Moving from halls to your own student house is a big transition, and here are some of the differences you'll definitely come across!
When people move to their university, a whole range of things that will become a daily part of your life. Obviously, everyone has different experiences - some being able to afford more luxurious places, etc - but here are some of the most common differences when leaving halls to pursue a life in a student house.
Living in halls will usually mean the privilege of having someone else clean up your communal space (shout out to Sharron in the first year - the best chat to have hungover). You're used to picking up after yourself and doing your washing up of course, yet living in a student house is a whole different ball-game.
It will come to the point when you and your housemates can't cope anymore, and you will have to do an intense spring clean. Anything can be accomplished though - with a combination of banging playlists and matching rubber gloves, one person can tackle cleaning the oven and another can deal with unblocking the drain.
Your bills are likely included in the rent for halls, meaning you know exactly how much money will be taken away from the precious loan and you can turn up that radiator as high as you want. In student housing though, you must learn sacrifice and compromise. You need to organise your bills - water, electricity, gas, internet, the lot. This usually requires one housemate to step up as "the responsible one" who can handle phoning suppliers continuously and not be tempted to dip into the utilities funds.
It also means doing grown-up things like being disciplined with a thermostat and making dry comments like "make sure the plugs are off, gotta be saving those pennies!".
Who You Live With
Living in halls is completely pot luck with who you live with. You might be lucky and find a mate for life, but you'll also have a sprinkling of people who cannot wash up, who chunder frequently after a night out, and who never seem to leave their room.
Student houses are different - you tend to be able to choose your housemates. This means you're more likely to have a connection with them, although it can put a strain on friendships when your beloved course mate turns out to take forever in the shower.
The halls experience involves very crammed prinks and attempted parties that lead to campus security shutting you down. Student house parties are a safe haven away from security guards (although be wary of noise complaints from the neighbours), as well as plenty more space to play with so that your parties can last until the early hours of the morning. Careful of losing those damage deposits and having to do a major clean-up when hungover though.
When in halls, you're very dependent on campus bars and student shops. This couldn't be more different in a student house!
Away from campus, you get to discover your own special places that will define your student experience. The local pub after a day of lectures with the cheapest pints and the best characters; heading to the local corner shop in your trackies and bedhead for your hangover cure munchies; the local park to sip tinnies post-exams. Your greatest memories from uni won't come from the seminars you struggled to stay awake in, but the time spent living and laughing with your housemates.