Moving out of your residence and finding your place is one of the most exciting yet terrifying parts of your college life. The student accommodation you pick will become your living environment, where you’ll learn valuable life skills and prepare for adulthood.
Your housing choice can either make or break your university experience. Therefore, it’s essential to research and deliberate on the best choice.
Student Housing: Why Is It Important?
Unlike regular housing rentals, student accommodation helps in creating a relationship with other students. Usually, you’ll be living with roommates who have different backgrounds, which can encourage you to learn about their lifestyle and cultural interests, and vice-versa.
Through student housing, you can have a habit of sharing common spaces such as study rooms, bathrooms, and the like. It teaches the art of sharing, which develops the student’s personality and mindset.
Furthermore, it teaches students how to live independently. Independence is essential, especially during college, as you have to begin walking towards your goals with your own feet. However, being independent doesn’t mean you have to be alone. Instead, it’s how you strive and succeed through nurturing a sense of awareness and self-reliance.
There are several student housing options available near your desired universities. If you’re looking for student housing near Dixie State University in St. George, check out https://vintageattabernacle.com/ and start applying.
Moreover, take a look at these tips and considerations when choosing student housing and accommodations to guarantee an enjoyable and meaningful university experience:
The distance between the student housing to the university is a deciding factor. Avoid getting carried away by the affordable prices if it’s located far from the university. Distant colleges require long travels. Before your first class starts, you’ll need to allow ample time to prepare and travel to your campus. Going home is another challenge as it can consume the time you should allot for studying and rest.
Commuting also adds up to your expenses and can cause stress, especially if you’re running late in the morning. Thus, opt for student accommodation near your campus that only needs a short walk to arrive on time in your classes. Many universities offer housing options billed along with other university fees, ranging from USD$10,000 to USD$11,500 in public and private universities, respectively.
However, if student housing within your university doesn’t fit your budget, you can choose dorms with fair traveling distances that still offer convenience. You also have to ensure that you can access public transportation easily. As long as you’re near the university, you can keep yourself motivated because you can quickly access the location without being tired due to traveling.
As a college student, having a stable and fast internet connection is a must. It’s needed in every accommodation so each student can finish or revise their homework and any papers nearing their deadline. You also need internet access to study online lessons and search for information about your past discussions.
Furthermore, college students also need a high-speed wireless connection to keep in touch with their families. Although they live alone, they still need to update their loved ones at home about their university experiences.
Before choosing a new place, keep in mind that the internet plays a major role in your education, so you have to check if the accommodation provides a fast internet connection. Ideally, your internet speed should exceed 6 Mbps. Since accommodations don’t immediately disclose their internet details, do your research by going on their websites or accounts.
It’s not easy to adapt to a new environment and try new experiences, especially if you’ve lived in the same house for years. You may feel pressured with new responsibilities that you aren’t used to doing. Before choosing your new place, you have to think about your preferences.
To narrow down your options, opt for housing that looks similar to your taste or those that offer the same comfort level as your room at home. For instance, if you want to be comfortable and alone in your room, go for spacious housing without roommates. But if you want someone to accompany you, a large room with some students sharing the space is the best for you.
Safety And Security
According to statistics presented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there were 2 million burglaries in college and university campuses reported in the United States alone, accounting for 25% of property crimes in the country. Take note that these crimes were only associated with theft and burglary, and there are other crimes.
No matter how cautious you are, there are unexpected events that might put you in harm’s way.
Therefore, you should always regard your safety and security as one of your top priorities before signing a contract for student housing. It’s worthwhile to do some research beforehand to know if the student accommodation has security measures prepared, such as:
- Installed CCTV cameras
- Durable and securely installed locks
- Patrolling security guards
- Well-staffed reception desk
- Emergency helpline number
- Burglar alarm system
- Keypad entry door lock or security key fob
- Well-lit areas
Additionally, ensure that you choose roommates who are security-conscious. Remind them to avoid leaving the back door open, or have a discussion with your landlord if you feel unsafe.
Even if you’re studying hard, you still want to make friends, relax, and create fun memories. It’s a good idea to consider student accommodation with communal areas such as a gym, an on-site cinema, and a game room. These places encourage social interaction and build relationships; thus, you can hang out with your friends and meet strangers who might even turn out to be your confidants in the long run.
You also have to look into the convenience that the housing offers. Aside from places where you can have fun, pharmacies, supermarkets, hospitals, convenience stores, laundry rooms, and other essential establishments should also be present within the neighborhood. Instead of traveling outside the area to buy your essentials, you can purchase from stores within the vicinity.
