Student halls or the student house?
So you've chosen the university, but now the real question is which accommodation is right for you: halls or a house?
You're not alone in this, every first year will ask themselves the same question. So to make this new experience a little less daunting for you, here are some of our personal experiences and a list of the pros and cons of living in a student house and student halls.
Halls v House – The Pros and Cons
Words of wisdom
The plain and simple truth is that whether you'd be better of living in halls or a house boils down to your personality. Student halls tend to be the most obvious choice for first years as it guarantees a sea of people to befriend, and the safety net of living on campus whilst you familiarise yourself with new surroundings.
It allows you to be in the centre of the student night life without making any effort other than opening the flat door to promo students, or hanging out the bedroom window to all the other first years living in your block. Life in halls as they say, is pretty sweet.
Yet, choosing what halls you stay in is another story. Most universities have a number of different blocks and houses offering different things, including location, quality and price. Much of your decision depends on how much your student loan will stretch, and on how active you want your social life to be.
What to expect from Halls
All rooms will consist of a bed and storage space. The only decision you have to make is whether you wish to cook during your first year, and how you feel about sharing a bathroom. Catered halls tend to be the more social halls with more people to a floor, whereas self-catered will have between four and ten people sharing a communal kitchen.
The more you're inclined to pay the more luxurious your stay will be as a first year, you might even swing an en-suite.
On average £4,500 a year will give you such a luxury package: a room, en-suite along with a shared kitchen, a bed, curtains and carpet. Anything lower will most likely consist of a shared bathroom and smaller amenities. But student life is student life, and of course it wouldn't be the same without a little dirt and poor living.
Halls will help edge you into the real world after moving away from home. You'll be provided with a little extra security and support than you would have in a house, as bills will be included in the overall cost, which you will miss desperately when you have to start paying for heating.
However, if halls aren't really selling it to you then there are plenty of agencies, including the university themselves, that will help you find a student home.
If you feel you are 100% ready to leave the parents and home comforts behind in a county far far away, then maybe the student house will be more suited to you.
Chances are you will be placed in a house around the university campus so you are still able to get to your classes with ease, and also feel part of the student life.
Living in a house will give you the chance of a quieter first year if going out 24/7 isn't your thing. Instead of having the countless amount of people living on, above or below your corridor, you tend to live with 3 or 4 other students.
You can find landlords that include bills in the monthly rent but be warned, some will up the charges for this so pay attention when you are signing the contract. Anything above £375 a month (obviously depending on where you are living in the country) is average for rent so keep a close eye on what is being offered to you.
Living in a house will also give you the chance to meet new people, and chances are you will build a closer bond with your house mates and the people living around you in other houses. A sneaky bonus feature is that student houses tend to have more house parties as they will never be interrupted by university security unlike halls.
Balancing your studies and your social life
Study wise, either option will provide you with the same level of distraction particularly when you first move in. It's only you that can control your studies, and slowly it will become easier for you to balance both the social side and study side of university.
Student life is a personal choice and it is only you that can make it exactly what you wish it to be.
So whether you choose halls or a house, enjoy every moment of being a 'Fresher' because graduation will come hurtling around much sooner than you anticipate.