When you start studying at university, and pick your halls of residence, it might be the first time you’ve ever had to choose a home for yourself. Your halls of residence are going to be so much more to you than somewhere to sleep: they’ll be the cornerstone of your social life, where you study and probably where you meet the people you’ll end up living with throughout the rest of your university career.
It’s important when you’re choosing your halls of residence that you know exactly what you need from them, so you can make an informed choice: you’ll be spending at least a year there, so it needs to be right for you. There’s a lot of choice in every town: if you search for student accommodation Huddersfield alone has a lot to pick from, so let’s look at a guide to what you need and how to get it.
Most universities will have a variety of accommodation in various locations: it’s worth cross-referencing this with where you will be studying. Most faculties have their own distinct buildings around the campus and some specialist ones may be removed from the main campus by quite some distance: for example, Southampton’s Oceanography Centre is roughly half an hour by bus from the rest of the campus.
It makes sense to pick a place to live that’s closer to where you’ll be spending the majority of your time: it will save on both time and money, but you need to consider your own personality; if you need distance from your work to relax, you won’t be happy with a campus on your doorstep.
While you can expect all halls of residence to come with access to the internet and somewhere to cook at least basic meals, there will be lots of other choices to make about the facilities on offer.
You can save some money by opting for a basic room and sharing bath and shower facilities with other people on your corridor, but again you must consider what will make you feel most comfortable. For some people sharing shower facilities with a dozen strangers is unthinkable and that justifies the additional cost of a room with en suite facilities. If you’re too freaked out by other people’s hair in the plughole to wash yourself, your studies will definitely suffer, as will your social life so it’s worth making sure you’re comfortable.
If you opt for catered accommodation you will be guaranteed at least breakfast and dinner every day, which will ease the mind of many parents. However, if you need to be honest with yourself about how much use you would get out of them: if you don’t think you’d be up in time for the breakfast or back at home for dinner, catering is a waste of your resources.
Overall, the thing to remember is to look at what’s on offer and do some honest self-examination to see what you’d get the most out of.