So, you’ve got your place on that course you wanted. It’s in a big city, there’s a buzzy atmosphere, but where are you going to live?
Sure, the temptation to move into a shared house and claim that independence you’ve been craving for years is great – but is it the best option for your first student home?
Student halls are certainly the most popular and obvious choice for new starters as they provide a host of fresh faces to befriend. All of the action is on your doorstep and you get the safe haven of living on campus – it’s pretty sweet to say the least.
Living in halls allows you to operate at the heart of the student experience without the need to seek out what your new surroundings have to offer – it all comes to your door thanks to promo students and the on-site staff. You’re in good company too, with all your fellow first year cohorts living in your block.
In fact some halls, which are provided by universities themselves or in partnership with private providers, have on-site cleaners and laundrettes. The question is whether you want to swap these facilities for the independence of a shared house.
There’s a lot of choice in student accommodation these days. Some of the newer ones offer facilities fit for plush hotels, with huge cinema screens and state-of-the-art gyms. Though they come at a price, you can rent privately via a landlord or lettings agency – an option many students take up for their second and third years.
Choosing the halls you stay in is another story, but much of your decision depends on how far your student loan will stretch, and how active you want your social life to be.
It is true that halls do help to bridge that gap between the security of living with your parents and complete independence – a half-way house between the two that will help edge you into the real world after flying the nest.
You’ll be provided with a little extra security and support than you would have in a house, as bills will be included in the overall cost, which you will really start to miss when you have to begin paying for electricity!
When you are taking a big leap, it’s always best to aim for the softest landing. Apply that philosophy to your exciting new adventure, and you can’t go wrong.