You may be wondering how I could possibly make an article out of DRA, but in my first couple of months here I’ve noticed a general stereotype. Everyone who lives in halls closer to town seems to believe that we are all full of envy that they didn’t have to stick to their morning alarm schedules, catch the 8.40am bus into town or walk a whole 25 minutes back smothered in foam from this Monday’s antics.
However, this is a misconception. In reality, while there may be a little envy in DRA, the hall has enough advantages to outweigh the distance issue. Firstly, the bar tops the DRA halls experience (although I’m disappointed I didn’t take much advantage of the half price drinks during freshers – that would have definitely sorted some of my pre-drinks). From quizzes to movie nights, from board games to pumpkin carving, the bar is the venue for it. Not to mention, while I’m certainly no footie fanatic, the weekends see mobs of lads dump on the sofas with their pint ready for televised league matches. So, as the only hall to have a bar, it certainly draws its benefits.
Secondly, the catered meals are something else. A full English (or shall I say Scottish without the Haggis?) for breakfast and a plethora of carby options for dinner is a bonus. As one of my friends put it, the meals “take the stress out of my first year.” In addition, students here see meal times as a time for socialising. This “de-stressing” mechanism is great. I usually spend around one and a half hours at dinner just talking as a distraction from getting back to the flat and actually doing something productive. DRA is a place of good food and procrastination, a good procrastination.
Thirdly, being part of a hall of more than 1,100 students, the higher ratio of undergrads to postgrads means that the former would certainly feel more comfortable here. Well, most agree that it really doesn’t matter as we all get on here. Obviously, each flat will know their flat better than the next flat and each building will know their building better than the next building. Haig, Dover, Lindsay; yes we’ve all heard of these buildings where the main house parties are held. What about Hercules? Or Cathedral? Living in Fife Park, the new bloc of DRA means practically no one has heard of it. Yet, for me I know nearly everyone in my building. I feel this sort of integration would not be possible in the larger halls which do not have separate buildings.
The DRA family isn’t an enclosed environment. It’s one of familiarity. It may be distanced right away from town, but honestly it’s not bad at all.
P.S. There has been one issue at DRA. Who stole the bikes? If you have any information or see anything suspicious, call Ben the Warden. Thank you.