Choosing the right university for you is a hard choice which includes numerous open days and looking through endless prospectuses. When you’ve finally found a course and university you love you’re still not finished. Now you must think about another thing. A decision that’s almost as important as what university you chose.
Student Accommodation or Live at Home?
It’s a tricky decision that may even alter your university choice so here’s some things to consider.
Most halls are right on campus so you can literally roll out of bed and you’re in a lecture. There’s usually a shop nearby and they tend to be quite close to town. Everything you need is within walking distance and having your weekly shopping delivered is no problem! The library is close enough for late night work and printing and there’s always someone on hand to help.
You may have to travel further and longer in the morning to get to your lectures which can be a pain between lectures. Events and societies are usually held on campus and surrounding which can sometimes conflict with travel times and cause a bit of a problem.
You live with other students and live next door to other students and are basically surrounded by students making it really easy to make friends. Especially during fresher’s week you’ll find you make friends without even intending to. The people you see every day in lectures are more than likely to live nearby too.
It can be harder to make new friends when living at home as you’re not always surrounded by students. You’ll be so comfortable about your friends at home that it’s easy to just make plans with them instead. Joining societies however and nipping to the pub after lectures can help but if you’re not that type of person then you may struggle.
Halls and private accommodation can be quite pricey but usually fully inclusive meaning things like wifi and electricity are included. It’ll definitely add to your debt but in halls there’s usually 24/7 security and housekeeping for help with things like cold water. You will have to buy all your own food and shower supplies which can either cost you loads or if you buy food as a flat cost you less. You’ll need new bedding and your own set of kitchen equipment which adds to the never ending cost.
At home you mostly have to think about travel costs which aren’t too bad depending on what deals you can find. Your parents may want a contribution to food costs or rent but if not then great, less debt for you! If you own your own house or rent your own house then there can be a price problem. You’ll have to pay for rent, then bills and a landline you’ll never use just for internet. You’ll get council tax for free because you’re a student but it can still cost quite a lot.
Basically you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. You learn to cook, you learn to wash your own laundry, you learn finances and how to handle money. You can go out when you want, to wherever you want, whenever you want. You of course can’t have things like candles and fryers in halls but you can stay up as late as you want and eat pizza every night.
Your parents probably won’t mind if you come home late as long as you’re not loud and will probably like it if you did your own washing but it’s so easy to slip into a routine of letting your parents do it.
Cleaning is one of the biggest disputes in student halls. Either you are the messy one and don’t want to be moaned at, you’ll get it done in your own time. Or you’re super clean and hate the mess your flatmates make. Either way, passive-aggressive notes will be left around the flat and falling outs are inevitable. You don’t get to choose who you live with for the most part so if you end up with someone really messy who doesn’t shower or someone overly clean that writes angry notes there’s not much you can really do. You can of course reference friends but it’s not always possible to be placed with them.
Your only chore at home is probably the washing up and keeping your room tidy yes? It’s likely you’ll do your own laundry but
really that’s not too hard. You’ve been living with your smelly brother for years so you don’t mind!
You’ll be living with students, it’s going to be loud. There’ll be loud music every day of the week –even Sundays. You’ll find girls get up early and have showers and boys stay up late on video games, it can’t be helped! Sometimes it can seem like there’s not a lot of privacy or peace to do work but everyone’s going through the same things so be polite and ask for quiet. Flat parties aren’t usually permitted and will normally be closed down before too late.
Boys can be noisy up, late on video games. Aside from that one house of noisy people on your street you probably don’t have a lot to complain about. It’s more than likely you’ll be the loudest one there! Get ready for some quiet afternoons where you can sit and do work and some quiet mornings to lie-in.