Since starting university, I have lived in a variety of different places
In first year I lived in a shared flat, meaning that I had my own room and bathroom, but shared a kitchen with about four others. In second year I lived in my own flat within the building which meant I had a small kitchen in my room.
Each of these arrangements had their own benefit. Living in the shared flat was a good opportunity to meet other people, though I was a bit unlucky, as my flatmates lived on a very different schedule than me and often interrupted my sleep.
This is why I ultimately preferred the individual flat, and I found that with early morning classes, it was easier to have everything I needed in my own room as opposed to wandering into a shared kitchen in my pyjamas.
You have more independence
Likely the largest positive of living in student accommodation is that there is no schedule aside from your own. Even when I lived in a flat with a shared kitchen, I was operating on my own time.
The independence allowed me to do what I wanted to whenever I felt like it. This often meant hot chocolate at midnight, simply because I could.
With no one expecting me home at a certain time, I also found myself practically living out of the library come exam time, leaving at eight in the morning and returning after the sun had gone down. Though my sleep schedule may not have appreciated it, my exam scores certainly did.
Time management is key
With increased independence comes increased responsibility: the hardest part of living in halls was balancing studies, extracurriculars, and home management.
In order to better handle this, I blocked out the week before me, dividing up tasks evenly between the days. This allowed me to ensure I met my university deadlines without my room falling into complete chaos. It also helped me to keep on top of my extracurriculars by acting as a reminder of any upcoming events.
The role of the reception
Both of the accommodations I lived in had receptions. While one of their functions was to handle mail and packages, they were also the first point of contact for any problems. Whether it was a power outage or a noisy neighbour, the receptionists were there to help out.
Another function of the reception was to organise social events. In my first accommodation, this came in the form of monthly events for holidays like Halloween or Valentine’s Day. Usually involving pizza or candy. My second accommodation took it to another level, with a board in the lobby broadcasting all the upcoming events throughout each month. My personal favourite was when they had dumplings for New Year.
Life in student accommodation truly varies per person
While I now live at home, I’m glad I had the experience of living in student accommodation. It gave me important experience in being independent as well as being responsible for taking care of myself and where I lived. I also learned a number of organisational and budgeting skills that I still utilise now.
All in all, living in student accommodation was a fantastic experience that taught me how to successfully live on my own.
You can find more about living in student accommodation here:
City’s website has information on halls of residence and all you need to know on finding and living in private accommodation.
Universities UK has information on student accommodation related to Covid-19.
You can also keep an eye out for our students’ perspective on living at home whilst at university and commuting to campus – coming soon!