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Should I commute to university or live in Halls or a house? Watch

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    In my first year of university, I lived in Halls. It was okay, for the most part. I enjoyed being a convenient 10 minute walk from the campus, library, and supermarket. It was nice having my own en-suite room with a simple bed, work desk, and some storage, and a launderette on site. The view of the mountains outside my window every morning was a plus. However, I hated having to share a flat floor with seven other people. I hated how the friends I made in that flat would never understand that my closed door meant "Leave me alone, I'm busy studying" and would knock every hour or barge into my room and bother me for hours. I hated how my rowdier flatmates held loud pre-drinks sessions most every weekend which could go on for sometimes up to four hours. I hated how I had to share a kitchen with these people who would never wash their dishes, or clean up after cooking, or put their things away once they were done with them, and who would buy far more food than they needed (or actually ever used - they often left their food to go forgotten and mouldy) and would steal my drawer in the freezer to store it all. I was so glad to be moving into a house for my second year to get away from these things.

    Now, though, I don't like living in the house much better. I may be living with less people, and they may be my friends, but they're still as loud, messy, and needy as the last bunch. The shared kitchen is still a war-zone, and now it's worse because the shared bathroom is too. The washer and dryer are tiny here and it can take two to three loads to get just one week's worth of laundry done. If you can't get the lift (which you often can't) then the walk to campus is now a rigorous 20 minute walk in which you either have to go up an unforgiving hill or climb seven steep flights of stairs and be a sweaty, smelly mess sitting in your lecture. The house itself has had so many problems - the landlord said it was professionally cleaned before we moved in but it was filthy when I first moved in (sticky surfaces in the kitchen, questionable stains everywhere, massive clumps of dust on the floors, dusty cobwebs all over the ceilings, a musty smell all over), the pipes for the kitchen sink had rusted through so they snapped within a few days of living there and water came spurting out, the seal around the bath had worn away so water was dripping through the ceiling every time we showered, and there's wallpaper peeling all over and the laminate flooring in the kitchen is so badly laid you can actually slide the planks about. Even though there are some things I like about this house (double bed, big desk, cheaper than Halls), being in this house depresses me. I want out.

    My three housemates don't feel the same, though. They want to stay in the house next year, too. I've told them I want to leave and they're fine with it. But this puts them in a bad situation of either trying to find a new fourth housemate, or get a 3 bedroom property with the same landlord (because, problems aside, this landlord isn't too bad), or moving back to where they were. But one of them doesn't want to go back to Halls because it depressed her living in her lonely block (same way living with people depresses me) and the other one was depressed staying at home and commuting and was glad to move into this house. I'd feel so guilty if they lost their happiness in the pursuit of mine, but at the same time it's not fair for me to be miserable in my third year just to make them happy.

    I have thought about moving back to Halls with the first friend - maybe she won't be so depressed there if we share a floor. But then I just know she'll be bothering me all the time wanting to hang out when I just want to study, and she won't have the other two friends there to satisfy her social needs in my place. And we can't guarantee what our other flatmates will be like - they could be just as rowdy and messy as the last ones, if not rowdier and messier. When I'm writing my dissertation next year, the last thing I'll want to be dealing with is loud, messy, bothersome flatmates. We could move into the registered Quiet Block, where hopefully there won't be any rowdy Freshers, but it has less facilities than the newer blocks, so it'll be more uncomfortable, and its less convenient too.

    I have thought about renting a 1 bedroom flat or a studio flat as well - somewhere I can be all on my own. There are a few places which would be just perfect for me! But they're all way out of my budget!

    So now I'm considering commuting. They say that you have less contact hours in your third year, so hopefully I won't have to commute every day, or if I did I would be able to go home early at least. With a Railcard it would only be £9.10 a day, only £50 a week even if I'm in every day. That's already cheaper than both Halls and the house I'm in right now. I could study in the library in-between classes and while waiting for trains. The commute would be about 3 hours in all (door-to-door, 1 hour and 20 minutes each way, allowing 20 minutes for traffic or other delays). And at the end of every day I could return to my family home where I don't have to worry about there being loud, messy, needy people (my family generally respect my personal space). I'm not at all a social person so I don't care about missing out on clubs or society meets or parties or hang-outs with my friends. I just want to study. But commuting may be inconvenient if, for example, I get home and realise I forgot to return a book to the library, and I can't go back easily, so then I get a fine. And 3 hours commuting is time which could be spent studying. That's 15 hours in a working week. But I usually lose a whole entire day anyway when I have to do my laundry and clean my room in Halls or my house every week - something I wouldn't have to do if I lived at home.

    Basically, there are pros and cons to everything. And I don't know what to do. TLDR; It'd be more convenient living out, but it'd be more expensive and I'd be more uncomfortable. And it'd be cheaper commuting and I'd be more comfortable living at home, but it'd be more inconvenient. Should I choose comfort over convenience, or the other way around? Should I make a compromise somewhere and suffer with the problems of Halls or the house, or suffer with the tire of travelling? My third and final year will be very important and I don't want to make the wrong decision. Second opinions would be appreciated. Thank you.
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    Commuting definitely sounds like your best option and so long as the train isn't too busy you could sit on a seat with a table and get some study done then.
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    (Original post by alwaysfergy)
    Commuting definitely sounds like your best option and so long as the train isn't too busy you could sit on a seat with a table and get some study done then.
    Thanks for the reply! I don't know how busy the train gets, but I live in a pretty small-town area and go to a small (smaller than some others, at least) university, so it probably wouldn't be too bad. So I think I may commute after all, then, if you think it sounds best as well.
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    Commute up till January then go to student office and ask for a place in halls from Jan to end of the academic year (which in my case was June) bang out the work hard in the library everyday so it don't matter if halls gets loud, I did that for second and third year, got my 2.1 never looked back lol
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    (Original post by ashrafali)
    Commute up till January then go to student office and ask for a place in halls from Jan to end of the academic year (which in my case was June) bang out the work hard in the library everyday so it don't matter if halls gets loud, I did that for second and third year, got my 2.1 never looked back lol
    I don't know about the library, it gets so packed during exam season and I can't get into "Study Mode" in there. Besides, most of my work is online, and all the library computers will be taken over in that season, and all I have on me is an old, rickety laptop that wouldn't survive being taken to the library every day. If my commute isn't working out, though, then I may do as you say and move into Halls in the middle of next year anyway, if they let me. Even the party people tended to quieten down in final exam season. Thanks for the reply! And congratulations on your 2.1!
 
 
 
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