Don't want to live in halls for first year - should I get private accomodation? Watch

jlee45
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I've applied to Kingston Uni (London) and I'm hoping to get a place there on an undergraduate course even though I'm a bit late applying.

However the idea of halls doesn't appeal to me at all, I know a lot of people say that if you don't live in halls you're missing out on the social side, but the thought of having to share communal kitchens, bathroom etc and the noise late at night, excessive going out and partying all makes me uncomfortable. I'd try and make friends by joining societies.

I've struggled with anxiety basically all my life so I feel like living on my own would be better for me. It would also help me to become independent as at the moment I'm very dependent on my mum.

Is it a good idea to rent out private accomodation further out? I'm looking at Finsbury Park, its about halfway between where I live outside of London and the uni, and I'm totally fine with commuting, I don't want to be too far from my family/friends/bf. How would I look for places to rent? And do I need to find somewhere by a certain time before term starts? I'm just kind of lost and not sure how to do this!!

Any advice would be appreciated
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MinaBee
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If you think that would be better for you than I'd definitely do it. Halls isn't for everyone (I'm in them right now and I'm not really enjoying it) and you really aren't missing out on that much.
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SomMC1
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It's always best to see private accommodation with your own eyes before you decide to rent it out for a year.
I went with my dad last summer to see potential accommodation for me in London and Warwick.

just google 'london studio private accommodation for students'.
I wouldnt advise getting a flat, especially not Y1 bc then youd have to deal with any issues and pay for them. With student studio accommodation, you'd be a part of hundreds of students living in studios and if anything breaks or is bad then you contact the owner of the entire building (like Unite Students, etc) and they pay for it.
Same with Security. those accommodations have their own private security 24/7, so if someone is too loud at 11pm then you call the security on them and the security deals with it. (and if the people dont stop, they could get fined $).
the social areas in new building are nice, too. so it's good to meet some people in the accommodation social areas for pre-drinks before going out with them on a Friday

The studio I was going to get was over 430 pounds a week in London which is quite expensive, so it's much more expensive to have private living than Halls. To compare, the studio private accommodation in Warwick (which is what I bought) is just over 200 pounds a week and it's just as nice as the London one (from the same firm).
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Acsel
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Not everyone enjoys halls, and that's fine. I didn't like my first year in halls as I was stuck with horrendous flatmates. However it's important to really understand what halls are like. And if you want to get over anxiety, not going into halls as a result isn't going to help.

Sharing kitchens isn't really that bad. What about it makes you uncomfortable?
Sharing bathrooms isn't the default option, many halls offer en suite rooms as well. I personally wouldn't want to share a bathroom either, but it's something you can get around.
Excessive going out and partying aren't things you have to partake in if you don't want. Some accommodation is also really accommodating, allowing you to be in quieter "less party" accommodation, which alleviates some of the noise.

At the end of the day, if you choose to look for private accommodation, it is going to have an impact on your life at uni. Living further away can mean you miss out on societies, uni events, etc. If you're looking exclusively for one person private accommodation, you'll also find it more expensive and fairly limiting. A lot of student accommodation caters to 2 or more people. That's not to say you shouldn't do it if you think it's right for you, but it's important to properly research what halls are like, and what restrictions private accommodation will put you under. You don't have to live by yourself to be indepndent, and ultimately if you don't want to live in halls because of anxiety, living in private accommodation won't help you get over it.

It might be outside your comfort zone, but that's the only way many people grow and develop as a person.
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ltsmith
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private accommodation (unite, roost, liberty living, iq, ...) are usually halls though?

you could do a house share if you don't like halls. but that can be hell if you get stuck with druggies and morons.
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jlee45
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(Original post by Acsel)
Not everyone enjoys halls, and that's fine. I didn't like my first year in halls as I was stuck with horrendous flatmates. However it's important to really understand what halls are like. And if you want to get over anxiety, not going into halls as a result isn't going to help.

Sharing kitchens isn't really that bad. What about it makes you uncomfortable?
Sharing bathrooms isn't the default option, many halls offer en suite rooms as well. I personally wouldn't want to share a bathroom either, but it's something you can get around.
Excessive going out and partying aren't things you have to partake in if you don't want. Some accommodation is also really accommodating, allowing you to be in quieter "less party" accommodation, which alleviates some of the noise.

At the end of the day, if you choose to look for private accommodation, it is going to have an impact on your life at uni. Living further away can mean you miss out on societies, uni events, etc. If you're looking exclusively for one person private accommodation, you'll also find it more expensive and fairly limiting. A lot of student accommodation caters to 2 or more people. That's not to say you shouldn't do it if you think it's right for you, but it's important to properly research what halls are like, and what restrictions private accommodation will put you under. You don't have to live by yourself to be indepndent, and ultimately if you don't want to live in halls because of anxiety, living in private accommodation won't help you get over it.

It might be outside your comfort zone, but that's the only way many people grow and develop as a person.
What makes me uncomfortable about sharing kitchens is having to clean and tidy up, other people's mess, and if I do something wrong when cooking I'll end up panicking. Also just constantly being around other people and walking around the halls and stuff always seeing people would make me anxious. I likely wouldn't even go in the kitchen / would be scared to use stuff if other people are in there. My boyfriend lives in a shared house and just going up and down the stairs and around the house scares me, I'm constantly on edge. I think being in halls would just be worse than this. I like having my own space. Obviously you're right in some respects, isolating myself isn't going to help the anxiety, but I wouldn't want living in halls to ruin the whole experience for me.
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jlee45
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(Original post by ltsmith)
private accommodation (unite, roost, liberty living, iq, ...) are usually halls though?

you could do a house share if you don't like halls. but that can be hell if you get stuck with druggies and morons.
I was thinking of renting somewhere myself like a flat or studio maybe
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tesconyc
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ok princeses. if you can afford it
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Acsel
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(Original post by jlee45)
What makes me uncomfortable about sharing kitchens is having to clean and tidy up, other people's mess, and if I do something wrong when cooking I'll end up panicking. Also just constantly being around other people and walking around the halls and stuff always seeing people would make me anxious. I likely wouldn't even go in the kitchen / would be scared to use stuff if other people are in there. My boyfriend lives in a shared house and just going up and down the stairs and around the house scares me, I'm constantly on edge. I think being in halls would just be worse than this. I like having my own space. Obviously you're right in some respects, isolating myself isn't going to help the anxiety, but I wouldn't want living in halls to ruin the whole experience for me.
Honestly, that's a fair concern. I had that problem in first year and it did suck to be constantly cleaning up after other people.

That said, being around other people is something you'll need to get used to. Even if you're not in halls, you're going to be meeting other people in classes, at societies, etc. It's not really something you can avoid. Similarly when you graduate you'll have to deal with this as well. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you this, but the longer you leave it, the harder it'll be to get over. It basically comes down to whether you want to worry about ruining your time in halls, or ruining the rest of your life.

Personally I would recommend a compromise. Get in touch with the accommodation and explain your situation. Ask what they can do to support you, if you can be in quiet halls or live in smaller halls with fewer flatmates. At least try it and see how things actually go. You may try it, find that the people you're living with a really nice and inclusive, and don't want you to feel anxious. If you don't get on that's fine, you just find private accommodation to move into later, or swap halls, or whatever. Even if you try and have to move, at least you made the effort. Maybe you won't like it, but there will be benefits that help you stick it out. You really won't know unless you try. I didn't really want to go into halls in my first year, and didn't have the best time. But I think it was a really healthy thing for me to do.

If you simply go straight into private accommodation, you're not even giving yourself a chance. The anxiety has already won at that point and is controlling your life. For now, it might not seem like a big issue but maybe later in life that anxiety costs you your dream job. It's hard, but it's necessary to be brave as that's the only way you'll get over it. I'm sure your family/BF will support you. Hopefully that hasn't come across as insensitive or condescending
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jlee45
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(Original post by Acsel)
Honestly, that's a fair concern. I had that problem in first year and it did suck to be constantly cleaning up after other people.

