I'm going into my 4th year of University. I lived in college-owned accommodation for the first 3 years. I balloted in January for a college-owned room for 4th year, but this summer (June) I signed a contract to let a privately owned property with some friends. After signing the contract I emailed college to tell them I no longer wanted the room that I balloted for. I received an email saying that this could be arranged, but that I should have let college know when I balloted back in January.

(I thought it would be better to wait until I had finalised my contract, but I can see that doing so was unhelpful for college.)

My name has been taken off from the college-owned room, but I did make a mistake by not letting them know in January.

I have already apologised for miscommunicating, but I'm wondering if there is some better way I could apologise and/or thank the dean for changing my college accommodation contract at such short notice? This is more of a "professional" relationship rather than a personal one, so I'm not sure a card and a chocolate would be appropriate.

My best thought so far is an email along the lines of: "I realise I made a mistake not letting you know in January. I would like to thank you for being so flexible even on short notice." Although it just seems a little too short/not enough.


1 Answer 1


If you send an email or a letter thanking them, you're just giving them more work--you already sent them an apology, and there's no real reason to send them another one other than making them read letters from someone they don't really know personally. One written apology is polite and shows them you appreciate their work, two written apologies about the same thing is kind of a waste of time for everyone involved.

I live in the US, and if I felt like a written apology for a relationship that is strictly professional and has no personal component to it wasn't enough, I would bring the person a box of donuts. These can be shared (there's no commitment for the person I give them to to use them), they're enjoyed by 95% of people (it's unlikely that the gift will be unappreciated), and it's seen as an informal gift (it's seen as a cheap but nice gift, not something with a commitment attached to it). I don't know what the equivalent of this would be in the UK, but something with those three characteristics should work.

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