Where you live in your first year of university is a big decision, and so it’s important to be informed. When applying, you’ll get a decision to choose to live on campus or off-campus.There’s no right answer, and where you’ll be happiest depends on you! Let’s go through some of the options so you can make an informed decision.
- Convenience: this is the most obvious advantage of living on your university campus! You’ll be only a short walk away from your lectures, the library, and other campus resources. This will save you time and energy in the morning – and make finding a place to study less of a taxing task
- Social life: On-campus accommodation offers a built-in social life. You’ll be living in close proximity to all the other first-year students, meaning that you don’t have to put in extra effort to meet people. You’ll likely meet people you get on with from move-in day, making it easier to form friendships. You’ll also have access to campus events and activities.
- Access to resources: Living on campus means that you have easy access to a range of resources such as academic advisors, health services and career services. In your first year, you’ll need these services the most – whether you’re struggling mentally and need to talk to someone, or if you need degree or career advice. Being on-campus is a perfect way to take advantage of these services efficiently when you don’t know your university town that well yet, and don’t want to travel far
- Supermarkets can be limited: Generally, there’s one large supermarket on campus: with not only limited choices but also high prices! When you just need some more milk or a library snack, this can come to be an inconvenience. You’ll have a larger selection off-campus, but it can be an inconvenience to carry shopping and take public transport
- Are you prone to feeling restricted? When you live on campus, it’s very possible to not leave campus for days: your lectures, the library, social spaces, and where you sleep are all in one place. This can begin to feel restrictive after a while for some people, and you may struggle to separate work from play. Not everyone feels like this, but it’s a good thing to think about!
Off campus accommodation
- Greater independence and privacy: You’ll still live with flatmates in shared quarters, so there’s still loads of opportunities to make friends, but generally you can have more time apart from others at times if this is something that suits you
- City exploring and greater choice: When you live off-campus you’ll get to see your city straight away. Campus students will likely come to town once or twice a week, but you’ll get to experience it like a local – a perfect opportunity to explore local shops, study in coffee shops, and go on long walks!
- Transport issues: this is the main thing that often deters people away from off-campus accommodation. You’ll have to get up a lot earlier to take the bus up to campus for a day, meaning you can’t just roll out of bed and be at the lecture hall! If there’s a large gap between lectures, some students like to take a nap or relax at home, and when you live off campus, you’ll have to spend this time on campus instead
- Additional responsibilities: Along with independence, comes responsibility. When it comes to finding places to shop, how to get around, and how to access public transport, it can be overwhelming for some people. This will stop being an issue when you settle in, but it can be a struggle for the first few weeks!
Important things to consider:
Considering some extra pointers will make your decision-making easier, so ask yourself these questions before choosing where to live.
- Will you be part of a sports team or an active society? If you’ll have training sessions several times a week, or will have events late at night, campus-living may be more convenient. Make sure to consider this so you can take part in your hobbies without losing sleep or compromising on your studies
- Are there good bus services? If the public transport services in your university city are renowned to be poor or unreliable, off-campus living may be complicated
- Where are you studying? Each city, and campus, varies greatly on what it has to offer. If you have chosen your university city for its city centre, architecture or facilities, off-campus living could be a great option to experience it every day
Be sure to check out the Roome website, where we post loads of tips and tricks for university students every single week. Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook to learn more about how we’re revolutionising the student housing market!
Posted by Owen Redman
Co-founder of Roome