Moving away from home can be daunting whether you are undergraduate or a postgraduate. At Queen Margaret University the friendly campus makes it an excellent environment to settle into. The campus teaches a mixture of subjects and the friends you make may be on completely different courses. In my opinion a benefit is that it is the best environment to meet new people and they may become life-long friends. Furthermore, the campus has 24 hour security and friendly accommodation staff. They can assist you in settling in and from personal experience are good at allocating people to flats based on preferences. In year one I was matched with some great people, all doing management related subjects. That made settling in easier.
Not having to split bills and find flatmates means that you can stay in halls knowing that everything is covered. That's right! All rooms are en-suite and come with Wi-Fi so there is no need to spend hours waiting on the bathroom or having to install the internet. In the halls your room is your space, whether you are in a single or premium room. There is no sharing - you can cook what you like and have “me” time away from it all. I felt at ease coming to QMU because I knew that I would not have coped at a bigger university. The supportive environment meant I was quickly able to get to know staff and students and build up my own network.
The campus is situated in the lovely countryside but is 15 minutes from the Musselburgh town centre . The train only takes six minutes to get to Edinburgh. The good news is the station is two minutes walk from the front door of your accommodation block. Furthermore, the direct bus takes 40 minutes to get to Edinburgh. So for those people who think QMU is in the middle of nowhere, think again. A 10-minute bus ride takes you to Fort Kinnaird for shopping, food outlets and a cinema.
And … if you feel thirsty, QMU's Students' Union is situated on site, with Maggie’s as your own student bar. You can grab a bite to eat, meet up with friends and have a game of pool - don’t forget they have a variety of events on in the Students' Union. Furthermore, above the bar is the Union office where staff are there to give advice, and help students ensure they make the most of the time at University. Remember, there is no stupid question! The Students' Union assist in the organisation of sports and societies, run by fellow students. I believe it is an excellent way of making friends with a common interest. Don’t worry if a club does not exist - you can set it up with support from fellow students.
The campus has a sports centre that has a fitness room, games hall and astroturf pitch. The best news is that it’s close to your room and does not cost that much to become a member - a bonus when on a tight budget and I know what that is like! The membership includes scheduled classes and staff assist in establishing fitness programmes so there is no excuse for you not to stay on top form despite eating curly fries from Maggie’s.
Campus living allows you to make the best use of your day. After scheduled classes, you can use time in your own way, so if you work best at night you can do so as the Library known as the Learning Resource Centre is open 24/7 for use so you can work during your most productive hours. Staying so close and in halls means that you can quickly go for that well-deserved power nap! Oh, and there is no need to run for the last bus at night as your room is just right around the corner…bonus!
What else? Online grocery shopping for the lazy student - we eat too many pizza takeaways or rely on the microwave! Maggie’s is great for food when you are feeling hung-over. There is a rush to get to the co-op before they stop serving alcohol at the end of the day. What a relief there is a bus that goes to Tesco so I do not have to walk! Always remember to share taxis back home after going out clubbing. There are no boundaries imposed by parents but that means doing “adult” things like cleaning and washing. Some would say that they only do their laundry when they have to and so it becomes that weekly task like a scary monster in the closet - but it is made easier by the vending machine and the TV entertaining you while you wait. I will always remember the day that I moved in at the beginning of first year and even though I returned for subsequent years the first was by far the best. Make the most of your year and don’t do anything you may later regret! Enjoy every minute as before you know it you will have graduated and have to move out into the big bad world!