Here are eight things you’ll only know if you lived in Nightingale Hall

Just because it’s the smallest doesn’t mean its not the best place to live

Nightingale may be the smallest hall with only 157 rooms, but those who have lived there know that this makes it the most iconic place to live on campus. With a range of features from the hotel vibes of its exterior and corridors, the coveted end rooms with bay windows, the  catered meals, to two JCRs and a library on the ground floor, Nightingale Hall promises an unforgettable experience for all who are lucky enough to stay there.

The goings-on in Nightingale are an exclusive commodity, only truly known to those who have lived through it themselves. So, what is it about Nightingale that makes it so iconic?

It lives up to its sporty reputation

Being the hall closest to the David Ross Sports Village, the athletic population in Nightingale is exactly as expected. You’ll meet a very wide variety of sport players, from football to volleyball to lacrosse, and hear them all letting their bedroom doors slam closed from down the corridor as they rush to get to their weekly practice. Crisis pres are heard every Wednesday evening for various societies, and the outfits at least provide a kick of entertainment for those who are not involved.

The idea of living a two minute walk from David Ross is the perfect encouragement to try out new sports or activities, or alternatively serves as a great option for lunch in the café without having to venture all the way to the centre of campus.

Laundry room is used as lost property

Almost everyone, at some point during the Nightingale experience, will have hauled their laundry to the washing machines on second floor only to open one up and discover someone else’s forgotten laundry still inside. It’s then unceremoniously dumped on top of the machine and a quick message is sent to the group chat – “if this is your laundry I left it here btw!! xx”.

If at some point during the year, you realise certain items of clothing have been misplaced whether that’s a favourite hoodie or a single sock, or even a watch or jewellery, the chances are it will be lying around somewhere in the laundry room.

The mystery of the fifth floor 

Perhaps the greatest piece of Nightingale lore – what is really on the fifth floor? The lift has a floor five button, and the staircase continues up after fourth floor, but there are no student rooms there.

Rumours surround the mystery, that it’s secretly a full-floor apartment for the most “rah” student on campus, or a place so haunted no one lives up there at all, or more simply it’s just where extra cleaning supplies are kept. No one ever finds out, as if you do venture up there to solve the mystery yourself, you’ll be met only with a locked door before returning to the lower floors all the more intrigued.

Summer days on the grass outside 

As soon as the weather begins to turn warm, everyone makes their way to the small area of grass in front of the hall. Surrounded by covered picnic benches on one side and towering trees on the other, it makes the perfect place for an afternoon of leisurely studying, a picnic under the cherry blossoms, or a friendly game of football observed by the those with rooms facing towards the beautiful green expanse.  

Hunting for the vacuum  

Searching for the vacuum that’s  meant to live in the laundry room more often than not turns into a full-blown scavenger hunt. If a message to the hall group chat isn’t met with a response from someone who is using it and will return it after, a search of every floor is warranted. Even then, if it’s not found neglected in the middle of a corridor, it’s either hidden in someone’s room or has even been abducted by another hall and won’t show up again for another two to three business days.

What was intended to be a quick trip to clean your carpet ends up being an hour-long excursion and your room will be no cleaner by the end of it. Count yourself lucky if the vacuum is actually where it should be right when you need to use it.

The lift that always breaks down 

Every time you step into the lift it’s with bated breath in hopes that you will actually make it to your desired floor. Almost every resident of Nightingale has experienced some issue with the lift, from the doors refusing to open on certain floors, to being trapped in there for so long that firemen are called to try to free you from the outside.  

For most of the year it’s likely to be labelled “out of service” for repairs, just for it to break down the week after it’s supposedly fixed. You’d better hope that the rare occasion of the lift working perfectly occurs on the days you’re moving in or out to spare you, or your parents, from multiple staircase trips while laden down with bags and suitcases. 

Luxury of the beds 

Not only is every room spacious and equipped with its own mini-fridge and sink, but the appeal of the three quarter size beds is unmatchable. Often taken for granted until a visit to a friend in another hall when a feeling of superiority overtakes you while looking their tiny single bed. Nothing is better than the feeling of relief when you return to your room and fall into your own, significantly larger, bed. You are truly living it up.  

Haunting of Nightingale Hall  

Clanging sounding through your walls, things quite literally going bump in the night, doors slamming closed, strange noises, feeling watched, glimpses of something moving outside the window. Is it people on your corridor getting back late from a night out? Tree branches making shadows on your window? Your mind playing tricks on you? Or could it be something much more supernatural?

Don’t worry – if there is a ghost it’s said to be the friendly spirit of Nightingale’s former warden from its days as an all-girls hall, Audrey Beecham. 

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