So for starters…
Tucked away in the Lamborghini-clogged suburbs of eloquent South Kensington, the Gardens of Evelyn house the four (five?) floored flat of Bernard Sunley. 15 minutes’ walk to college; get used to hearing that, and even more used to doing it! It offers a nice, comfy distance that is far enough to make sure you don’t feel quote “too institutionalized”, while being close enough to justify having 7 different clubs/societies to attend at college because you can just stroll there in the nick of time!
There is no faster way to get to college; maybe biking, but shaving 5 minutes can be superseded by the time needed to find parking! Your closest tube stations are Gloucester Road and South Kensington, with “GR” being slightly closer to you than “SK” (but “SK” being somewhat closer to college!).
Buses aren’t faster either (seriously just walk…)
Common room/Laundry (AKA. fun-place)
Common room is down at the basement and requires you to surmount a hellishly narrow staircase to get there. Good luck seeing those steps while carrying a basket full of your toxic laundry because the laundry room is also at the bottom! Be careful of the machines because they are coin operated and they may eat your coins!
The common room is a magical wonderland of sofas, free Wi-Fi and one TV where your dorm buddies will teach you how to crack open beer bottles using wall-corners and drag you to see dozens of bizarre indie-movies. In all honesty, join them! Nothing says bond-building than huddling up in front of the glare-screen as you gorge down on your sickeningly-unhealthy but often free popcorn, offered by your mates (and who can say no to free food? Just be prepared to lend the HDMI cable though…). Ping pong table in adjacent room, try a play after a few pints.
So what makes a man’s/woman’s dwelling?
Rooms vary a lot in size regardless of being double or single. Seriously, some single rooms are larger than double rooms! (but the distribution is balanced more or less). In all honesty after a few weeks the room size won’t bother you much anymore (you will probably be swamped with too many reports and assignments to care!) (also you will probably spend most of your laife inside the library like the sorry-studying shut-in you are! *sob**sob*); if it still does, try rearranging the furniture a bit (i.e. bed), sometimes it really frees up space! Laundry baskets are provided and the cupboards for your shirts are spacious (but hangarless). Each room should have a sink with water clean enough to gargle but NEVER swallow. If the water begins smelling funny it’s best not to use it (but you will find that most people pay this no mind, me included)
Some rooms are ensuite but most (entire floors!) need to use floor-toilets and showers. *Usually* clean.
You have insanely fast internet, but don’t forget to buy a cable for it at the Union Store at Imperial because it’s not Wi-Fi and the Common Room’s Wi-Fi doesn’t reach that far (5m cable for 9 pounds). If you torrent stuff use a VPN. Alternatively, get a router to have ‘wireless’ connection while sharing your kinky password with your floormates so that they can sap your bandwidth. Nothing attracts freshers faster than the possibility of mooching off Wi-Fi.
Folks and Food
You will probably share the corridor with 20 other folks; get to know them! Especially the non-Malaysians; you will have no greater opportunity to make friends with a more exciting bunch of weirdoes in your life, who come from many different backgrounds and know tons of cool stuff. Share experiences with them!
The kitchen is usually well equipped on all your floors; Be careful of thieving hallmates who sometimes steal your cutlery and only your cutlery. Four induction stoves and tables for dining. Be careful of the fridge space as it is rather tight for each person (fits one but not two 4 pint milk cartons). Usually lots of people cook on each floor, and it’s very easy to learn how to cook from scratch in such an environment! Please be a sport and share ingredients/utensils with your folks; they may return the favour. Sometimes if your floor is blessed with a ‘baker’, they get the “baking urge” and just make cupcakes for no apparent reason to satiate some weird carnal desire, take it as a blessing from the Gods and horf down the free food mercilessly (if you are a ‘baker’, do share your miracles with the common peasants please?)
So where did all these cars come from?!
I’ll wrap this up by poetically returning to the scene of the introduction; the general area surrounding Bernard Sunley.
As mentioned there’s a lot of fancy cars, but there’re lots more of your shabbily-dressed fresher-brethren shuffling across the streets. Because nothing says “rich-neighbourhood” better than slithering in front of the landed properties with your baggy trackpants; it’s fun, join the march!
Down a 5min walk is your Lord and Savior Saintsbury’s. If you are looking for food or simple hygiene goods, this place is your closest convenient haven. Good deals for some sort of article are being held every day, so there must be a bargain in that convenient store for someone right?! Ice cream usually gets sold out during exam season, so don’t forget to stock up before the disaster!
Raise your hand if you thought this hall was meant to be available this year?!
There are obviously some things I left out (we sometimes have barbeques in the summer!), but you will find them out when appropriate. What’s more, this hall was originally not meant to be in use for this year, but it got resurrected! This means some services/hall activities may change, but overall the rooms/furnishings/college distances are things that stand the test of time!
The wardens are usually very helpful with getting to know the place, so play nice!
Walking down the streets of Evelyn for about a year I must say it was a really neat place to live in. Like I said, the distance is quite optimal and the rooms, despite their wild variance, are really cozy. So I sincerely hope that you and your pair of tattered track-pants enjoy your stay there; if you ever feel down, just pop out onto the corridor and knock incessantly on someone’s door for company. Chances are you will attract other people out of their rooms to join the banter, and then you just have a cozy “Corridor Conversation”.
Contributed by: Kok Wern (2nd Chemistry)