Olivia Taylor

Where to Live in First Year at University

There are a few potential choices for accommodation during your first year at University – here is the pros and cons of your options. 

Stay at Home:

PROS

  • If you stay at home, it is likely that you’ll save money on rent, bills and food
  • If you have access needs, it might be easier for you to meet these at your family home 
  • You can avoid the stress of having to move and living in a potentially loud, unfamiliar accommodation 
  • You will have home comforts (parents cooking, washing clothes, childhood bedroom etc) 

CONS

  • You are limited in the University that you you will be able to commute too 
  • You might have a long commute time 
  • You won’t get as big a maintenance loan
  • You might still have to follow rules from your family
  • It could be harder to fit in to University  so you will need to make more efforts 

University Halls:

PROS

  • You can get an ensuite and have some privacy 
  • There is often a range of rooms to meet all budgets 
  • It’s a great way to meet people and make new friends
  • You might be able to live with people of the same gender, religious similarities or a quiet accommodation if these things are important to you
  • It may be easier than privately renting because bills are often included

CONS

  • It can be really noisy in halls and hard to relax
  • The kitchens and shared bathrooms can get very messy quickly
  • It can be nerve-wracking moving in with strangers that you don’t get to choose
  • It can be more expensive than other options
  • There might be a lot of alcohol around – if you don’t drink, this might be difficult 
  • Your “lease” (aka your contract) often doesn’t cover the whole year, so you have to return home for months during summer

Private Renting:

PROS

  • You can find a situation that suits your best (lodging, renting with other students, renting a studio flat etc)
  • You can use a student-based letting agent to move in with other students and make friends 
  • You have the most independance in private accommodation 
  • You can find accommodation to best suit your budget 
  • Sometimes you can rent closer to University, than University Halls are at

CONS

  • It can be difficult working out and budgeting with your bills
  • There can be some difficult landlords 
  • There are some private renting scams you need to watch out for 
  • You might be out of the centre of socialising in halls