When you choose to go to university, there are three major decisions you need to make. The first is what you want to study, the second is where you want to study it and the third is where you’re going to live.
Your choice of where to live should be given a lot of thought. It’s important to know all of your options before you make your final decision.
One thing you should definitely look into is the cost of different accommodation options. It will be one of your primary concerns.
This tends to be the most popular choice for students. There’s no denying it comes with numerous benefits, including the fact that it’s easier to make friends. You’re also based within the university, which means you don’t have to worry about travelling and getting to classes on time.
You don’t need to worry about having a landlord or paying for other bills, so it’s a great first step to living by yourself when you’re only used to living with your parents to date.
The only problem with applying to live in university halls is the fact there is a lot of competition for rooms. There may not be a space available so you need to be prepared for other options.
A very similar option to university halls is living within a student complex. These tend to be owned by private companies and in some cases they partner with universities too. They are usually located right next to the university and they can come with a variety of facilities.
It’s always important to do your research into each student complex before you decide whether or not to live there. You need to know what bills will be included within the rental and what facilities you can expect to have available. Are there any communal spaces? These are just some of the questions you need to ask.
If living amongst so many students doesn’t appeal to you, there are other options. Shared accommodation tends to be quite popular. You’ll often find private rentals where people are looking for housemates.
You’ll need to make sure the ad clearly states that students are welcome. Many homeowners prefer professionals living with them. However, there is a good selection of homeowners who are open to having university students live with them.
Shared accommodation is a lot cheaper than renting by yourself. It will also provide you with a lot of independence. The rent you pay will typically cover most of your bills apart from food, so that’s another advantage.
The only potential downsides which you need to consider include the house rules you will need to follow. For example, you might not be able to have your music on very loud. You have to be respectful of the other person and get to know the rules before you agree to move in.
If you can afford to, private renting is an ideal solution. You get complete independence and your own space. You can do what you want to do, when you want to do it. However, with renting a house comes a lot of responsibility.
You will be in charge of all bills such as electricity, water, telephone and broadband. You also have to deal with a landlord. There are just as many disadvantages as there are advantages, so you need to carefully consider this option.
Living at home
Of course, you don’t have to move just because you’re heading to university. You can still choose to live at home. If you can afford the travelling expenses, this option could save you a lot of money. The only downside is you will miss out on the social aspect of going to university and staying within the halls.
Jane Hawes is in her third year of dentistry, but writes about student life whenever she gets chance. She writes for Vita Exeter student accommodation.