Aston University Lakeside Residences Review

I thought I’d do a quick review for anyone trying to choose between the different accommodations on campus. Living in halls was great fun and I highly recommend it to any freshers. Some people do have bad experiences, as is always the chance when you’re sharing with random people, but the vast majority have a great time with plenty of opportunities to socialise and meet new people. I paid £121 a week for an en-suite room sharing with 8 other people.

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IMG_20140616_172026Despite being the cheapest, Lakeside rooms actually have the most storage and floor space. The bathroom is much bigger than the new builds which can be a bit cramped in my opinion. The kitchen only has one oven but this was never an issue, even with 3/4 people cooking at once. Again compared to the new builds the kitchen has a much larger floorspace too.

The biggest problem with Lakeside is the laundry room. It shuts at 10pm (your access card just stops working) and a lot of the washers have an issue where they don’t drain properly, resulting in having to tumble dry several times or rewash. Despite multiple people complaining nothing was done about that so it was pot luck whether you got screwed every time you did some laundry. Fridge & freezer space were usually very limited but as long as you can live with one shelf it’s fine. You do get the usual student halls inconveniences like loud music and fire alarms at random times too!

All in all I had a great time in Lakeside, I’m still good friends with my old flatmates and I can gladly recommend it to any new students coming to Aston. More details are available on the official website.

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Birmingham

I’ve been a student in Birmingham for 7 months now, and it’s certainly a bit different to the small rural town I grew up in! I’m living in student halls (on the Aston campus) which are practically a 10 minute walk from New Street station and the centre. It’s a fantastic city for students with a huge number of shops and events going on all year round. Birmingham is infamous for being a sprawling metropolis with a host of problems, but like every city it has it’s good and bad areas. Most people have a self deprecating attitude and see the funny side of the endless news stories about how terrible Brum is. Excluding the usual drunk behaviour I’ve never been threatened and as long as you have some basic street sense you’ll stay safe. Here’s a summary of the most famous places in Birmingham:

 

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  • Broad Street. This is the centre for nightlife and there are dozens of clubs that are packed every weekend and some weeknights too.

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  • The Bullring and Selfridges. Built on a historic market area, the Bullring is one of the busiest shopping centres in the country.

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  • Centenary Square and the Library. 60 metres high and built at a cost of £188 million, it’s probably the nicest building in the city.

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  • Mailbox and Canals. The Mailbox was previously a central sorting office for Royal Mail, but has been developed into a shopping complex as well as BBC headquarters. On the canal side there are lots of high end restaurants making it a popular location in the evenings.

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  • Spaghetti Junction. The Gravelly Hill interchange is possibly one of the first places to have this nickname after is was penned in 1965.

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  • Cadbury at Bournville. Cadbury World is a huge tourist attraction and the surrounding model village has been described as one of the nicest places in Britain to live.

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  • The German Christmas Market. In December the entire centre is transformed as hundreds of stalls move in for the market.

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  • James Turner Street. Channel 4’s Benefits Street is yet another example of one very dilapidated area dragging down the whole city’s reputation. Parts of Handsworth and Smethwick

And here’s a bonus video of a 20 storey tower that was demolished on the Aston campus the Sunday just gone!

 

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