If you ask a group of say 100 people about what exactly matters the most in university accommodation, don’t be surprised if they come up with completely different lists each time. As FindSpace often explains, the reason is that needs, demands, desires and expectations differ in all people when they start looking for university digs, and you cannot realistically hope there will be even two random people who will come up with the same lists.
All the same, there are certain pillars which are critical for success and must be considered; no matter what personal habits and tastes are, university residences must meet a couple of important requirements. For you and for each other student, this is going to be your home for the next few years, the residence more crucial for your education than any other residence you will have in your life.
Bearing that in mind, let’s look at the critical pillars outlined below. They come into play, and they should be your poitns of interest when you start choosing your ideal university digs:
1 – Location
Location immediately comes to mind. Some would say it is not a critical, but a somewhat superfluous concern, but for others it’s the most crucial pillar. You will certainly not go up the property ladder, but your digs location will certainly be a big factor in every activity you do at university! If you choose, say, a residence that is over half an hour away by bus from your lecture halls, that will mean you will spend at least 60 minutes every day travelling, and you will spend money, too. Another problem will be an area that is offputting in daytime, and even dangerous at night. Choosing location is more than just choosing a nice place, next to major bars. If you overlook its importance, this may impact your student life very negatively.
2 – Costs
Another high ranking consideration is the amount of costs. However much you like a place, it will be pointless if you cannot afford to rent it. Bear in mind that affording student digs does not just boil down to paying the rent every month. In addition to the bill, you will also have to allot money for eating healthy, for going out and unwinding. If you settle for a place which swallows your whole cash flow after you just pay your bills, you will end up regretting your choice.
3 – Comfort
Probably it is fair to say your rented digs will be comfortable thanks to your efforts and talent. In reality, though, you may have no chance of say in crucial aspects of comfort there, for example the draughty windows which let in frost when winter sets in, or the way the whole place shakes with each tram rolling by, as if there was an earthquake. Remember to look at such inconveniences as you choose your place. Once settled in, these inconvenience will become part of your life, and will remain so in the next couple of years. If you have any hesitation about the true comfort of a place, better give up thinking about it.
4 – Privacy
Comfort alone isn’t enough. You will also need plenty of privacy. Though no one will deny that student life means living in close quarters, with lots of fun involved, you will still need a haven of privacy that you MUST withdraw into from time to time. The reasons can be many, from a study day, or a bad hair day, catching a cold, having a hangover, to a big date, or any common reason – if it seems to you that you are not going to have enough privacy, you can be sure that in the long run it will become unbearable.
5 – Local Amenities
Local amenities are something you should look into when choosing your student accommodation, and it is worth putting in a good deal of time and efforts. Amenities like a 24-hour booze shop just a stone’s throw away are not the most important; what really matters is not having poor transport links, buses not running after 4 pm, or taxis that refuse to even go near the area. Think about the amenities you will likely need in the coming years, and make sure they will be easy to get to – not necessarily on your doorstep, but within a convenient distance!