We do have a few shared rooms in college, but do not fear! The small number of shared rooms means that you’ll never have to share for more than a term. At the same time you can choose before you arrive as to whether or not you’d be happy to share in your first term.
Sharing a room may sound daunting to many people, but the vast majority of people who have lived in a shared room have made great friends as a result! Some choose to live their whole first year in a shared room. Here’s some current students who have shared their experience:
“When I first heard we had to share rooms in Trevs, I’ll admit I had some concerns. However, I then heard about the careful process involved in partnering people up for the shared rooms and I also recognised how it would be pretty cool to have an automatic friend the minute you arrived at uni. Everyone I know who has shared a room genuinely gets on with their roommate (so much so that some have shared twice) and so many of us have chosen to live with them on other college landings or living out next year. Its really good fun sharing (movie nights, late night chats, always someone about) and any worries I had quickly disappeared right back in Freshers Week. People only need chat with anyone who’s shared a room to realise that its not that big a deal and its actually a real selling point!” Hannah
“Sharing a room is scary, it’s impossible to know whether you are compatible, even if you know each other already, living next door is very different to living in the same room as someone, however somehow it always seems to work, all the fears and preconceptions never materialise, you’re not bothered they snore and they’re not bothered about your meticulous morning routine, you create codewords to avoid the accidental naked looks and you work around each other’s timetables, the bond you build between roommates is unmatched and unbreakable, a perfect way to make a new best friend in first term, or cement one already made in later terms, it’s a great experience and one that is an integral part of the college ethos of a friendly and tightly bound community.” Hal
“I shared a room in my first term at Trevs. This meant that I didn’t know the girl I would be sharing with that at all, and in all honesty, that was quite scary. You’re moving away from home, to a new environment, and naturally I was nervous about sharing such close quarters with someone who was essentially a stranger. Before term started, we were given each other’s contact details from the college, and my roommate-to-be and I started talking via email and social media. We got on really well, but even so, moving in day was a little bit daunting. I turned up at my new shared room and my roommate was already there, half unpacked and excited to meet me. We hit it off immediately – the college had done a really great job of pairing us together. She acted as an anchor in first term, someone to go to meals with, to extend my friendship group from and to go to in times that I felt a bit down. I think my favourite part was sitting up at night, just talking about all sorts of things before we went to sleep. We made that room our own; the shared rooms in college are among the biggest, and we moved around the furniture, put up posters and bunting. Moving out of that room in second term was almost heart-breaking, but it was also something we felt ready for – we were both ready to grow out of the comfort of having one another all the time, to having our own rooms. Its up to the individual applicant what term they want to share (obviously if you share in second or third you get to pick who you want to share with), but I really enjoyed the experience of sharing first term, and I’m still very close to my roommate now – we have decided to be in a group sharing a house together next year. Sharing is a bit daunting and alien to many people, but its an experience of Durham university that I’m so glad that I didn’t miss out on.” Abi