It’s an exciting time when heading to university for the first time. There’s so much to do! Where are the best eating places? What offers can you bag at the shops and bars?
Many students move all over the country to start the next chapter of their lives. For some, where you lay your head isn’t exactly a top priority, but if it’s something that’s on your long list of things to check, looking for student accommodation can be quite a stressful time.
So, how should you best choose student accommodation?
#1 If you can afford it, choose luxury
Have you accepted your university offer? Have you applied for any loans or grants? If you have, now is the time to work out your budget for the year –this will ensure you’re not overspending and that you can afford your rent.
The good thing is that most, if not all, rented student accommodation include bills and internet, so you only need to worry about one expense. It’s always worth it to spend a little more than the bare minimum to live in the best accommodation you can afford – it’s going to be your home for the best part of a year so you want to make sure you’re comfortable, especially if you do actually want to knuckle down and get good grades.
#2 Don’t always go for the closest option
On-campus accommodation is great – you can be up and out of the door and arrive at your class in ten minutes! But usually these spaces get booked up fairly quickly, so it’s always best to have other options.
Choosing accommodation that’s a bit further away than your university is a good way for you to get to know the place you’ll be living in for the next three or more years – as long as your commute isn’t awful, add it to your list of living options just in case everywhere else gets booked up fast.
#3 Check and double check what’s included
Don’t assume all places offer free internet in with the package – make sure it’s included, if that’s important to you. It’s also worth checking the deposit rules – if you’re living with a messy housemate the end of the year is not the best way to discover you won’t get your deposit back because of a hefty cleaning bill!
#4 Find friends
Some student accommodation places use social media to allow you to connect with the people you’ll be living with for the next year – get in touch with your future housemates and meet up before you move in together – it’ll make the transition much smoother, and by the time you move in it’ll already feel like you’re living with friends instead of strangers.
Most importantly, don’t feel obliged to stay in the same place year on year. Get to know your new town or city by living in different areas and seeing what it can offer!