College is expensive, and you’ll have to be more practical and wiser in spending your money. Whether your money comes from your parents or a salary from a part-time job, keep in mind to work out your budget to know how much you can afford.
Don’t rush your decisions just because you find the place suitable. Instead, create a list of student housing near your university and prioritize the most affordable and decent accommodation. You can also apply for a scholarship and save more money for your living expenses.
Unless you’re moving out together with your friends, you’ll probably live with unfamiliar faces. You can choose between an all-male, all-female, or co-ed dorms. As a newcomer, choosing your gender’s area may be much more comfortable.
Because you’re not familiar with your roommates, you can start knowing their habits and lifestyles to be comfortable living with them. You can have a chat with them, or ask existing tenants about their experience in the place.
Having responsible and kind people in your environment has a big impact on your experience. If they’re inconsiderate and their habits make you uncomfortable, they’re not the right roommates for you. When this happens, you can discuss it with your landlord right away.
Facilities And Amenities
Your environment has a major influence on your academic success. One of the most important factors in choosing your housing is the available facilities and amenities to contribute to a convenient and comfortable lifestyle.
Some rents might include utility bills, while some plans can be separate. Make sure that you’re aware of this option.
Even though you can find affordable housing near your university, some don’t charge the utility bills on the tenant’s plan. It means that you have to pay for the monthly rental and bills separately. As a college student, it can be confusing to handle these, especially if you have enough on your plate. Thus, before arriving at your final decision, ask about which facilities and amenities cover your payment.
Moreover, it also depends on the landlord if your rent includes the use of appliances in the house. For instance, washing machines are usually available for everyone, but other appliances such as dishwashers or microwaves are not. You can split the cost of these appliances with your roommates if all of you want to use them.
Although it doesn’t sound exciting and is often disregarded, checking the house’s insulation and temperature control is essential when choosing student accommodation. As a student with a limited budget, you have to keep your energy bills as low as possible. A poorly insulated room will force you to spend a big amount on your bills.
It’s a must to have moderate temperature that makes you comfortable while lying down on your bed. To prevent freezing temperatures in your room, check the boiler’s style, or if an electric system or gas is installed. Additionally, cold walls indicate that the insulation is poor, which will lead to dampness over time.
Furthermore, consider a place where there are double-glazed windows to prevent too much heat from entering your room. The accommodation should also have a well-insulated roof and no drafty areas for your comfort and convenience.
Even if you find inexpensive housing, you should view the property first before settling. You need to live in a well-maintained and decent room with a peaceful and comfortable environment to study better. However, some landlords don’t take care of the house and clean it rarely. Even if they do, some places don’t get much attention when cleaning, such as those hard-to-reach areas and large appliances.
Old properties usually suffer from dampness. A damp area doesn’t just look gross, but it also smells bad, damages your clothes, and causes respiratory diseases. Thus, when checking the housing, look out for black mold patches and unpleasant odors from walls, ceilings, corners, windows, and furniture.
Moreover, cockroaches, rats, flies, slugs, and other pests are the usual problems in student accommodations. Although most of the time, this happens because previous tenants leave food and dirty bins everywhere. However, as the new tenant, it’s still a must to visit and check if the rooms are clean and there’s no place for pests to gather.
A place with poor water pressure will never make you happy, especially since several students use the bathroom more than thrice a day. You’re more likely to wake up earlier to be the first to use the shower or risk being late for your lecture because you waited for other students to finish using the bathroom.
Thus, when viewing the property, remember to check the bathroom to know if there’s enough water supply. Furthermore, you don’t want to de-clog the toilet every time you use it, so take a quick turn to check if the toilet flush works properly. Leaks are also dangerous and can add to your bills, so you have to look if there are damaged water pipes in the bathroom.
Reviews From Existing And Previous Tenants
No one has an idea what it’s like to live in the place aside from the existing and previous tenants. They have already experienced everything in the house and encountered problems that have caused them stress. You can meet some tenants of the housing you desire and ask them about the best and worst things when living there. They’ll likely provide an unbiased answer because they have nothing to lose or gain by telling the truth.
By knowing the advantages and disadvantages of living in your preferred place, you know what to expect. If the feedback doesn’t sound good, you can go for your other options instead of trying to live there and end up regretting it. On the other hand, if the tenants provide positive feedback, it’s time for you to move out of your family’s house and start your journey independently.
It all depends on your decision, whether you’ll have a stressful or fun university experience, and the housing you choose plays a major role. Usually, it’s hard to find housing from July to August, so students run out of options or end up paying for overpriced accommodation. Thus, consider these tips when choosing student accommodations as early as January, and start achieving your dreams with your own effort