What is sharing a room really like?

New and prospective students often ask us what sharing a room at St Chad’s is really like. With over 70% of our first year beds being in shared rooms, we take a lot of time to make sure that we match people who will enjoy living together. We do this by asking you about your likes and dislikes, interests and daily routine ahead of your arrival in Durham.

In most cases, sharing a room is a hugely enjoyable experience and means that from the moment you arrive you have someone who will go along to events and activities with you and will help you out if you need a bit of support or a listening ear. Most people who share a room go on to share a house when living out and many become close friends for life. Nevertheless some people find the prospect of sharing a room quite daunting, so, to help you get a feel for what sharing a room is really like, take a look at the comments below from current students who all shared rooms in their first year.

Meet Ella and Emma…

Hey! My name’s Ella and I’m currently a second year psychology student at chads. 

I’m here to tell you first hand about what it’s like having a roommate in your first year and how it shaped my experience at Durham University.

Before arriving in Durham I had decided that I absolutely did not want to share a room and so decided to live in external accommodation to ensure that this did not happen. After a few days it became apparent that this was not a good fit for me so I began the process of trying to move into college instead. Luckily, there was a spare bed in Lightfoot and I decided to take it despite the fact that it was a shared room. After moving in I got to know Emma and all of her friends and realised that we all got on really well. Fast forward a year and they are all now my closest friends… and I couldn’t be more grateful for them. 

Although it may seem daunting sharing a room with a stranger I can honestly say that my University experience so far would not have been the same without my “roomie” and I would 100% recommend opting for a shared room if you get the choice! Emma and I loved living together and quickly learnt each others routines and how to fit in around these. I always loved having someone around to chat to, especially in those first few weeks of term when things can be a little overwhelming! 

This year we didn’t get the opportunity to live together however I am very excited to say that we will be sharing a house in our last year at durham next year! I am already looking forward to living with Emma again and I hope this is evidence of how successful sharing a room in Chad’s can be!

Hi! I’m Emma, a second year English Literature student at Chad’s. 

Before coming to Chad’s, I had heard about how great the roommate system was and so decided that I’d like to be in a shared room for my first year. While I was initially assigned a roommate, she decided to defer before we moved in and so I spent the first few days of fresher’s week on my own in a shared room. When I found out that Ella would be moving in I was obviously a little nervous as I knew nothing about her, but was so excited to finally have a proper roommate, and quickly after meeting her realised how similar we were and how well we got on.  

Going from not knowing someone to sharing a room with them is understandably daunting, but having a roommate really was one of the highlights of my first year. Having someone around that you can always chat to and have a laugh with is so nice, especially in those first few weeks when you’re trying to navigate life at uni. Also, don’t be daunted by thinking you’ll never have time to yourself! Me and Ella don’t do the same subject and so were always off at lectures at different times, which means you get a really good balance of alone time but also having someone around to talk to when you are both in the room together. 

I would 100% recommend going for a shared room – it’s one person that you’re sure to be friends with really early on, which makes getting to know other people so much easier, and it’s really lovely to have someone around who is always there to look after you, just as you’re there to look after them. 

Meet Nathan and Rohan…

Hi I’m Rohan, a current first year at St Chad’s.

Arriving at Chads in eager anticipation, I was excited but also worried about meeting my roommate. However, my concerns were trivial, and I quickly got to know my roommate well. I am lucky to have such a nice roommate with similar interests; both of us have concluded the roommate questionnaire filled out before arrival benefitted us in the aspect.

We both do different subjects and have different interests as well, which allows us to pursue these in our own time and even introduce and share them with each other. I really enjoy living with a newfound friend who I can have fun with but also feel supported by when needed. I am very happy to be sharing a room and I think it is very much so in the spirit of Chad’s to do so.

Hello! I’m Nathan, a first year Criminology student at Chad’s.

Prior to my arrival I was very sceptical and worried about the prospect of sharing a room. When I arrived, I had a long wait to finally meet my roommate who arrived hours after I did. Thankfully, when he did arrive, I was greeted by Rohan. Despite having slightly different interests and reading different courses, we got on like a house on fire. I believe this was due to the rigorous questionnaires prior to our arrival at Chad’s.

Not only have I benefited by having a roommate as a first point of contact during fresher’s week. I have also gained a really good friend. If I had the choice between not having a roommate or staying where I am the choice would be easy. Having a roommate is part of the Chad’s experience which is the best experience in Durham.