Ask a sample group of 100 people exactly what matters most to them when it comes to university accommodation and chances are the lists your get in reply will be completely different every time. The simple fact of the matter is that everyone has different needs, desires, demands and expectations when it comes to university digs so realistically you cannot expect any two random people to agree on the whole list, but FindSpace can always help.
That being said however, there are certain critical cornerstones that must be taken into account as regardless of personal tastes and habits, any university residence must tick a few very important boxes. After all, not only is this the place you’re going to be calling home for a few years, but it’s also the residence that will be more important to your education than any other in your life!
So with this in mind, here’s a quick look at the five critical cornerstones that come into play…or at least should…when choosing your ideal university accommodation:
1 – Location
So right off the bat comes location, which some would argue is something of a superfluous concern while others will tell you that nothing matters more. Admittedly, you’re not trying to get on the property ladder or anything, but the location of your digs will play a huge role in everything you do while at university…EVERYTHING! If, for example, you choose a place that’s a good 45-minutes by bus from your main lecture halls, you’ll be wasting 90 minutes each day and way too much money on travelling. And if you live in an area that’s unpleasant by day and downright dangerous by night, it won’t be long before it starts feeling like a prison you just cannot stand being in.
There’s more to location that just choosing a pretty place right next to the bars, but to overlook its importance really will impact your university experience.
2 – Costs
Another of the most important considerations of all is that of costs. After all, it really doesn’t matter how much you love the place if you physically cannot afford it. What has to be kept in mind with this particular consideration is the way in which being able to afford a place doesn’t just mean being able to pay the rent bill each month. Instead, it means being able to pay the rent bill and still being able to eat well, get around and enjoy yourself. If you choose a place that wipes out your cash flow immediately after paying the bills, you’ll end up wishing you’d never bothered.
3 – Comfort
It’s probably fair to say that the room you end up with will only ever be as comfortable as you make it. That being said, you might not have a great deal of say in other aspects of the room’s comfort, such as the way the draughty windows bring a frost into the room on wintery days and how the whole place shakes like an earthquake every time the trams roll by. What you have to remember here is that what seems like a mild annoyance upon visiting the place will become part of your life over…and over…and over again for the next few years. So, if you’re not totally won over by the place’s true comfort, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
4 – Privacy
Along with a sense of comfort, you also need a strong sense of privacy. Yes, there’s no denying that student life represents close-quarters living at its finest and this can be much of the fun of it, but remember that from time to time you simply MUST have a private sanctuary to run away to. A study day, a bad hair day, a cold, a hangover, a big date or really anything else – if it doesn’t look like you’re going to have any privacy, then chances are it will become unbearable in a hurry.
5 – Local Amenities
And finally, be ready to put in as much time and effort as necessary looking into and asking about the local amenities. Sure, it’s great that there’s a 24-hour booze shop a short walk away, but this really doesn’t make up for things like buses that stop running at 4pm and taxis that won’t even go near the place. Think about everything you’re likely to need over the coming years and make sure you can get to it with ease. It doesn’t have to be right there on your doorstep, but if you have to get two buses just to get a pint of milk, well…you get the idea!