Crusty three-day undies, ‘beeramids’ and empty pizza boxes have all been part of the rite of passage for generations of students – but now a new survey suggests undergraduates are swapping scruffy for spotless when it comes to their bedrooms.
In its latest survey of students MyStudentHalls.com, the UK’s dedicated student hall search engine has found the majority (55 per cent) take pride in keeping their halls of residence “calm, minimal, Zen and spotless”, with less than 15 per cent conforming to the messy student squalor stereotype.
What’s more, 70 per cent of these clean-cut students were prepared to spend extra cash on decorating their digs, with 16 per cent of those surveyed adding up to £200 worth of bling to their bedrooms including personal fridges, table top ovens, sofas, smart TVs, vertical steamers and even silk bed sheets! Another 18 per cent wanted immaculate ‘Pinterest Perfect’ rooms to flaunt via social media.
And it seems students are no longer choosing rebels as their poster pin-ups. Asked who their dream flatmate would be, students rejected reckless Justin Beiber – known for his wild house parties and drug problems – for straight-laced and smart Emma Watson or savvy Taylor Swift.
Is there a correlation with fee increases?
Jake Hodges, 23, University of Southampton, electronic engineering graduate, said: “When I started uni, I was the last cohort of students to pay £3000/year, before they went up to £9000. Throughout my time at uni, me and many of my peers saw clubs become noticeably less busy, and the number of first years in the library increase massively. I can’t speak for room tidiness, but there could be a correlation, as there was definitely a change in overall student mentality.”
Students taking greater pride
Jack Connors, Sustainability Projects Officer, University of London, said: “Students today genuinely seem to take pride in their Halls. They get involved with Hall committees, vote on making improvements; always come up with new ideas for the next generation of students living in their Halls. Often they want to be better than the other Halls in the area.
My area is sustainability, and we are seeing students complaining about energy wastage, lack of recycling facilities etc. that I would never have complained about when I was in Halls!”
MyStudentHalls.com director Dan Roberts said: “Free from parental shackles, living in student halls might be their first serious encounter with antibacterial spray and a sponge. But although most have tended to view students as straight out of The Young Ones, it’s great to see this data saying something else for once!
“With research showing that being tidy improves concentration levels and reduces stress – perhaps their tidy rooms are an antidote to the chaos of the deadlines, digital distractions and communal sharing of modern student living.”