Most of us university students have faced with the choice whether to live in a Student Accommodation or to search for a private flat. Even though according to the country both options vary in terms of living conditions and price, It is more on the intangible aspects I want to concentrate today.
I’ve been living in an accommodation in Edinburgh, Scotland for almost 8 months and I have quite mixed feelings about it. It would be rather unfair and ungrateful of me not to admit that there are a couple of positive features about accommodation life such as security, good quality of the flats and what mattered the most for me – the fact that you know for sure where you are going to live next year. I guess at this point some of you would ask what about the “always party and meeting new friends” side? Surprise…that may turn up to be your worst nightmare! 😀
To begin with, it is extremely unlikely not to say impossible to choose the people you’re going to share a flat with for the whole year, which means that when it turns out that you do not fit with your flat mates you still have to bear with them. It is not like you can go and just change the flat for a reason such as “I want to slap them in the face when I see them” 😀 After the “freshers’ week” (which, personally, is a total waste of time but that is another topic) when the university reports and work hit you, parties 3-4 times a week in the flat do not seem so appealing, at least to me. And it is not so much about the noise from the slamming of the doors and the “bass”, the drunk people shouting in the corridor, the disgusting conditions in the kitchen the next day, or not even about the gay guys who decided that your door is the best place to hit on each other…it is about what complete lack of respect towards you (the person who want to seep at 3:45 Wednesday) that those actions express. One thing is to have fun, and another to completely lack common sense and good upbringing. In addition, you may developed this new hobby to count how many days (or weeks) it will take some people to wash their dishes or to clean after themselves! The worst part is that it makes you feel guilty for not liking them as you realize it is not actually a personal thing, but still… 3:45 am 3 times a week!
Another drawback about accommodation life is mainly linked with the fact that good quality and security come with a prize. Before deciding whether to rely on your uni’s flats or to search for a private one, I recommend you read the long list with “Charges and prohibitions” the accommodation sends you. I admit that some of those such as “no smoking in the flats, no candles allowed’ are made for our own safety, after all there are more than 700 people living in these buildings, but if you want to feel more cosy and homey and not highly controlled some restrictions become annoying after the first month. One of the most aggravating things are the “FIRE ALARM CHECKS”…Imagine yourself taking a hot shower after a long day, the water is running down your body, washing away the stress…and then you hear the fire alarm and you have to be out in 5-6 minutes … Then once you go out, it turns out to be a false alarm just to check whether you will evacuate (or you risk being charged with 50 pounds)…SERIOUSLY! IF I THINK MY LIFE IS IN DANGER I WILL EVACUATE! BUT I AM NOT 5 I DO NOT NEED YOU TO TEACH ME EVERY MONTH HOW TO EVACUATE! These false alarms situations remind me of a fairy tale we thought in primary school about “The lying shepherd”, when after 3 false wolf cries the other village men did not help the shepherd when he actually needed help…this may happen here as some people just stop evacuating every time. In addition, in my accommodation case, it takes really around 3 minutes to draw money out of your bank account, but it takes the “helpdesk” 3 months to send someone to repair your locker or towel rail (mine is broken since 1 month).
So, to conclude, living in a Student accommodation may turn out to be a double-edged sword…from one side you feel secure, have own room and nice kitchen, but from another you might be unlucky by being unable to use the kitchen as you are afraid you may catch a disease from you flatmate’s dirty dishes… If you ask me why I haven’t moved out, I would say I wanted to give this kind of an experience a try and also I did not want to bother with all the “finding someone to take over my contract and finding a new place to live” stuff. However, I’ve already started to search for a private place next year , so later expect a material on a private flats life…I hope it is much more positive 😀 😀 😀