On Campus and Off Campus
If you are just finishing up your first year of living on campus, congratulations. I know that when I got to this point I was quite proud of myself for having made it through and feeling like I knew how to move forward. That being said, there are several significant differences between living on-campus in halls and moving off-campus for second year.
If you’ve got a good bunch of housemates then you will stumble through it together and you’ll find a way to make it work for you but I thought I would mention a few things here that might help to make the transition a little bit smoother.
The main additional responsibility you will have to bear in mind is now having to pay for utility bills. On campus this is very conveniently wrapped up in the price of your accommodation but it is now a separate thing that you will have to take into account. My housemates and I were able to get the price included into out rent payments so we paid a set amount up front and had a certain allowance for gas, water and electricity. We found that this took the stress out of having to monitor are usage quite so closely. We were still careful not to exceed our allowances but weren’t worried every time we turned on the heating over the winter period.
It may not sound like much but another big change is now having to get the bus into campus unless you’re living in Canley or have your own car (but then parking can be its own nightmare). Seeing as I had to be on campus everyday of the week, it made sense this year to get a bus pass at the start of the year. This was a real convenience in the mornings when I could just tap my pass on the reader and quickly find a seat.
With buses, you will have to take into account getting up that little bit earlier to get in to uni. There’s no more waking up at 8:45 for a 9:00 start but it’s not too much of a bore once you get into the routine. I would also advise people to familiarise themselves with their bus route though as there are definitely better times to be getting the bus when it will be less busy and more of a pleasant journey.
(Of course this may be slightly different next year with social distancing in place but it remains to be seen how the bus service will be operating.)
Depending on your new housing arrangements, you may also find you need an extra trip out to Homebase or somewhere similar to pick up a couple of extra bits of furniture that you didn’t need in first year. I found that in my new room I needed a bit of extra shelf space because nothing other than a cupboard was provided this year. It really made me aware of the convenience of campus accommodation.
Taking out the bins is not something you might be thinking about when you’re getting excited for next year but these sorts of everyday chores will become more important living off campus. You’ve got to take the bins out but then also remember to put them out the day the collection is due or things could turn ugly rather quickly.
So far it may appear that it is all negative moving off campus but the differences aren’t just in the chores. The positives are numerous too!
Personally I just preferred the atmosphere of living in a house compared to halls. It felt much more sociable than in our first year and not only because we now had a sofa to relax on in the evenings.
And of course, if you are moving into a house in Leamington, don’t forget to make the most of your new location. I’m sure you have already ventured off campus this year and into the surrounding towns and cities but don’t miss out with the convenience of being right in the heart of it in the evening and on the weekends. There’s no more worrying about getting back to campus in quite the same way when you can just stroll back home after an evening out or just having been for a walk around the town to see what’s going on.
And I think that’s all I have to say for now. It’s all that I can think of at least and I think it summarises the major changes to come. Living on campus was great in first year and I would never want to change it but I have also loved being off campus in second year and look forward to heading back to Leamington for the start of next year. Every type of accommodation has its advantages and disadvantages but as long as you work out what they are and make the most of them, you’ll have a great time next year.