The Student Room Group

Would I be too old to live in halls?

I completed my A Levels in 2022 but wasn't able to go to uni that year or the year after due to personal issues. I'm planning on going this year but am concerned that I am too old to stay in halls at this point - I'm 20 at the moment but would be turning 21 a few months into my course. Assuming I would be rooming with 18 year olds, do you think this would make them uncomfortable? I don't know if I'm being overdramatic or not - I know it's only a 3 year difference but I would feel so bad if I made anyone uncomfortable. And what about freshers events/stuff like that? I think it'd be nice to still get the social part of the uni experience but I don't know if I'm past that point.
(edited 1 month ago)
I lived in halls at 22. My flatmates seemed to like having someone around who could tell them if their food looked cooked yet and teach them how to use the washing machine.

I started a second degree at 25 (but didn't live in halls) and made a lot of friends on my course. I was still invited to clubs and flat parties and offered a couch or floor to crash on at the end of the night. People won't make a big deal about the age difference if you don't. I was transparent about my age and aside from the occasional old joke it wasn't something people felt the need to bring up.

Although, at 21, you're unlikely to be the oldest person living in your halls or on your course. Most people will be in their late teens or early-to-mid 20s, and there will likely be older students as well. At 25 I wasn't the oldest on my course. There were several students in their 30s and 40s, and one man in his 50s-60s.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by meowmeowkitty
I completed my A Levels in 2022 but wasn't able to go to uni that year or the year after due to personal issues. I'm planning on going this year but am concerned that I am too old to stay in halls at this point - I'm 20 at the moment but would be turning 21 a few months into my course. Assuming I would be rooming with 18 year olds, do you think this would make them uncomfortable? I don't know if I'm being overdramatic or not - I know it's only a 3 year difference but I would feel so bad if I made anyone uncomfortable. And what about freshers events/stuff like that? I think it'd be nice to still get the social part of the uni experience but I don't know if I'm past that point.

Hi there,
Definitely not, I started university and opted to live in university owned accommodation for my first year. I think its more a case of interests and mindset over age, so I did make friends with other students who were 18/19. If you would prefer to live with older students or mature students, it may be worth looking into whether your university offers these kind of flats or perhaps look into private student accommmodation.

Hope this helps!

-Nicky
Original post by meowmeowkitty
I completed my A Levels in 2022 but wasn't able to go to uni that year or the year after due to personal issues. I'm planning on going this year but am concerned that I am too old to stay in halls at this point - I'm 20 at the moment but would be turning 21 a few months into my course. Assuming I would be rooming with 18 year olds, do you think this would make them uncomfortable? I don't know if I'm being overdramatic or not - I know it's only a 3 year difference but I would feel so bad if I made anyone uncomfortable. And what about freshers events/stuff like that? I think it'd be nice to still get the social part of the uni experience but I don't know if I'm past that point.

Hey there,

I totally get where you're coming from, but trust me, you're not too old to live in halls or enjoy the social aspects of university life. I am doing my master's now, and when I lived in the halls for the first term, we had many senior students with us. It was fun to get to know everyone, regardless of their age.

Age differences aren't as big a deal as you might think. People are usually more focused on getting to know each other and having a good time, and a three-year age gap isn't much at all. I spent a lot of time hanging out with younger and older students at uni, and it was a lot of fun. Age didn't come into it we were all just there to enjoy ourselves and make friends. As for freshers' events and stuff like that, don't worry about being "past that point." You're still young and deserve to have fun and make the most of your uni experience. Trust me, you'll fit right in. Have a great time.

So don't stress about your age—focus on the excitement of starting university and all the amazing experiences that lie ahead. You've got this!

Cheers,
Shri (MSc International Business Student).
Original post by meowmeowkitty
I completed my A Levels in 2022 but wasn't able to go to uni that year or the year after due to personal issues. I'm planning on going this year but am concerned that I am too old to stay in halls at this point - I'm 20 at the moment but would be turning 21 a few months into my course. Assuming I would be rooming with 18 year olds, do you think this would make them uncomfortable? I don't know if I'm being overdramatic or not - I know it's only a 3 year difference but I would feel so bad if I made anyone uncomfortable. And what about freshers events/stuff like that? I think it'd be nice to still get the social part of the uni experience but I don't know if I'm past that point.

They won't care and most wont know the difference in age unless you tell them. I lived in Halls in my late 30s and it was a complete non-issue - you aren't actually sharing bedrooms, just kitchens, common rooms and maybe bathrooms. At 21 you really won't be noticeable different to everyone else.
Reply 5
I had a flatmate who was 23 and already had another degree. Nobody thought anything of it except we’d sometimes jokingly ask how her back was doing. She was a feral partier and more immature than some of the 18 year olds I knew haha, but we appreciated having someone around who knew (for the most part) what they were doing. Halls are a good way of making friends and you don’t want to limit your options just by being worried about your age, especially as no one will take any notice! Enjoy yourself :smile:
Original post by meowmeowkitty
I completed my A Levels in 2022 but wasn't able to go to uni that year or the year after due to personal issues. I'm planning on going this year but am concerned that I am too old to stay in halls at this point - I'm 20 at the moment but would be turning 21 a few months into my course. Assuming I would be rooming with 18 year olds, do you think this would make them uncomfortable? I don't know if I'm being overdramatic or not - I know it's only a 3 year difference but I would feel so bad if I made anyone uncomfortable. And what about freshers events/stuff like that? I think it'd be nice to still get the social part of the uni experience but I don't know if I'm past that point.

