Still don’t have a house for second or third year? Maybe the answer to your problems is right under your nose...
I've lived in halls for the entire four years of my degree, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. If you didn’t know it was an option, or simply haven’t considered it, I’d like to tell you why I think living in halls is the best option. Here are my top five reasons:
1. Think it’s more expensive? Think again…
People tend to stray away from halls after first year, since Student Finance payments are generally a bit smaller each year of uni. However, halls really aren’t much more expensive once you add bills onto the weekly cost of a house, and they’re worth paying that bit more for if your finance covers it. You’ll have unlimited heating, water, electricity, better security, your own bathroom, and additional facilities such as a gym and study rooms. All of this comes at no extra cost, plus, there’s always a whole host of freebies, food nights, and activities going on in the common areas!
2. You get your own bathroom
I know I just said it, but it’s definitely worth another mention. You won’t have to skip the shower because your housemate takes forever in the bathroom, and you can take as long as you want without the anxiety of thinking that someone might be waiting. Nor will you have to risk your housemates seeing you starkers, or have to put up with other people’s dead hair and questionable stains all over the place. And if you get home desperate for the loo, you know it’ll be free.
3. Security and Maintenance
I genuinely know a guy who had to retake an entire year of uni because his house got broken into and his laptop was stolen (always keep a backup!) This is a lot less likely to happen in halls, as they have on-site security and high-tech locking systems, plus all-inclusive contents insurance.
And if you’re worried about your flatmates stealing your food, you can keep it in your room, which they can’t get into when you’re out because it locks. The same goes for post - nobody can steal your parcels as reception will keep them secure, and there will always be somebody there to collect them, so you won’t have to trek to the sorting office.
On top of all that, if something goes wrong, it’ll get fixed in a matter of days, so whilst your course-mates are complaining about that clogged shower that their landlord STILL hasn’t come round to fix, you’ll be feeling very smug.
4. Meeting new people
I personally enjoy having friends from a variety different places: my course, societies, and home. Living in halls is just another opportunity to meet more and more people, and if you go private after first year, your flatmates may even go to another uni if your city has more than one.
If, after first year, you want to get your head down with uni and are worried about noise, don’t worry - in most cases, you can ring up the halls in advance of your booking and make a special request to be put with other older and quieter students.
You can also make group bookings, so if living with strangers isn’t for you, you can have all the benefits of halls and still live with your mates!
5. You’ll feel young again
As a wrinkly-old final year, living in halls allows you to cling on to your youth by blending in with all the freshers and ignoring the fact that you finish in a matter of months and have no idea what you’re doing with your life. But at the end of the day, who really does?
And to top it all off, you’ll always be welcome to any flat party.
As a final year, people are always surprised when I tell them that I’m living in halls, as many don’t realise that it’s a perfectly viable option after first year. Not only is it a viable one, but a great one - I’ve loved living in halls throughout uni, and you should consider it too!
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