With more students going to university today than ever before, it can be easy to get swept up in the academic and social experience in your early days and not think enough about where to live until you find yourself paying too much to be somewhere you don’t want to be. To avoid this, consider the following.
Proximity to campus (and knowing where you need to be)
If you have the chance to go to an open day at your chosen university before you arrive, be sure to check where you will need to be for your lectures in the coming years and let this shape your housing choices accordingly. If your university has multiple campuses be sure to live near the right one! On a less extreme scale, universities can be spread across cities and it is possible that the building where your lectures take place will be ten minutes’ walk further away than Google Maps will tell you your campus is, making you late for the first few lectures and putting you at a disadvantage early in the course.
In one Russell Group University first year Business students overwhelmingly chose to live in the expensive accommodation next-door to the Business School only to find out that all their first year lectures took place at the other end of campus.
Noise levels and neighbours
When you are first looking for your own rented flat, you may want to look in your chosen city’s traditional student area. Examples include Newcastle’s Jesmond and Manchester’s Fallowfield. These areas, with high densities of students and few families, bring the advantage that you can host parties and have friends around until late. As long as you let your neighbours know, you are unlikely to ever have a noise complaint. If you want to go down this route it can be best to go around your neighbours’ doors introducing yourself and offering invitations pre-emptively to any events you host. This can avoid any nasty surprises.
However, if you would rather live somewhere quieter for financial reasons or personal preference, don’t worry! Night time events might happen in the student areas, but you can invite friends over in the day time for your own fun at a different tempo, and you’ll still be invited to the fun things in the traditional student neighbourhoods.
Be ready to move but aware of what is important to you
Your student years are likely to be marked by a lot of moves between different properties. Whether you live in halls or not in your first year you will most likely have to find an additional two places to live at least. You can build up a lot of clutter over the years, but don’t underestimate the number of things you genuinely value that can also build up. If you buy good bedding at the start of your Degree, it will last to the end of your studies and beyond and so is worth transporting. So, with good memories and essentials all needing transporting it can be worth going to a service like Man and Van to see how cheaply you can transport everything you need at once. If you are living with the same people over 2 years you can share a van and bring all your moving costs right down.