You have chosen the college where you wish to study and probably put a good deal of time into that choice. However, what about accommodation? That is often very much an afterthought! Nevertheless, if you don’t find the right place to stay that can seriously affect your studies.
With anything in life, it is often a matter of weighing up the pros and cons, before deciding what is best for you. Essentially there are two choices – either you stay on campus or you stay off campus. But which one? It very much depends on your personal needs and circumstances.
So, let us have a look at both options:
The clear advantage of staying on campus is that everything is close at hand and you don’t have far to travel. You are also living with like-minded people, and you have an instant group of friends and academic associates. Also, you have easy access to support facilities, such as support for health and studying. The social side is not bad! You will make friends quickly and have a good support network. Catering is easy and not too much cleaning to worry about.
On the negative side, it can be a lot more costly and although you can usually choose your roommates, you may not get on with your floormates!
You can take advantage of a variety of housing options and find something that suits you and your personal lifestyle. Also, you can still be not too far away from your campus and tap into the same facilities and services available to those staying on campus. It’s also likely to be cheaper than living on campus and you can save money by doing our own catering.
Off campus housing could be far away from the main hub of where you study. It may be difficult to find roommates and sort out leases (which more often than not, have to be signed in advance and come with hefty deposits which may not come back if your wreck the place!). Cooking and cleaning will be part of your life. Utility bills could be an issue as energy prices rise.
It is not always possible to acquire on campus accommodation for a variety of reasons. It may not always be available, or it may simply be full up if you have not been able to secure it quick enough.
At the end of the day, if you do have the choice, it does come down to personal preference and personal circumstances. If you are going to choose off campus housing, you will want to take the time to select the right property with the facilities that suit your requirements. Most students would want to share as this keeps the cost down. A group of friends banding together to select the ideal property is the way to go. Compromise will always be necessary, so do be flexible. Getting the right housing can be a key part of your student experience and the wrong accommodation can have an adverse impact on your studies.