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Six things you’ll only know if you lived in Birks Grange Village at Exeter Uni

Here’s what they don’t tell you when you book your first year halls


By this time of year as a fresher, you’ll have visited a few friends’ rooms and will notice the Exeter halls hierarchy beginning to emerge. Despite its slightly undesirable location, Birks is comfortably mid-range with its en-suite rooms, studios and townhouses. You’ll inevitably envy the snazzy East Park study rooms or Moberly kitchens but Birks isn’t all that bad. It can be quite a sociable accommodation, if the walk to campus isn’t enough of a bonding experience for you. Here are six moments you’ll only understand as a Birks resident.

1. Cardiac hill

Whenever anyone asks what halls you’re in, you’re guaranteed to be met with immediate sympathy for the trek you have to take to campus. While people in Lafrowda can roll out of bed minutes before a lecture, you don’t get that luxury. There are few moments as humbling as being overtaken by a sporty person as you “admire the scenery” (catch your breath) halfway up Cardiac hill. You get bonus points if it’s raining, icy, or you’re hungover.

2. The Imperial will become your second home

Witnessing the sheer volume of freshers at The Imperial Wetherspoons is truly a memorable experience. You’ll likely spend many nights here as a fresher, as well as a large portion of your student loan on pitchers, chips, and garlic bread.

3. Having to pre twice as much

Be prepared to have to pre-drink twice as hard to avoid sobering up en route to Unit1, or at least to have a last-minute stop at spoons. However, the walk actually works in your favour if you’ve overindulged during ring of fire and find yourself almost falling into the ditch on the path towards town.

4. Fear of the lift breaking

If you’re on the upper floors of certain self-catered Birks blocks you’ll know the despair of having to carry your shopping or laundry up the endless flights of stairs. After braving cardiac, this just seems cruel. On the bright side, you get a lovely view of the sunset from up there and you won’t get other nosy freshers peering into your kitchen window like the ground floor does. Soon, you’ll be unphased by the awkward interaction of sharing the lift with someone you vaguely recognise from a flat party or a guy you got with in Fever.

5. Buying overpriced snacks in marketplace

You might have promised yourself that you’re trying to save money, but sometimes the temptation to buy extortionately priced crisps, a mediocre oven pizza, and a bottle of Chekov vodka is too strong.

6. You’ll miss it when you leave