Gabriel's story

Support looks different for every student and here at Herts we aim to help you in a way that suits you.

Listen to Gabriel tell us about life on campus and settling into accommodation with a disability.

Gabriel talks about life on campus

Gabriel talks about settling in

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Moving in Day

Moving in Day on College Lane Campus

Author - Eleanor, Model Design and Special Effects

Moving into accommodation with a bunch of strangers can be really daunting especially in first year but also exciting. I have been living on college lane campus for the past year and a half and it has been great!

Before the day:
Before moving in, once you have your place, there are Facebook pages set up for each court so you can find who you are going to be living with. I did this for both years and I am especially happy I did it in first year as I got to know people before I got to Uni and now, they are some of my best friends! I was particularly proud of myself as well as I took the plunge to message people first and I created our group chat which we all chat on still even though we don’t all live together now.

Driving in:
On the day of moving in you are allowed one car (pack strategically! 😉) and for college lane you need enter at the Forum entrance. From there a steward will guide you into the multi-story car park where you will only be for a few moments. You can then walk to collect your keys and extra welcome bits from the Hutton Hub (I suggest leaving the driver in the car as you won’t be long). To collect your keys, you will need your arrival pass which will have been emailed to you, on this will be the arrival timeslot you picked.

Freshers events:
Now you have your keys you can head back to the car. Next to the Hutton Hub there is usually a stand where you can collect or purchase your fresher’s wristband for all the events. I recommend the wristband, especially for first year, so you can decide later which events you want to go to. You might not know which events others want to go to so with the wristband you can go together with ease! (of course, you can go to all the events if you are up for it!).

Driving round to your flat:
Once back at your car you can then drive out of the multi-story and will be guided by stewards and signs to your court. With your keys you will be given a hanging tag to put over the front mirror. This will have your court, flat and room number on it. The tag is used as a temporary car park permit which will allow you to park as close to your flat door as possible (this can only be done on moving in day). On arrival to your court a steward will write on the tag the time you need to vacate the area. After this time, you will need to move your car to one of the car parks which will be free for the moving in weekend. Because of this I suggest getting everything out your car and into your room first before you ‘properly’ unpack and settle.

Now you are in and your car is moved you are free to do what you like. (I kicked my parents out soon after the car was unpacked in first year). Around campus there are many stalls and mini free events to get involved in.

My last advice on moving in day (especially in first year) is to hang out in the kitchen and say hi to anyone that comes in and break that ice as soon as you can. If you are in early why not offer to help others move in too!

5 top tips for moving to student accommodation

5 top tips for Moving to Student Accommodation

Author - Eleanor, Model Design and Special Effects

For my first year at University, I moved into student accommodation on the de Havilland Campus. Here are my top tips for moving away from home!

Batch Cook Meals
Get yourself a student cookbook - I bought a copy of 'Nosh for students' and it really helped me cook healthy and tasty meals cheaply. Cooking meals and putting them in the freezer is really helpful as it means you only have to heat them up in the evenings, something you will appreciate if you have had lectures/placement all day!

Stay in Contact
When moving to university, it is so important to make friends - whether that is through your accommodation, your course or societies. Don't forget to stay connected with your friends and family back at home - chances are they are missing you too! Facetime and Zoom will continue to be your best friend while you are studying away, especially in the world we live in now.

Sharing Chores
It will be your own responsibility to keep your room and en-suite (if your accommodation has one) clean and tidy. However, communal areas such as the kitchen and shared living areas will need to be cleaned by all the flat mates. Make sure that you share the chores that need to be completed. It is good to all have set jobs to do or have a rota, so not all the work is left to one person. The shared living spaces are checked every week so make sure they are kept clean!

Better to over pack than under!
Before you move in, try and get in contact (through social media groups) with your new flatmates so you don't buy duplicates of some items. I found that the best thing to do is follow checklists about what to take to university - making sure that you do not forget anything essential! There are lots of shops around Hatfield (Poundland, B&M and Asda) so you can purchase anything you may have forgotten!

Studying
University accommodation can, at times, be quite noisy with lots of people living there - especially the routine fire alarms! Use areas such as the Learning Resources Centre (LRC) and the Enterprise Hub to study. I found this really useful this year as all my studying was done online. I would often study in the LRC and then come back to my room to relax, and have time away from work and academic commitments.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any other questions about living on campus!

Studying with a hidden disability

Studying with a hidden disability

Author - Adam

My name is Adam and I studied BSc (Hons) Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire. I have Asperger's Syndrome, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. My hidden disability affects me daily and I have difficulty adapting to sudden situations and changes. I need structure and routine otherwise I can feel agitated, and anxious. Even mundane changes can make me very stressed.

Choosing Herts 
I chose to study at Herts as I was really interested in computer science and the course had flexible modules, which was ideal for me. The accommodation conditions were impressive, and my room had an en-suite which meant I didn’t have to share with strangers. I also knew it would be clean which lessened my anxiety. The location of the university was important, as I was still close to home so my mum was able to support me by bringing my shopping and washing every week. Studying at a university near my family meant I could focus completely on my coursework and degree.

My life at university
Out of all the universities I looked at, Herts provided the best support for my disability. I had a one-to-one open day to discuss my support needs and equipment requirements I needed for my course. I was given one-to-one support throughout university which gave me the opportunity to vent my frustrations about general day-to-day issues and this helped make my time at university less stressful. Due to my Dyslexia, I found large written essays and my dissertation very difficult. To help, Herts provided a support worker who helped with my grammar and read my papers out loud so I could hear if my sentences were grammatically correct. I also received help with my timetable so I could finish projects on time. Having help with my studies meant I could enjoy my university experience and make the most of my time. I really enjoyed experiencing lots of new activities like archery and roller skating.

The future
I am proud to say I graduated with a first class degree in 2020. I aspire to be a data scientist and know my experience at Herts will help me achieve my career goal. Written by Adam Massie, BSc (Hons) Computer Science 2020 graduate. Adam has submitted this blog as part of Disability History Month. To find out more about how we are celebrating Disability History Month, visit the website.

If you need additional support whilst studying at Herts, you can visit the Student Wellbeing Service at Hutton Hub on the College Lane campus for advice. The team offer confidential support and practical advice, including working closely with you to provide tailored solutions to meet your individual needs and equip you with the skills and resources you need to succeed in your studies.

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