How to Choose the Right Uni Accommodation for You
Student life can be challenging. It’s a time when you have to make some huge decisions that will have an impact on your future. You have to choose the right course, the right city and the right accommodation – and the chances are you’ll have to make these choices while studying towards getting good enough A-level results to gain a place, so it’s a lot to take in.
Your time at uni is crucial, because you’ll be working hard to give yourself the best possible chance at a future career – and have a really good time in the process. The best accommodation is the type of place that gives you everything that you need to make the most of the student experience, facilitating the balance between your uni work and your social life.
So we’ve put together an outline of the sort of things you should be looking for in good student accommodation:
If this is your first time living away from home, you’ll probably realise how much you take for granted – we’ve all been there. Looking after yourself can be overwhelming, especially when you’ve got bigger things to worry about – like figuring out who’s going to be hosting pre-drinks before the next night out.
When looking for student accommodation, it’s a good idea to find somewhere that has all of the facilities that you need on-site or nearby. Make sure it includes basic amenities such as a cooker, TV and internet access, as this will keep your costs down in the long run. We know that you’ll be looking to socialise with your fellow students, so you might want to keep an eye out for good communal areas, as well as plenty of study spaces where you can get your head down and do a bit of work when you need to.
One of the biggest struggles of student life is managing your money properly, and a bit of forward thinking goes a long way. There are a few things that you have to pay for, like food, toilet paper and more importantly a place to live.
It might be tempting to go for the cheapest option, but you’ll find that many private landlords overcharge for substandard housing, which means you can only save a bit of money if you’re prepared to sacrifice basic things like cleanliness. It’s better to look at it from a ‘good value for money’ perspective rather than trying to find the cheapest option.
Living in purpose-built accommodation is a popular option. These residences are tailored to suit different needs; students seeking plenty of space to knuckle down can pay more for a private studio apartment, while those looking for a more social experience can opt for a room in a 5- or 6-bed shared apartment – perfect for making new friends.
When choosing your university, an important factor to consider is whether the town or city is right for you – some people prefer smaller, tight-knit communities, while others prefer larger, busier places. Liking the city where you live is going to make the next few years of your life that bit easier, and the same logic applies when choosing your accommodation.
The most desirable student accommodation will be located close to your university, and living nearby will make life a little bit easier for you. If you live far away from your uni campus, you’ll find yourself spending a lot of time travelling back and forth. When you’ve had a late night, that extra time could be spent in bed while you recover, or if you’re a morning person you’ll probably find that you can use it to get ahead on work, giving your more time in the evenings for relaxing and seeing your friends.
If the accommodation option isn’t close to your uni, find out if there are good transport links. If you find yourself having to get two buses to get to your lectures on time, your day will revolve around your commute rather than your studies – and you might find that you’re too tired to enjoy yourself as well. It’s also a good idea to consider how accessible bars, shops and cafes are from your accommodation, because having to travel far on a regular basis could mean you spend more on travel than if you choose to live centrally.
Choosing the right uni accommodation is a big decision, there’s no disputing that. You’ll be spending at least a year living there, so it’s important that you choose somewhere that suits your needs. Remember to try and find yourself accommodation that gives you the best value for money, has everything you need on-site or nearby, and is close enough to your campus to make sure that your time at uni is stress-free.
Bio: Daniel Sefton is a writer for dwell Student Living, providers of modern, purpose-built student accommodation in four major UK cities.