Three students who have lived in each of the halls of residence at the University of Sheffield testify to their experiences. Is there a clear cut winner?
I got into university through clearing which meant I ended up in city accommodation as all the people who had done as well as they expected in their A-levels ended up in Endcliffe and Ranmoor. Now don’t get me wrong, the accommodation itself was nothing to turn your nose up at.
You can quickly end up making friends across a group of 12 or 15 across a couple of flats on your floor.
I was in Sheffield 3, a relatively modern apartment complex in Shalesmoor (it’s near Kelham Island – look it up). All the halls were modern, well furnished and within 10 minutes walk of campus. The staff were brilliant and it was within a 5-minute walk of a huge Tesco. Our kitchen was even newly refurbished (albeit at the end of the year when we were about to move out but hey, it probably saved us our deposits).
As it was an enclosed block, flats could leave post it messages on windows to communicate across the courtyard which added a certain charm to an otherwise bland looking building. I was also just a few minutes walk from Kelham Island which is a real up and coming area of Sheffield. The local bars, photography opportunities and brewery cement its place as one of my favourite parts of the city.
The main difference between City and Endcliffe and Ranmoor is probably the size of the flats. The largest one in my block was six people and is quite a reduction compared to the main student halls. If you’re lucky, you end up with a really close-knit group of friends or, you may not get along with everyone with there being fewer people and therefore a smaller pool of interest to mix with.
This isn’t such a bad thing though, less rooms in the flats means more flats themselves and in close proximity to each other. You can quickly end up making friends across a group of 12 or 15 across a couple of flats on your floor. It’s easy to pop in and see people and we often ended up tagging along with a couple of other flats on nights out which is just as good as having one large, flat group like you get in Endcliffe or Ranmoor. In some ways this helps push you to use your initiative and go out and look for things to get involved with which I think is a good lesson for the university experience as a whole.
It reminds me of something my politics teacher told us at college. I’ll put a PG spin on it so it’s less obscene but he essentially reminded us that you only get out what you put in – if you just do the bare minimum you won’t get a good degree grade. Equally if you don’t go out and explore university as a whole and get involved in sports, societies and the area then I think you’ve missed out. After hearing stories about Ranmoor and Endcliffe I did feel as though I’d missed out on something but being away from the main ‘university halls’ made me want to get involved in as much as possible so I didn’t completely miss out on what most people agree are the best years of your life.
Endcliffe Student Village
You needn’t read the rest of the arguments here. Endcliffe is the best. Fact.
It’s got everything you could ever want from student halls, including a bar (don’t need anything else) with Sky Sports and BT Sport.
By the time you move out next year you’ll have legs of steel.
Some of the blocks have been rated amongst the best in the country, and the downhill trip to uni make those 9ams so much easier to get motivated for. Just make sure you discover the shortcut through Stephenson early on – it’s better than any night out you could possibly go on.
If you’re lucky, most of your mates will be conveniently located in Endcliffe, making those spontaneous nights out all the easier to arrange. And let’s face it: you’ll want to be going out those nights – you won’t get any sleep otherwise.
The Edge contains a spacious cafe during the daytime, for both catered and non-catered residents, as well as the laundrette you should be making regular trips to (as long as you don’t fall out with the Circuit Laundry gods). While convenient, I wouldn’t recommend making Endcliffe’s Village Store the place you do all the shopping. While the uphill walk into Broomhill may be daunting, the cheaper prices will be a lifesaver throughout the year. Plus, by the time you move out next year you’ll have legs of steel.
Of course, above all Endcliffe, like all halls, is a great chance to meet people who could be some of the best friends you’ve ever had. I met some of my best mates hanging about in the Edge – and regularly saw my coursemates – ensuring that whatever happened in first year, I was at least never bored.
Ranmoor Student Village
Yes, you wanted to be put in Endcliffe. Yes, you called up the accommodation team to ask if there’s any chance of being relocated – or was that just me? But you’ll soon realise that Ranmoor really is the place to spend your freshers’ year.
Take one look at one of the microscopic kitchens in Endcliffe – would you really prefer to be clambering over your flat mates to grab a pan from the cupboard? Frankly, Ranmoor offers kitchens that Gordon Ramsay himself would be proud of.
Ranmoor certainly deserves more credit than it gets.
Situated up the fine Shore Lane, Ranmoor is the closest of the three student villages to Sheffield’s prized Peak District. One quick walk up the rest of Shore Lane and you’ll be at the bus stop ready for an 11-minute bus ride straight to the Peaks. In fact, you’re so close to the Peaks that many of the rooms in Ranmoor have a view of them for all your friends and family to shed tears of admiration over when they visit.
Although you may have the longest walk to the Students’ Union, after walking 30 minutes up and down the hill of Fulwood Road every day for a year, you’ll surely have the most toned legs.
Whilst your Endcliffe friends (if they have ever actually visited) may comment that Ranmoor seems “dead”, you can remind them that Ranmoor folks won’t be the ones stumbling into 9ams with dark circles under their eyes. Thanks to having a population almost a third of the size of Endcliffe’s, you’ll have actually slept last night – hooray!
So, regardless of what Endcliffe and City say, with views of the Peaks, usuable kitchens and sleep, sweet and lovely Ranmoor certainly deserves more credit than it gets.
Words by Dan Cross, Ben Warner and Florrie Andrew
Image credit: David Martin, Terry Robinson and Ian Taylor