Many students live in halls of residence during their first year at uni. However, there are a few things that current students said they wish they’d known before applying...
We've also got advice to help you weigh up all accommodation options – and here's what to do if you miss out on a place in halls...
Apply as soon as you can
If you want a place at halls then you need to apply ASAP because places can be limited.
Shared bathrooms aren’t that bad!
I didn't get my first choice accommodation but I have really enjoyed living in halls this year. If you were paying the same price, I definitely think it's more useful to live closer to the university than it is to have an en suite bathroom say, as those who live further away say it is quite a hassle getting into uni, and also means getting up earlier! Shared bathrooms are really not that bad at all.
You might not get your first choice – but don’t despair
Be aware that you may not get your ideal choices for accommodation. For example, I asked to be in a mixed flat and ended up with an all-girls flat. This didn't prove to be a bad thing though, as we all became really close.
Don’t dismiss the cheapest halls
The accommodation I am in was one of the cheapest, and although it is quite basic, I would not have wanted to live anywhere else. The general atmosphere is great, it's always lively and it’s a good place to be social and meet new people. The only bad thing is the noise. It can get really noisy in the early hours of the morning when people come back from a night out and walk past being really loud.
Close to uni is ideal
I personally loved living in halls, it is the best way to meet people. Also, it is really nice to be able to roll out of bed five minutes before a class and still get there in time.
Think about costs
I had already done research about the accommodation before deciding to attend the university. I believe that local private landlord accommodation is definitely cheaper compared to halls of residence especially if you're a working student like myself who is solely responsible for supporting yourself financially.
Factor in hidden costs
I end up spending a lot of money on bus passes in order to go to lectures/go out.
Do your research, apply early and think about issues such as location, catering and extra costs – you’ve got a much better chance of picking the first-year accommodation that’s right for you. If possible, try and see one or two halls of residence if you're able to visit the university on an open day.
And if you don't manage to get a place in halls, don't panic! Here's how to seek alternative accommodation.