seniors often bring up the familiar horror stories of students being unable to cope with school work, maintain their social life and get sufficient sleep. You’ll also hear hall life myths about poor fellows getting their underwear ripped by over-enthusiastic hall mates during birthdays and the consistent weight gain from daily supper gatherings.
To help you survive this new and uncertain environment, here’s our ultimate guide to hall life!
Why Embrace The Hall Life
Before you even decide to sign up for hall admissions, you should know what you’re getting yourself into! Generally, students stay in hall for two reasons.
Firstly, hall life promotes a strong, tight-knit community. If you commit and get involved with the various clubs and activities, you’ll probably see them more than your own family. While it’s debatable whether this is actually healthy for you, it’s nice to know there’s a community to rely on during rough patches in university. You’re going to need these friends when you’re dreading the monotony of schoolwork or need to break a $2 note for coins to operate the washing machine.
Secondly, being a hall resident grants you the privilege of convenience, meaning you can gain precious hours of sleep and still make it for class on time. There’s no feeling worse than dragging yourself out of bed at 6am to head for your 9am seminar. Also, staying in hall allows you to take power naps during those long three hour breaks between lessons.
Packing Light For Hall Life
For starters, resist the urge to bring your entire wardrobe to hall! You’ll definitely have more than enough clothes to wear since most halls and hostels come with a laundry room. Of course, we’re assuming you’ll be having classes everyday and exchanging your existing set of clothes for new ones every week.
Here are some commonly forgotten items that are left out of packing lists:
- Bath Towel – Self-explanatory
- Footwear – Other than your primary shoes, you’re going to need a pair of slippers for casual wearing and athletic shoes for exercise
- Jacket – In case the lecture theatres and seminar rooms get too cold
- Power Extenders or Strips – For when you need to charge your laptop, mobile phone and bluetooth speakers simultaneously
- Toiletries – Don’t forget to bring along your basic toiletries like body wash, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste so you can avoid troubling your neighbours
- Flu And Fever Medication – Your immune system might take a hit because of the immense stress and number of late nights, so have this handy!
The Importance Of Supper During Hall Life
A rite of passage for any student staying in hall, supper is one of the highlights of hall life. Escape schoolwork and enjoy the guilty pleasures of comfort supper food with some greasy Roti Pratas and Economic Bee Hoon! Some of our favourites that are close to NUS include Al Amaan Restaurant and Fong Seng Nasi Lemak while Boon Lay Market’s Power Nasi Lemak and Ah Lian Bee Hoon top the list of supper places near NTU.
Besides enjoying the sumptuous food, hall residents also gather during supper to enjoy the company of fellow students. All kinds of information are shared here, ranging from the latest hall gossip to past year materials dished out by seniors. Join your fellow hall friends if you’re looking for a way to unwind and enjoy a stress-free makan session!
Need more places to get your late-night supper fix? Check out our guide to the best supper places in Singapore to satisfy those midnight hunger pangs.
Hall Activities To Spice Up Your Hall Life
Contrary to popular belief, hall activities do not consume your entire life. Rather, they provide the type of fun and cohesion not found elsewhere. Feel like trying something entirely out of your comfort zone? Join hall dance and feel a sense of accomplishment by completing complex choreographies as you progress from novice to pro after months of hard work. Want something less physically taxing? Check out the wide range of recreational games including Darts and Chinese Chess!
These hall activities serve as great distractions from the rigour of schoolwork and allow you to bond with fellow hall mates. Just make sure you don’t neglect your tutorials and academic responsibilities!
Welfare Packs To Sustain And Encourage You
Because the halls’ committees care about your overall well-being and improving your hall life experience, they often go out of their way to secure the best welfare for hall residents. Welfare packs are usually lovingly prepared by the committee and doled out before final exams. With gifts ranging from energy drinks to sweet, these free goodies help to boost morale and encourage you to press on for that final stretch ahead.
Bonus: Miscellaneous Tips To Make Hall Life Easier And More Comfortable
- Invest In A Mini-Fridge – A mini-fridge is a great investment because you’re able to store drinks and ingredients that you intend to cook with! The ice-cold drinks go a long way to quench your thirst during a hot afternoon and also allow you to host late-night drinking sessions with your buddies. Additionally, if you’re feeling sick of MSG-infused food, you could always try cooking yourself with the stored ingredients from your mini-fridge.
- Clean Up Often – While hall life and assignments can leave you with little time to do anything else, do practise room hygiene! An overly cluttered and dusty environment can ultimately impact your health and motivation to get anything done so aim to keep your room in tip-top condition. Where possible, sweep and mop your room so you can get rid of those dust bunnies and wipe that table to get rid of leftover food stains.
- Attend Orientation – While it might have attracted negative publicity in recent years for its racy and crass games, orientation still remains a great way to know fellow hall residents. Through various bonding games, you’ll be able to forge strong friendships and create memories with newfound friends. These people will also likely form the base of your previously mentioned ‘supportive friends’ group.
Upon reading this guide, we hope you’ve gained some valuable tips to guide the beginning of your hall life. This is likely your final chance to enjoy such a communal experience before heading into the corporate world so make the most of it and don’t be ghosting like a hall phantom.
Need more university-related tips and guides? Check out our guide to packing for overseas exchange!
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