First years are placed in a random ballot order before they arrive in college (you’ll usually receive info about this in late August or early-mid September time). You will receive information from college about how to choose your room online. When you log on to the rooms database, you will be able to see a list of available rooms and make your choice. The database will contain information such as rent prices, facilities, size and the pros and cons in the room from previous owners. You’ll have different options of where to live: Cripps, North or Chapel Court and Northampton Street.
Some of you will be living in Chapel Court or North Court which are adjacent and look over one another. The remainder of you will live in Cripps, a 1960s architectural masterpiece (that allegedly won many awards), at the back of College. The renovations on the Cripps Building are fully complete so you won’t have to worry about any works that you may have heard about.
Every student room has a bed, a built in wardrobe with shelves (one is lockable), drawers and hanging space, a desk with drawers, a chair or two (you may request more) and a bookcase. You will also be provided with two pillows and one single duvet, although you may prefer to bring your own. You are to bring your own sheets and covers. There are also some ensuites available at a premium cost – these are mostly present in Cripps.
Some rooms aren’t terribly well lit, although the workspace always is. You may want to bring an extra lamp or buy a couple of up-lighters, although it might be better to wait until coming to judge for yourself. You can also bring posters and photos to brighten up the plain walls.
In Cripps you share a shower, toilet and kitchen with the three others on your landing unless you have an en-suite where the only the latter is shared. You share with one other in North or Chapel Courts. The kitchens have a sink, a fridge and some hobs. Cripps kitchens are much larger (as they are shared by more students) and as well as larger fridge/freezer space, there are also microwaves, toasters, kettles and on some lucky landings, an oven or grill. These luxuries are not available in all North/Chapel court sets so it’s advisable to bring them if you’ll use them. You will need to bring your own cutlery, crockery, pots, pans etc. If you want to travel lightly, Sainsbury’s and various home stores in town should be fully stocked out ready for Fresher’s. Toasty makers are also a fool proof way of becoming popular with the people you share a kitchen with.
North and Chapel Courts definitely have their advantages as these rooms are decently furnished, they can have cheaper rent than the large Cripps rooms and are close to the front of college so are good for rushing to and from lectures! If you choose to live in Northampton Street, you will live in a large house with around 8 other students. You’ll have your own room with a sink and then share facilities such as bathrooms, kitchens and a living room with your housemates. The choice of room you make will depend on your ballot position and what you want.
Many fresher’s worry too much about where to live in first year, especially due to the social aspects. Although there are a higher concentration of freshers in Cripps than other parts of college, if you get involved in the activities available in fresher’s week, your location in college WILL NOT affect your ability to make friends and feel part of the inclusive Johnian community.
Click here to view the St John’s accommodation gallery.
Click here to enter the St John’s room system where you can find pictures of individual rooms and where you can choose a room (you will need login details).
College Map with Staircases Labelled: