The Student Room Group

Halls or private accommodation? Things to consider when choosing a place to stay.

Admittedly, cost is probably going to be the biggest constraint on deciding where you should stay during university with the average student maintenance loan coming in at around £7590 and the average annual student rent in England now totalling £7566, no matter what option you choose, rent is going to be a very large percentage of your outgoings. Although halls of residence do tend to be cheaper, I’d still recommend checking out private accommodation options in your local area just to get a ballpark figure of how much they would cost per week after all, they might only be slightly more expensive, and could save you money in the long run if they’re located more centrally or have private kitchen facilities.

Bathroom/Kitchen Facilities
Everyone has different boundaries when it comes to living with other people: some might feel comfortable sharing a bathroom with their flatmates, whilst other people might only look at accommodations that are able to offer them an ensuite. Obviously, sharing a bathroom and a kitchen with others will usually be a good cheaper than having a private bathroom or kitchen but in this case, it really comes down to knowing your personal preferences and deciding whether those preferences are worth spending a bit more money on annually to maintain.

Regardless of your choice, it’s important to figure out how you would adapt to a new living situation, and run through a few possible scenarios in your head of what you could do if things don’t exactly pan out the way you want them to. If you’re an extremely tidy person, how would you deal with flatmates who might not have the same standards as you? Are you someone who cooks regularly and would like constant access to a kitchen, or would you be content to schedule meal times around others?

Proximity to Campus
Lots of halls of residences tend to be situated relatively close to the university itself, which can offer students both a shorter journey to class and potentially lower commuting costs in the long run. However, it’s important to consider that whilst this can be great for some students particularly those who want that extra 10 minutes in bed before heading to their 9am lecture! :wink: it might not works for others. For example, I knew I wanted a bit more separation between my studies and my personal life once I went to uni, so staying on-campus and living right beside the buildings I attended class in everyday just wouldn’t have been the best option for me personally.

One big advantage of staying in halls of residence is that at the start of uni, you and your flatmates will likely all be in the same situation you probably won’t know many people, and you’ll be trying to figure out how to adjust to life away from home. This gives you a small, easily accessible group of people to buddy up with and get to know, and can save you from worrying about whether or not you’ll make friends or fit in at uni. If you do choose to stay in private halls, you might have to make a bit more of an effort to put yourself out there and socialise, especially in the first few weeks of university: however, if you’re willing to do this, it can be easily done by just joining a few societies or talking to the people beside you in lectures.

Ultimately, whether you stay in halls of residence or private accommodation comes down to personal preference I went private and loved it, but I know a lot of people on my course who thought that staying in halls of residence really settled them into university life itself. If you’re currently at uni, where did you choose to stay in your first year? And if you’re not, which one are you leaning more towards? :😀

Eve (Kingston Rep).
(edited 1 month ago)

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