As you head for college, your choice of residence can have a huge impact on the achievements you’ll accomplish as you build your career. A dedicated students’ residence that gives you comfort, suits your circumstances, and provides financial strength will give you peace of mind and allow you to concentrate on your studies without much strain and stress. Each choice of accommodation has its advantages and downsides. However, as you will discover in a moment, some accommodation options are much better than others.
Apartment renting involves students acquiring a residence in a flat where they live like an ordinary person. However, you may also find residential apartments catered specifically for students. An example of such a residence is NorthPoint. You can rent a unit for yourself or share costs with a friend if you don’t mind having a house or roommate.
Benefits Of Apartment Renting
- Overall costs might be cheaper: Although initial settlement in an apartment might be slightly high, once you are settled you may realize that you are spending less than you would in other accommodation options. Once you have a place to study, sleep, and cook your own meals you can dictate your expenditures apart from the common recurrent costs.
- Financial discipline: Living in an apartment needs good financial planning. It may be a bit challenging in the beginning as you adjust, but in due time, you will learn to plan your finances well. You will be planning for all your expenses from utility bills, rent, food, cleaning services, and transport to college is you stay at a commuter-distance.
- Enjoy your private space: If you live with fellow students in the apartment, you can utilize your dedicated bedroom as your private space. If you live alone, although this has higher cost implications, the house is all yours.
- Security: Apartments are a capital-intensive investment and their owners invest in heavy security from the gate, the perimeter walls, and access doors and windows. Staying in an apartment can guarantee you peace of mind at night and during the day when you leave your valuable assets in your room.
Downsides Of Living In Apartments
- Higher initial costs: You may need adequate finance for your initial move in. This is not a surprise; any type of move has costs. Consider it normal. You only need the basics to get started.
- Careless students may jeopardize your stay: Unless you live alone, you partners might not be as keen and tidy as you are. You may have to work on your common study room and kitchen frequently. Luckily, most students who stay in apartments have a sense of responsibility and this shouldn’t be a problem as long as you properly screen who you bunk with.
- Thorough rent payment plan: You don’t want to run the risk of eviction from your residence. You may, therefore, exercise maximum finance discipline to ensure to channel rent money to the correct spot as soon as it is available.
Onboard A Host Family
Also known as homestay is a form of accommodation where you rent a private room (bedroom) within a host family and live with the owners. Some rooms may have basic amenities like washrooms, but it all depends with your budget and the types of homestay residences available.
Benefits Of Staying With A Host Family
- Learn about the local culture and local language: If you like adventure, then staying with a host family can accord you a prime opportunity to blend into the local culture of your host and learn bits of their language.
- Sense of belonging: Staying away from your home can prompt feelings of emptiness. Staying with a host family can give your family warmth and step in to assist you in times of need. You will be going to college in the day and returning home later in the day just you would if you were in your own home.
- Laundry and food: Have time to concentrate on your studies and have fun without bothering yourself with food and laundry. Most host families will meet your meal needs and provide laundry services. It is your opportunity to enjoy healthy food and wake up to your wardrobe full of clean clothes. You can even suggest the kinds of meals you prefer so they can be included in the family diet.
- Cheaper overall costs: Finance is one of the most common problems college students should overcome, Homestay is one of the most affordable residential choices to students that can help you contain financial issues. Families don’t necessary host students for profit but to help them study comfortably. You may be surprised, some families might even free you from paying residential costs. However, don’t expect to get freebies, but if luck knocks, then hug it with warm arms.
Downsides Of Staying With A Host Family
- The rules are set for you: Although the host family may have provisions for your freedom, in most cases you will abide by the rules of the house. If the owners need everyone back home before late night, then you must plan to always return home in time.
- You may not like the food: As generous as the host family might be, they cannot adjust to all your meal needs. Since they are the ones steering the kitchen most of the time, you may have to learn liking the food provided for a peaceful stay. If you have any medical complications and allergies that could be an exception. Communicate in time so they can consider your choices.
- Minimal privacy: Your room remains private, but not until your host wants to clean it, even if it means in your absentia though you may need to grant them permission. The rest of the space in the home belongs to everybody.
Private hostels may a bit like the university hostels but with more flexibility. They are residences where students reside as communities. They usually accommodate small groups of people, say one or two individuals. Unlike college hostels they may already have furnished bedrooms. Downside is that you may need to share other facilities like recreational facilities, bathrooms and kitchen with other residents.