That said, being around other people is something you'll need to get used to. Even if you're not in halls, you're going to be meeting other people in classes, at societies, etc. It's not really something you can avoid. Similarly when you graduate you'll have to deal with this as well. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you this, but the longer you leave it, the harder it'll be to get over. It basically comes down to whether you want to worry about ruining your time in halls, or ruining the rest of your life.

Personally I would recommend a compromise. Get in touch with the accommodation and explain your situation. Ask what they can do to support you, if you can be in quiet halls or live in smaller halls with fewer flatmates. At least try it and see how things actually go. You may try it, find that the people you're living with a really nice and inclusive, and don't want you to feel anxious. If you don't get on that's fine, you just find private accommodation to move into later, or swap halls, or whatever. Even if you try and have to move, at least you made the effort. Maybe you won't like it, but there will be benefits that help you stick it out. You really won't know unless you try. I didn't really want to go into halls in my first year, and didn't have the best time. But I think it was a really healthy thing for me to do.

If you simply go straight into private accommodation, you're not even giving yourself a chance. The anxiety has already won at that point and is controlling your life. For now, it might not seem like a big issue but maybe later in life that anxiety costs you your dream job. It's hard, but it's necessary to be brave as that's the only way you'll get over it. I'm sure your family/BF will support you. Hopefully that hasn't come across as insensitive or condescending
You're right, getting in touch with the accomodation is definitely a good idea, I hadn't thought of that. I appreciate your advice, you've been really helpful and not condescending at all. I think I know that by going into private accomodation that I'm just letting the anxiety control me, I should at least try living in halls and see. What's the worst that can happen, right?! Thank you again for the advice, I appreciate it
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jonathanemptage
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(Original post by jlee45)
I've applied to Kingston Uni (London) and I'm hoping to get a place there on an undergraduate course even though I'm a bit late applying.

However the idea of halls doesn't appeal to me at all, I know a lot of people say that if you don't live in halls you're missing out on the social side, but the thought of having to share communal kitchens, bathroom etc and the noise late at night, excessive going out and partying all makes me uncomfortable. I'd try and make friends by joining societies.

I've struggled with anxiety basically all my life so I feel like living on my own would be better for me. It would also help me to become independent as at the moment I'm very dependent on my mum.

Is it a good idea to rent out private accomodation further out? I'm looking at Finsbury Park, its about halfway between where I live outside of London and the uni, and I'm totally fine with commuting, I don't want to be too far from my family/friends/bf. How would I look for places to rent? And do I need to find somewhere by a certain time before term starts? I'm just kind of lost and not sure how to do this!!

Any advice would be appreciated
The whole point of moving out and living in halls is it like a safety net you don't have to share a bathroom and communal areas often have cleaners they don't do the dishes but they will clean the floors and if the sink is empty they will clean that too stuff like that too alternatively you could get catered halls which will still have a kitchen but only really for snacks like pot noodle or cups of tea so it stays pretty clean.

your concern about noise is valid but it's not quite as bad as you imagine I mean yes freshers fortnight can get pretty loud but after freshers fortnight people tend to calm down a bit you might get a bit of noise on occasion but it won't be too bad particually around exam season.

Getting home shouldn't be too hard I men London has great transport links I went home most weekends because I worked with my Dad on Fridays and I was in Southampton home is Reading so it's not like you'd never see family/friends/bf and it's not like they can't visit you hell bf could even stay over some nights so yeah. You'll also make friends at uni and your family are always your family you sound quite close so the relationship is rock solid.

I'd look at unite students in kingston or look on your SU's forum and see if anyone needs a housemate to be honest Kingston will be much more affordable than places like Finsbury Park because it's geared up for the student population.this is unites website: http://www.unite-group.co.uk.
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jelly1000
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(Original post by jlee45)
I've applied to Kingston Uni (London) and I'm hoping to get a place there on an undergraduate course even though I'm a bit late applying.

However the idea of halls doesn't appeal to me at all, I know a lot of people say that if you don't live in halls you're missing out on the social side, but the thought of having to share communal kitchens, bathroom etc and the noise late at night, excessive going out and partying all makes me uncomfortable. I'd try and make friends by joining societies.