Absolutely not! At 20, you're not far off the typical student age. Many people take gap years or start uni later in life. As for freshers' events, these are for everyone new, regardless of age. They're a great way to meet people, and most people won't be bothered by your age.
Original post by meowmeowkitty
I completed my A Levels in 2022 but wasn't able to go to uni that year or the year after due to personal issues. I'm planning on going this year but am concerned that I am too old to stay in halls at this point - I'm 20 at the moment but would be turning 21 a few months into my course. Assuming I would be rooming with 18 year olds, do you think this would make them uncomfortable? I don't know if I'm being overdramatic or not - I know it's only a 3 year difference but I would feel so bad if I made anyone uncomfortable. And what about freshers events/stuff like that? I think it'd be nice to still get the social part of the uni experience but I don't know if I'm past that point.

Hi @meowmeowkitty,

When I was in my first year in student halls, one of my five flatmates was about 3-4 years older than us. From experience, I appreciated having an older and authoritative figure around to make sure the halls were kept clean and bin rotations were kept up with. It was my first time living alone at the time, and I had never cooked a proper meal for myself before. Although he was no chef, he knew a lot more of the basics than I did. He was super helpful at guiding me through everything and constantly gave me advice of how I should manage certain aspects in my life, which I appreciated a lot.

I will admit though it was a bit awkward at first because the rest of us were quite intimidated and shy to approach our older flatmate, but after he made the first move and initiated the conversations we all became friendly toward each other and became great friends.

I hope speaking from my experience helps you a bit more!
Danish
BCU Student Rep
Hi,
There are quite a lot of students going to uni later than there used to be, especially since lockdown, so its relatively normal to for there to be students to be in their twenties living in student halls. Some universities offer mature student accommodation, for students going into first year, and would prefer not living with 18/19 year olds. If its something that your quite anxious about, maybe contact the accommodation team at the uni, to see if they offer anything like that. I don't think the others living in the flat will really notice that your slightly older than them. I'm 23 next month and although i don't live in student halls, none of my friends, thought i was older than them or really cared.

Hope this helps!
Suzan - Student Ambassador
Original post by meowmeowkitty
I completed my A Levels in 2022 but wasn't able to go to uni that year or the year after due to personal issues. I'm planning on going this year but am concerned that I am too old to stay in halls at this point - I'm 20 at the moment but would be turning 21 a few months into my course. Assuming I would be rooming with 18 year olds, do you think this would make them uncomfortable? I don't know if I'm being overdramatic or not - I know it's only a 3 year difference but I would feel so bad if I made anyone uncomfortable. And what about freshers events/stuff like that? I think it'd be nice to still get the social part of the uni experience but I don't know if I'm past that point.
from my personal experience you are too old for catered halls but 100% not too old for self-catered
No this definitely would not make anyone even remotely uncomfortable phahaha - my brother had a flat mare who was 22 and they got along amazingly and ended up living in a house the next year with some other friends
Hi there 👋,

First of all well done on completing your A-Levels, they are not easy!
From personal experience, I would say you have nothing to worry about! I was 18 when I started university and was placed in accommodation with people of all different ages and places. Many 18-year-olds love this as it means getting to know others, and you all, soon completely forget about the age ranges! I am personally friends with students who are 18 - 26! I would also like to say that having that little more life experience before going to university can be helpful, as students live together you tend to help and teach each other things no matter your age. Make the most of the experience!

Best of luck in the future, I hope this helps.
Hannah - First Year Mental Health Nursing Student
WrexhamUniReps
Original post by meowmeowkitty
I completed my A Levels in 2022 but wasn't able to go to uni that year or the year after due to personal issues. I'm planning on going this year but am concerned that I am too old to stay in halls at this point - I'm 20 at the moment but would be turning 21 a few months into my course. Assuming I would be rooming with 18 year olds, do you think this would make them uncomfortable? I don't know if I'm being overdramatic or not - I know it's only a 3 year difference but I would feel so bad if I made anyone uncomfortable. And what about freshers events/stuff like that? I think it'd be nice to still get the social part of the uni experience but I don't know if I'm past that point.

One of my friends went into halls at 27. You are all good. Besides in UK halls you share a flat but you dont share an actual bedroom. No one cares about age at freshers. I am a returner and went to freshers in the 4th year and no one cared.
Thank you everyone for responding! I had a feeling I was overthinking things so I'm glad to see that seems to be the case! Thank you all!

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