As if enrolling for a degree on which your future career probably depends isn’t daunting enough, being a university student also comes with the grown-up decision of where to stay while you study.
Usually, the four options are staying at home or sharing accommodation in university halls, private student halls or private accommodation. Despite student accommodation now costing upwards of £12 000 a year and the maximum student loan being less than £6 000 per annum, only 20% of students choose to live at home, according to the Guardian. Whatever your decision, the choice of living arrangement selection is a costly one in more than just monetary terms.
Staying at home
There are many obvious plusses to staying at home. But research also suggests that the luxury of being rent-free comes at a surprising cost: live-at-home students are less likely to achieve top grades and likely to end up in non-graduate jobs.
This could be down to being far away from important resources such as the student library or engaging less in extra-curricular jobs and activities that are often associated with having a more rounded skills set on a CV.
Accommodation managed by universities have nearly the same benefits as complexes purpose-built for students. Both of this ease you into independence, allow you to socialise with the student set readily and mean you have ready access to study resources. University halls may be more expensive as they often come with free Wi-Fi and catered meals.
Another pitfall is that chances of choosing your roommate are limited, with exceptions being made only in certain cases. This may not be ideal if you are a person who values your private space and quiet time.
The upside is that you are likely to make new and interesting friends, especially if you are interested in expanding your social network. This is also a good way to build a buddy system for hitting the town because all work and no play is no good at all.
Private accommodation or house share
This is great as you may find accommodation at a great price and choose your flatmates but do your research. Check what is included and see if your university has preferred letting agents. You’ll need to learn to budget and to be able to deal with tenants and landlords directly.
Part of being on your own, budgeting and negotiating university in general means knowing when to delegate, including when it comes to online essay writing. There are numerous service providers you could use to guide you or model an essay for you, but always make sure of the exact scope of the service you’ll receive for the quoted price. It’s always important to look for reviews, just as you would when deciding on your student digs.
Student life is about balancing a juggling act of finances, academia, social engagements and student jobs. One of the most critical choices you’ll make is where to stay – make sure it saves your sanity and doesn’t detract from it.
Only you will know if you need to prioritise paying more for catered meals versus getting to choose your own housemates. Choose wisely, as the outcome will affect your studies, grades, career and – ultimately – rest of your life.