University

Why it’s OK to stay in student accommodation rather than getting a house

The Growing Up Guide house halls accommodation university

They say your years at University are the best years of your life.  I’m not too sure who ‘they’ are, but they’re right! With all the University clubs and societies to get involved in, lifelong friendships to be made, the opportunity to learn about an area where your passions lie and the freedom of living away from home – University is a fun experience for most.

With that said, I hate to break it you but being a student is not all fun and games like Channel 4’s ’Fresh Meat’ portrays. Fresh Meat tells the story of six first-year students that live in a shared house off-campus in Manchester rather than University halls of residence. University triggers many challenges.

Some of these challenges are completely unavoidable and part of the growing up process. However, some obstacles can be diluted or even avoided because of simple things like your living arrangements.

Most universities provide all ‘fresher’s’ with guaranteed accommodation. However, when it gets to your second and third years of the University experience there seems to be this unwritten rule that it’s protocol to move into a student house. It’s almost as if there is a socially constructed element of embarrassment to be experienced if you stay in halls of residence.

As someone who opted not to move into a student house and survived University, I can confirm there are absolutely no consequences of staying within the halls of residence student community. In fact, there are loads of benefits that come from staying in student halls/ accommodation rather than getting a house or a flat.

So, let’s pretend you’re living in a student house full of your closest friends. Living with them, going out with them, staying in with them, studying with them, shopping with them, holidaying with them, eating with them and doing all the activities known to man with them, has the potential to put pressure on even the closest of relationships.

Whilst there is this fantasy that living in a student house will involve staying up until 6am and drinking until you forget what planet you are on – a student house may not be the best option if you wish to maintain relationships, avoid unnecessary emotional drama and graduate with a degree.

Don’t let a different living environment trick you into thinking you can’t still enjoy the benefits of a tight nit friendship group. You can still have a great social life by visiting friends in student houses, going to house parties and then leaving carefree without having to clean up the by-product of empty bottles and mess usually popular with most student house parties.

There is also a huge financial benefit to living in student halls. In most halls of residence, everything is included within the cost of rent. There are no nasty surprise electricity bills to contend with and better yet, no arguments over how to divide the water bill amongst your housemates.

Finally, student accommodation and its weird and wonderfulness provides the optimal environment to meet individuals you wouldn’t necessarily meet every day.  You’re all of a similar age yet from different paths of life and different corners of the world.

And if that’s not a good enough reason, most student accommodation associations hold events (usually free and involving food or booze!) to allow you to keep constantly meeting new people.

Living in student accommodation presents the best of both worlds – having a great social life sans the mess and dramas of student housing. So, if all of the above hasn’t demolished the stigma that student housing is superior to university halls of residence, the horror stories of student houses being infested by mice or other creatures just might.

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