Benefits Of Staying On Private Hostels
- More freedom: Although private hostels also have their governing rules, they may not be as stringent as those in university residential halls.
- Access to recreational facilities: Most private hostels have a TV room where you can relax with other occupants.
- Flexible accommodation prices: You will find different private hostels differing in their costs of accommodation depending on the services they provide and the nature of their halls. It is, therefore, easy for you to settle for a hall of residence that meets your budget.
- Improved privacy: Although private hostels might have shared facilities, you have an improved level of privacy much better than in some university halls of residence.
- Access to social amenities: Private hostels are built for people. You will find good private hostels located proximal to public amenities like infrastructural facilities for transport systems, building like shopping malls, and places like recreational centers.
Downsides Of Residing In Private Hostel
- Possible transport costs to campus: Unless you find hostels located next to your campus, you must plan for transport costs. The good news is, most colleges provide student-friendly transport that comes at subsidized costs.
- Interference with personal space: If you stay with people and share key amenities like kitchens and bathrooms, you may not have much freedom to do whatever might need some privacy.
- Extra costs: A good residence private hostel might not be any cheaper. In addition to the hostel fee, you may need to meet your other needs like food. You may also incur costs when you visit nearby recreational facilities since most hostels lack state of the art facilities like gyms and swimming pools.
- You may miss on key campus events: Imagine a heavy downpour lock you at your private residence a bit far from campus. You may feel that natural battle against laziness when it rains before you catch a vehicle to campus.
College Halls/Hostels Of Residence
Colleges and universities provide hostel residences for students to live on campus. You will find such residences either within the campus vicinity or in the close to the college depending on the structural plan of the learning institution. In most learning institutions, freshmen get the priority for university halls of residence.
Benefits Of Living In University Halls Of Residence
- Ease pressure on learning: Although you have other activities to pursue in college, the main reason you are in college is to acquire knowledge from your studies. Staying on campus hotels will give you easy access to the lecture halls, computer labs, research labs, and campus library and you will not need to stress yourself on having to rush over in the morning from an off-campus residential amenity.
- Less stress for freshmen: As you join college for the first time, it can be a convenient choice for you to reside within the campus halls because most colleges guarantee you a slot.
- Save on transport costs: In some colleges especially those with extensive land, you will find hostels outside campus located at distant places which may attract transport costs. Proximity to your college can save you the headache of worrying about meeting transportation costs every time you head to campus.
- Take part in co-curricular activities: Staying near campus will give you quick access to the sporting activities within. You can participate in ball games, athletics, indoor activities, drama, music, and as many activities as your college provides. Students who participate in halls of residence far from campus may need to plan well to take part in such activities.
- Meet and mingle with new faces: In most campus halls you will be staying with other students. Even if it is a private room, you may still find you with a new face. As you stay on campus, you will have an opportunity and ample time to interact with these new faces and make friends.
- Enjoy recreational facilities: Colleges know you need good times on your campus stay. They may offer you cinema halls, swimming pools, and gyms for you to enjoy your time on campus.
Downsides Of Living On-Campus Accommodation
- The environment might be distracting: If you don’t like staying in places with high traffic then you may face a challenge staying on campus because of the traffic of the students within the halls of residence and moving around the college environment.
- You may be confined to unfavorable college stay rules: Although most rules in campus hostel residences are meant for the common good of all residents, you may find a few that might deny some freedom. For example, if the campus residential rules stipulate that you should stay out late into the night for possible security reasons yet you are a night party person, that would mean you will not attend to your friend’s birthday running into the night.
- Minimal privacy: Staying in students’ residential halls may come with little privacy. This means you have less to keep privacy since the halls are for everyone.
- There’s no guarantee of a cheaper offer: Staying on campus does not always guarantee that you will spend less than in alternative residential units. Unless you consider scholarships to help you meet prospective high costs, you may have to battle with high costs because your learning institution might incorporate costs of cleaning services and internet connections in your on-campus accommodation cost.
Carefully assess your needs before you choose a residential option as you kickstart your future career. Some factors to keep in mind may include your financial strength, proximity to campus, infrastructural layout, access to essential services, recreational services, and social amenities, your course of study, and privacy matters. You can decide where you will go for apartment renting, homestay with host family, private off-campus residential hostels, or on-campus hostels. Happy stay, happy learning.