The Keys to Choosing Your Student Accommodation
When you are going to university, there are all sorts of different considerations which you need to make. And one of the major ones is deciding on the place which you are going to be living. Your accommodation will have a major impact on your student life. The people who you live with could prove to be lifelong friends. The bars in the local area could turn out to be your local hangouts. The distance from your university campus will determine how much time you need to spend commuting on a regular basis. So, to give you a helping hand with this very challenging decision, here are some of the key points to consider when you are choosing your student accommodation.
Take a Breath and Don’t Panic
Students accommodation providers tend to put a lot of pressure on, making you think that everywhere is filling up quickly. But you don’t want to find yourself rushed into choosing a place which you are no 100 percent happy with. More and more student rooms are being built in university towns up and down the country, and this means that there is likely to be more than enough to go around. Of course, if you are going into halls of residence and there is a very clear deadline, you should make sure to hit it and make it more likely that you will get a choice that you are happy with.
Decide on Type of Accommodation
When it comes to the type of accommodation which you are going for, you tend to have four main choices: the accommodation provided by the university, student accommodation in the private sector, general private accommodation or living with family. Look what is the norm at the university. Many will house first-years, while others provide accommodation for the duration of your degree course. You need to weigh in a number of factors including your overall budget versus the independence which you will get.
Check Out the Area
No matter whether you are going down the path of private rental or you are going through your university accommodation provider, you should make sure to check out the area thoroughly before making your final decision. As we already mentioned at the start, this is going to have a big impact on your overall university experience. Of course, you can check out student lettings online, and this is always going to be a good way of getting an overview of what is on offer. But you should visit in person if you have the opportunity to do so. Essentially, you are looking at what your street is like, but you should also be checking out what sort of facilities are available, public transportation links etc.
Think About How to Make Improvements
A lot of student accommodation tends to be in properties which need to be ‘fixed up’ in one way or another. So, when you are looking at the different flats or houses, think about the type of jobs which you could realistically do to make things better in terms of your living situation. You need to check with the landlord to find out about whether you can do anything to the place such as paint the walls, hang pictures and artwork etc. But even bringing plenty of personal decorative items and mementoes from home can make all the difference.
Think About the Lifestyle You Want to Live
What constitutes a ‘student experience’ may vary greatly from person to person, so you need to think about how your accommodation is going to match up with your lifestyle. If you are a lively and social person, the proximity to the student union, bars, and clubs is bound to be a major consideration for you. But don’t forget about all the practical considerations as well including cooking facilities etc. Perhaps you are more focused on your studies, and you would prefer some accommodation which is more secluded and quiet. And you should always check out what sort of facilities are available in terms of transportation as well.
Choose Your Housemates Carefully
The people who you live with will end up having a huge overall impact on your university experience. While some people love living with their friends, this is not a choice which suits everybody. And you should also be careful of clashes in personalities which are going to end up leading to tension. Some people may decide that it is worth taking the risk of staying with strangers, and others will want to live alone. Ultimately, try to consider how your choices are going to impact you in the long-run.
Don’t Forget About Practical Issues
Once you have sorted out all the broad details, it is time to look closer at the practical issues which can all add up to impact your overall experience. For example, it is worth checking out how soundproof the walls are, what the shower pressure is like, the number of plug sockets which are available in each room etc. If you are ever unsure, you should make sure to ask plenty of questions to clarify. Even if they seem like simple questions, it is worth clarifying before you move in, rather than getting there to be confronted with some nasty surprises. And apart from all the physical checks which you can do, it is also worth asking questions about bills and expenses.
Choosing your student accommodation properly will stand you in good stead when you get to university, and it can also end up having a big impact on your overall experience. Follow these main points, and you will get a better understanding of what you are looking for in a student house, and how you can make sure that you don’t feel disappointed and have to move further down the line.