Heading to university is a daunting life change: you are faced with the prospect of leaving everything you know behind in order to tackle a brand new degree, all while trying to make new friends and finding the time to balance a social life. But before you even get to begin your course, you first have to face one of the hardest decisions of your student life: choosing where to live. For some students, living in traditional halls is the right way to go; others prefer private halls or rented accommodation, and a few even decide to stick with the convenience of staying at home with family. The question is: what’s the best option for you?
There are lots of positives to living in university-managed accommodation, especially if you are heading into your first year of university. Living with other students can be one of the best ways to make friends, and also provides a sense of camaraderie in a new environment. University accommodation is almost always a lot more conveniently placed for getting to campus for lectures an events, in comparison to living elsewhere. Not to mention that if you run into any concerns, you will be well supported by the university.
However, on the flip side, when you live in student halls, you don’t get a choice as to who you live with, and you are unlikely to meet your new flatmates until your moving day. While your new flatmates might turn out to be your best friends, you may also find that you aren’t suited to one another. You may also have to deal with the fact that living with other students also means putting up with a lot of noise, something which you have very little control over.
Private Rented Accommodation
There are commonly two types of private accommodation made available for students. The first is private student halls, which have many of the same conveniences as university managed accommodation, such as being near all of the action, having more facilities onsite or nearby, and some rental agreements offer perks such as having bills included in a price plan. Although, unlike university managed accommodation, you will have to deal with a third party landlord when you are faced with any issues, and costs can be higher upfront compared to university accommodation. Plus, you also have to face some of the downsides of university halls, such as not being able to choose who you live with.
Luckily, if you choose to go into privately rented student accommodation outside of halls, you may well get to choose who you live with. As an alternative to halls, you may well decide just to find a flat or house which has been marketed for student living. These homes often provide a more peaceful atmosphere, and, of course, you can shop around to find a home which suits your needs. There are a few downsides to this form of private accommodation, such as the houses are often more out of the way than halls, landlords are not always the easiest to deal with, and bills can be a lot higher.
Living at Home
As an alternative, living at home can offer some benefits over student accommodation, such as not having to relocate, not having to pay bills, and having more control over the noise level in and around your home. Living at home also allows you to keep the support of your family around you while you are studying, although it may hinder your social life slightly. If your home isn’t situated near your university, you could also be faced with a long commute. Plus, there is also the downside of not having as much freedom as you would in your own accommodation, as you still have to live by your parents’ rules.