Moving away from home and into student houses and halls is daunting.
You’ve got to worry about paying bills, doing your own washing and remembering to fill the fridge every week – and hope that none of your housemates will steal your favourite yoghurts!
If you’re yet to choose accommodation for this year just yet, don’t stop reading: below, we’ve put together some of the reasons why choosing a student house over university halls makes sense…
You’ll live in the heart of the city
Being able to choose where you live in the heart of the city will no doubt give you more of a sense of community, and allow you to make new friends and build relationships away from your campus.
When you choose student accommodation Newcastle, for example, you’ll be able to select an apartment or house close to the city centre where you’ll have access to amenities like cinemas, theatres, bars and clubs, and shopping centres like Eldon Square – which is not so good news if you’re a shopaholic trying not to spend all of your student loan!
It’s often more affordable
Though the price of student accommodation will naturally come as a shock to you, you might find that private rented accommodation is more affordable than living in student halls.
Sure, all of your bills are included in halls, but the university inflates the price to accommodate this.
By moving into your own house or apartment with friends, you can split bills and save money in the process, so shop around to find the best student accommodation your budget allows.
Choose who you live with
Living in halls with a bunch of strangers who’ve been thrown together for a whole year can be tough – especially if you’re not an outgoing person who can make new friends at the drop of a hat.
The truth is that student accommodation is so random – you never know who you’re going to be living with – and the chances are that there’ll be at least one person you don’t really get on with.
By moving into a student house, you’ll be able to choose friends from your course or friends you’ve made in halls, which will result in a much better atmosphere.
The last thing you want is to share a house with someone who blasts their music all hours of the evening – when renting a house, you’ll be more comfortable knowing who you’re living with.
It feels more homely
You can either choose to live in identical flats where every bedroom and communal area is the same, or rent a house and make a home with a group of friends.
Every house and flat is different, and though they’re not all offering five-star accommodation, you can very quickly make a house a home and relax and unwind more than you would if you were living in halls.
It’s natural to feel homesick as a student, but if you’re living in a hall with strict rules on things such as posters and decorations, it can feel like you’re trapped away from your loved ones.
By moving into private accommodation, you’ll likely be allowed to redecorate and add personal touches such as posters, paintings, and photographs of your friends and family, which is going to make you feel much more at home than in a student hall.
Of course, you should check with your landlord to ensure you’re allowed to redecorate before you get out the paintbrush – the last thing you want is to be fined or asked to repaint it back to white!
Choose where you live
Another major benefit of renting from a private landlord over living in student halls is that you will have more choice over where you can live.
More often than not, student halls are super close by to campuses, which is good when you’re running late and need to get to class in a hurry, but not so good when you want to relax away from university with friends.
What’s more, if you live on campus, then it can feel like you’re never getting a break from university life, and everything you do will involve sitting around your university’s facilities, whether that’s hanging out with your new friends in the library or going for a bite to eat in the student union.
Renting a house away from campus means you’ll be able to live close to shops, bars, and food outlets or even live closer to transport links such as train stations so you can visit your family.
What’s more, you might be able to find accommodation in a more affluent area with better facilities such as gyms, parks, and tourist attractions that you can explore on days off.
You have more freedom
Though student housing firms and private landlords will hand you a list of rules, terms, and conditions, they’re often more relaxed about what you get up to than university halls.
We’re not saying that you should throw a party every weekend or cause mayhem in your local neighbourhood, but you’re probably not going to get into trouble inviting a couple of friends over for drinks before a night out.
More often than not, university halls have strict rules that you must adhere to, whereas renting from a private landlord will give you more freedom to do what you want when you want to do it, which is why it’s more popular amongst students.
Having said that, though, you should make sure you follow the rules and regulations set out by your landlord from the moment you live in their properties.
The last thing you want to happen is to be kicked out of your accommodation mid-term for breaking the rules, or worse still be fined at the end of your tenancy for not looking after your living space.
Be sensible and be grown up about your new home – and you’ll have no problems during your tenancy.
Helps you budget
Finally, a quick word on budgeting.
As a student, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your student loan is free money, or that your parents will bail you out if you need an extra £100 for shopping.
But the truth is, student accommodation is designed to help you prepare for adult life – and a big part of adult life involves money, and budgeting accordingly.
When you move into a student house rather than halls, you’ll be responsible for payments for things like utilities, internet access, contents insurance, and a TV license – all ‘adult’ things.
It’s not easy to get to grips with money and ensure everyone is paying their fair share, but it’s a necessary evil and means that when you’re finished at university, you can move into a flat or apartment and live without having to rely on the bank of mum and dad – or get into debt.
Whatever you choose to do this year, we wish you the best of luck. Choose a house that is warm and helps you to relax and revise so you can achieve the best possible grades!