I've struggled with anxiety basically all my life so I feel like living on my own would be better for me. It would also help me to become independent as at the moment I'm very dependent on my mum.

Is it a good idea to rent out private accomodation further out? I'm looking at Finsbury Park, its about halfway between where I live outside of London and the uni, and I'm totally fine with commuting, I don't want to be too far from my family/friends/bf. How would I look for places to rent? And do I need to find somewhere by a certain time before term starts? I'm just kind of lost and not sure how to do this!!

Any advice would be appreciated
Do bare in mind that even the maximum student loan isn't designed to cover the cost of renting a whole property and if your household income is on the higher side you will absolutely have to contribute towards the cost of a studio flat/one bed flat from your own pocket.
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Acsel
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(Original post by jlee45)
You're right, getting in touch with the accomodation is definitely a good idea, I hadn't thought of that. I appreciate your advice, you've been really helpful and not condescending at all. I think I know that by going into private accomodation that I'm just letting the anxiety control me, I should at least try living in halls and see. What's the worst that can happen, right?! Thank you again for the advice, I appreciate it
No worries, best of luck to you. Remember that you're not alone, accommodation staff know that for most students this is their first time moving out and living alone. Even if not everyone is anxious about it, the staff are there to help make you feel more comfortable. It's not uncommon for students to need to move rooms for various reasons, so if you aren't getting on well after the first few weeks odds are an alternative will have opened up.

One of the guys I lived with last year was in the same halls as me. He didn't get on with his flat, so got moved to a studio flat in the same halls. He had an en suite like everyone else, but also had a small kitchen to himself. He later moved to a different halls because his flatmates were too noisy. A studio flat might be a good middle ground between a proper shared flat and going totally private, if a normal flat doesn't end up working out for you
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jameswhughes
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(Original post by jlee45)
I've applied to Kingston Uni (London) and I'm hoping to get a place there on an undergraduate course even though I'm a bit late applying.

However the idea of halls doesn't appeal to me at all, I know a lot of people say that if you don't live in halls you're missing out on the social side, but the thought of having to share communal kitchens, bathroom etc and the noise late at night, excessive going out and partying all makes me uncomfortable. I'd try and make friends by joining societies.

I've struggled with anxiety basically all my life so I feel like living on my own would be better for me. It would also help me to become independent as at the moment I'm very dependent on my mum.

Is it a good idea to rent out private accomodation further out? I'm looking at Finsbury Park, its about halfway between where I live outside of London and the uni, and I'm totally fine with commuting, I don't want to be too far from my family/friends/bf. How would I look for places to rent? And do I need to find somewhere by a certain time before term starts? I'm just kind of lost and not sure how to do this!!

Any advice would be appreciated
If you're not keen on moving out is it possible to commute from home? It's going to get really expensive both moving out and still having a long commute across London.

Halls don't have to be as daunting as they might sound, if you have anxiety you can tell the accommodation staff/warden or whoever is in charge in advance, and they can make arrangements to help you - e.g. en-suite bathroom and a smaller flat so you don't have to share a kitchen with many people.
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Rich03453
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I'm a 2nd year Student at Kingston Uni studying at the Knights Park campus, I would definitely recommend staying in private accommodation, lots of 1st years do the same, the uni run halls are terrible, we looked round them when we came down for the open day and they were so bad my parents wouldn't let me stay there. I stayed at ViBe for my first year and here again this year, its really cool and there are lots of other private accommodations in Kingston as well. Hope that helps
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insouciancedward
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(Original post by jlee45)
I've applied to Kingston Uni (London) and I'm hoping to get a place there on an undergraduate course even though I'm a bit late applying.

However the idea of halls doesn't appeal to me at all, I know a lot of people say that if you don't live in halls you're missing out on the social side, but the thought of having to share communal kitchens, bathroom etc and the noise late at night, excessive going out and partying all makes me uncomfortable. I'd try and make friends by joining societies.

I've struggled with anxiety basically all my life so I feel like living on my own would be better for me. It would also help me to become independent as at the moment I'm very dependent on my mum.

