Our lovely insider, Lauren Charlton tells us, it's not goodbye - it's see you soon.
So, unfortunately due to the coronavirus outbreak and universities being closed for the remainder of the academic year, I had to make the difficult decision to move back home 2 months earlier than planned to be with my family. I thought I would give you an overview of my first year living at Iconinc and most importantly why I have decided to return in September as I embark on year 2 of my university course.
The Staff From the moment I walked into the glassworks on my first day, to the day I left, the staff have always been so kind and helpful. It isn’t like other student accommodation where you never see anyone around and have to hang onto the end of a phoneline for hours just to speak to someone who is probably on the other side of the country! There is always at least one member of staff in reception 24/7, who is able to answer your questions, give you advice or just be someone to talk to. The introduction of the new app also provided an amazing feature which means that you can communicate with the staff from the comforts of your bedroom or even when you are at university. I really enjoy the fact that there is a physical person there 24/7 as it makes me feel safer, and I know that my problems will always be sorted as soon as possible!
The Community This is one big aspect that I have really appreciated since being here. The type of people that live here are studious, hard-working and also compassionate. I have made so many great friends in my first year and learnt so much from each and every one of them. The multicultural aspect of the community is also something that I enjoy. I am able to experience different cultures and nationalities and implement some of their cuisines and traditions into my own lifestyle. Plus, the smells coming from the kitchens in the evening are amazing, with the unique blends of spices and flavours! I decided to join the Iconinc Insider group which was one of the best decisions I made. It is like a university society but exclusive to Iconinc residents. We are able to voice our opinions about improvements that could be made, as well as getting great rewards for our blogs, videos and social media posts. I have always been very introverted and wouldn’t have joined a society at university with the fear of being thrown into a massive group of unknown people, but this group has allowed me to make some new friends and develop some life skills too!
The Facilities As you can see from the photos, the facilities at Iconinc are like no other student accommodation. With a well-equipped gym I am able to keep up with my training from the comfort of my home; a plush cinema to chill out with friends at the end of a long week; clean and modern kitchens for cooking up healthy and delicious meals to keep me well fuelled; and study areas to allow me to focus on my work and achieve the best marks that I can. The facilities are kept clean and in great working order by the wonderful team of cleaning and maintenance staff. The additional features such as vibrant colours, plush cushions and beautiful pictures make it feel more like a home than a hotel. They also lay on a beautiful and delicious breakfast spread every morning with everything from cereal and fruit to bagels and pastries. I find this complimentary breakfast such a luxury and it definitely makes Iconinc stand out from regular student accommodation. There is no excuse for missing the most important meal of the day – you can literally grab something on your way out to university in the morning and fuel your brain for a hard day of studies!
The Events The team holds multiple events every month so you can always find an event that suits you; from relaxing yoga to a sweaty HIIT class, or a baking masterclass from celebrity chefs. I am a big advocate of developing a perfect work-life balance. These events allow you to switch off for a few hours in the week and forget about any looming deadlines, to refresh your mind and learn some new skills while you are at it. The new app allows you to book onto the events really easily with the click of a button from your phone, which is really handy when spaces are limited and you are stuck at university all day!
The Rooms There are four different room sizes to choose from so you can get anything from a cute little neo studio to a massive grande apartment [which is basically like your won living quarters!]. I went for the neo apartment, but even though it isn’t the largest room ever, there is lots of features that make the room easy to live in. There is a big, comfy double bed; smart TV [great for Netflix and chill!]; large study desk; mini kitchenette with a microwave, hob and fridge; an ensuite bathroom and lots of lots of storage for all your clothes and accessories. I, personally, decided not to cook in my room, but you could definitely cook some simple meals from your won room if you preferred that, over using the shared kitchen. I would definitely recommend bringing some pictures and decorations to make your room really personal and you are less likely to miss being at home.