From what I am seeing about, there are a lot of prospective first year students now applying for their halls of residence or new accommodations. So, let's talk about halls!
Personally when applying to halls I put my preference as mixed flats with en suite, for those of you Bishop Grosseteste students, that would be Wickham Halls, with Constance Stewart Hall as my second choice, with it's communal bathrooms and more students about.
I was very split about being in a flat of myself and five others - should I become a hermit, I have my en suite, there's no reason for me to leave my room other than to eat. Even then, I will probably keep my food separate and eat alone, unless I like the five others I live with.
Do I live in a corridor of about 30 students, with communal bathrooms, and share a kitchen with whoever. More people, more chance of liking people - or at least some of them - again, food and kitchen, I can eat alone or if I make enough friends we could eat and shop together.
Well, I ended up in the communal halls, and when I received that information, I was somewhat relieved, which tells me, it's what I wanted all along. It was one of the best things too, I was placed on a mixed floor, so I had that option, and it turned out that those communal bathrooms, worked out as about 3 students pair bathroom, and there's a sink in my bedroom where I can do makeup, brush teeth, all the mundane daily routine. Kitchens basically worked out at the same as the other halls, with 6 students to a kitchen, apart from the kitchen with the communal TV (and sofas in the really big one), which was one per end of the corridor. However, it's really good for film nights and hosting parties.
Communal halls make it so much easier to party as there is so much more space - but that's not to cause concern, noise isn't the worst, with your door keeping out a lot of the noise, and once people go out at 11/11:30pm the noise completely going.
If I was to go back and do it again, I would actively choose mixed communal halls as it was one of the best experiences - walking out of my door to literally have someone different to talk to at any time. So many personalities, with different interests and hobbies. You'll always find someone you work well with, and you'll find a friend for life.