Is it a good idea to rent out private accomodation further out? I'm looking at Finsbury Park, its about halfway between where I live outside of London and the uni, and I'm totally fine with commuting, I don't want to be too far from my family/friends/bf. How would I look for places to rent? And do I need to find somewhere by a certain time before term starts? I'm just kind of lost and not sure how to do this!!

Any advice would be appreciated
Use spareroom.co.uk to find yourself somewhere. Main advice would be to check with prospective landlords that you will have proper tenancy agreement, they're a member of a deposit protection scheme, the property has proper fire safety measures (extinguishers, alarms, door closers, emergency lighting) and an HMO licence (if applicable).

Kingston might have their own database/website for students who want to find private rental accommodation. The University of London has such a thing (which is how I found the student house I live in now), but Kingston isn't one of the constituent institutions, so you wouldn't be able to join that. They might have their own equivalent though, I know Goldsmiths has a forum for people in this situation, so I imagine other unis would too.

I moved into halls knowing beforehand that I'd hate it, but I needed a base in London from which to go and view private accommodation, because it takes about an hour and a half and £40 to get from coastal Kent to New Cross. I viewed some really *****y rooms and some which were ok but where I knew I'd have no legal rights. E.g. the tenant who was vacating the room I'd viewed wanted the deposit paid directly to them, to replace the deposit they had paid themselves, because they weren't on the tenancy agreement. So effectively, the landlord could turn up at any time, say "who the f*ck are you, get out of my house" and I'd have had little legal recourse to stay. Although, from my (now vague and distant) memory of having worked in council housing/homelessness department, I think legally they still have to give you some notice...

Anyhow, I hated the 5 weeks I spent in halls from late September to the 1st of November last year. I love the private house I live in now.
Last edited by insouciancedward; 4 weeks ago
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999tigger
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(Original post by jlee45)
I've applied to Kingston Uni (London) and I'm hoping to get a place there on an undergraduate course even though I'm a bit late applying.

However the idea of halls doesn't appeal to me at all, I know a lot of people say that if you don't live in halls you're missing out on the social side, but the thought of having to share communal kitchens, bathroom etc and the noise late at night, excessive going out and partying all makes me uncomfortable. I'd try and make friends by joining societies.

I've struggled with anxiety basically all my life so I feel like living on my own would be better for me. It would also help me to become independent as at the moment I'm very dependent on my mum.

Is it a good idea to rent out private accomodation further out? I'm looking at Finsbury Park, its about halfway between where I live outside of London and the uni, and I'm totally fine with commuting, I don't want to be too far from my family/friends/bf. How would I look for places to rent? And do I need to find somewhere by a certain time before term starts? I'm just kind of lost and not sure how to do this!!

Any advice would be appreciated
You could check to see if they have student houses, but you would have to share.
The other option is a studio within a hall, so you would have your own facilities and be self contained.

If you want to go private thats fine. Do the commute to test it out as that gives you an idea what you might put up with.
Property in private sector is available all the time, especially London. Just a case of having enough money. Dont sign until you definitely want it as you will be committed thereafter. 1 months rent + 4-8 weeks deposit.
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all this advice is great but isn't all a little short sighted? it is just dealing with a symptom rather than the cause. Would it not be worth trying to get help with your anxieties first to then give you the courage and strength to enjoy everything that University (& life) has to offer?
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jlee45
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(Original post by Rich03453)
I'm a 2nd year Student at Kingston Uni studying at the Knights Park campus, I would definitely recommend staying in private accommodation, lots of 1st years do the same, the uni run halls are terrible, we looked round them when we came down for the open day and they were so bad my parents wouldn't let me stay there. I stayed at ViBe for my first year and here again this year, its really cool and there are lots of other private accommodations in Kingston as well. Hope that helps
I looked at the uni halls and they look pretty old and rubbish tbh, I've been looking at the ViBe wesbite, the rooms look really nice there. I guess its good if you've stayed there this year as well. What's it like sharing kitchens with people? And is it noisy or not really that bad?
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