University

What it’s really like to live in student digs

students, coffee, laptops, studying

For most students, student digs isn’t exactly your first choice, when it comes to your choice of accommodation for your academic year.

However, with the rising demand for accommodation – and dwindling availability of said accommodation. And the rising costs of rental for students houses, digs is becoming a far more considerable option.

Impartial to what some may think, I’m about to tell you just why living in digs is not that bad after all!

Don’t get me wrong. I, like every other incoming first year was very eager to get a place in on-campus accommodation and was placed on the mile-long waiting list. As I waited I looked up housing in the surrounding area of the University of Limerick.

As you could only imagine by the middle of August the array of available rooms to rent was pretty much non-existent, and those that were available were at sky-high rates, with payment required immediately in a bid to secure your place.

Nothing ideal was coming my way, so the inevitable happened. With deep annoyance and even a little gloom, I set about refining my search to student digs and lodgings rather than student house-sharing.

After a few hours, I had reduced the available rooms in student digs to my top two. I based my choice of these two on the fact that it wasn’t living with a huge family. I viewed both houses and chose the second – the one with a second room that was to be rented out to another student, someone I hoped I’d get along with.

On meeting my landlady I had eased off about living in digs, especially now that I knew I would be sharing with another student.

Ideal for first years

For my first year in college, I feel like student digs was actually the best option. My plan had been to try to find accommodation for the second semester – and I even got offered a place on campus, but by this time I was more than adapted to this new lifestyle.

I made a great friend in the other girl, and I was nervous about starting afresh, in a new house full of strangers. Granted, I could have made friends in student housing, but the lodging was a more relaxed place, and my then housemate and I were confident in going into student housing together for our second year.

Restrictions

 One of the key ‘pros’ when it came to living in student digs, particularly in my first year, is that though you aren’t exactly “bossed” around.

Your house is obviously going to be completely off the list when it comes to everyone getting ready together and having a “few” drinks before they head out (if you decide to head out after all the craic that’s had at pre-drinks).

This was ideal, as house-parties can get messy, and I was always able to go back to my clean, tidy student dig.

Home from home

To some, this may not actually come across appetizing, and I’m on your same wavelength in one way. But when you’re a 17-year-old culchie that’s moved to another county (even if it’s only an hour and a bit away) this may appeal to you, somewhat.

Particularly, if you’re under the belief you may become homesick, which I had the absolute pleasure of experiencing in my first two weeks of college.

Secondly, there was only so long I was going to live off ‘pot- noodle’ for when I could tell my lovely landlady was keeping track.

I definitely, enforced a proper dinner (if anything else!) daily, once I’d settled in, mainly to keep her happy, because I knew she was keeping track of how it was the fourth day in a row that I’d had the good ol’ faithful pot noodle for a dinner.

Of course, not every live- in landlady/lord is going to be as nice, I’m sure I got lucky, as she often had hot water bottles, and the heaters turned on in our rooms for when we came home from a night out, which was a real homely touch.

Cost

Student accommodation is so expensive, but living in digs for the first year, settled me in, and has made me aware of what would be expected for my second year of college. Most families don’t even expect you to pay for the weeks you’re not in, which saved me and my housemate so much in our first year.

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