Students heading off to university for the first time have a lot of important decisions to make. If you rush into them or don't give them the consideration that they deserve, it can end up harming the overall experience that you have. Below are 4 things that every female student needs to consider when looking for the best accommodation for her and her friends.
Who Does Your University Recommend?
Every university will maintain a list of approved providers that it has vetted and can recommend to students. These options should be the first ones that you consider as they are the most reliable choices available to you. Whenever you rent from private business, whether a student or not, there is always a risk that they will be one of the bad ones.
For women especially, it is important that you rent your property from someone that you trust, at least on a professional level. Thankfully, the number of rogue landlords out there is small and most students won't have any problems with their accommodation at all. However, there is always a risk when you rent from a private landlord that they will try and fleece you. If you do start looking beyond your uni's approved list, make sure to thoroughly investigate anyone you might rent from.
What Kind of Amenities Will You Require?
Different people will have different requirements for their properties. Some people are happy with the bare minimum; all they want is a roof over their heads. Other people will be aiming for a greater level of style and will be willing to spend more to get it.
If you fall into the latter category, businesses like Collegiate will provide you with luxurious lodgings up and down the country. For an example of what they offer, check out the Newcastle Uni accommodation from Newcastle Collegiate. Collegiate's student accommodation is a step up from what most others are offering.
How Will You Get Back After a Night Out?
Socialising is just as much a part of the university experience as the learning. If you are doing lots of one and not much of the other, you aren't going to be getting the most out of your university course. However, it is important to consider your safety and ensure that you have an easy path to and from your front door and wherever you will be spending your nights out.
Most university towns and cities will have decent public transport infrastructure, but this can vary, especially with more remote or rural universities. Even if the centre of town is only a short walk away, you should avoid walking home alone at night whenever possible, especially if you have been drinking.
Can You Afford It?
There's no sense in allowing yourself to fall head over heels in love with a property that you aren't realistically going to be able to afford. Remember, you need to be able to cover the costs of renting the property as well as your living costs. That means that you need to leave enough room in your budget for your food, utility bills, and other expenses on top of your rent.
Finding the right accommodation is important. Where you live and who you live with will have a significant impact on the kind of experience that you have at university.
4 min read
One of the few things I remember from grade school biology is the concept of tropism. In plain language, tropism is the reaction of a living thing, like a plant, towards a stimulus like sunlight or heat. You've likely seen this before but just didn't recognize it for what it was. If you've ever seen the leaves of a potted plant bending towards a windowpane, that's tropism in action. The plant is bending towards the sunlight.
If you've ever seen the leaves of a potted plant bending towards a windowpane, that's tropism in action.
In our everyday lives, we are all inundated with stimuli throughout the day. The driver in front of us that stalls at the yellow light and zooms through the red light, leaving us behind to wait. Or the customer service rep that leaves us on hold for an ungodly amount of time, only for the call to prematurely drop. There are so many examples both common and unique to our individual lives. The trouble begins when we form the habit of responding to everything — particularly negative stimuli. By doing this, our mental peace is disrupted and diverted making us slaves to whatever happens to happen. Much like the plant bending towards sunlight, we oftentimes react and lean into whatever is happening around us. Now take that concept and multiply it by the number of things that can happen in a day, week, or month. What happens to you mentally with so many emotional pivots?
For me, the result is: Restlessness. Anxiety. Sleepness. Mindless Eating. Everything besides peace of mind.
Much like the plant bending towards sunlight, we oftentimes react and lean into whatever is happening around us.
Earlier this year, something pretty trivial happened to me. I'm sure this has happened to you at some point in your life also. I was walking through a door and, as I always do, glanced back and held the door longer and wider than normal for the person coming behind me. My gracious gesture was met with silence — no thank you, no smile, not even a nod. I remember being so annoyed at this travesty of justice. How dare they not acknowledge me and thank me for holding the door? After all, I didn't have to do it. I know I spent the next few hours thinking about it and probably even texted a few friends so that they could join in on my rant and tell me how right I was to be upset. In hindsight, I should not have allowed this pretty petty thing to occupy my mind and heart, but I did. I let it shake my peace.
I've since taken some classes on mindfulness and what I've learned (and I'm still learning) is the art of being aware — being aware of the present and my feelings. Recognizing when I'm triggered towards annoyance or anger gives me the opportunity to take a step back to understand why and assess whether it deserves my attention and energy. We're all human and having emotions is part of the deal but as mindful adults, it's critically important to choose what you're going to care about and let everything else pass along. There are several tools on the market to help with this but the Headspace app has really helped me in my mindfulness journey. The lessons are guided and coupled with some pretty cute animations.
Recognizing when I'm triggered towards annoyance or anger gives me the opportunity to take a step back to understand why and assess whether it deserves my attention and energy.
Over the course of the next week, I'd like to challenge you to pay more attention to your reactions. How aware are you of how you allow your environment to affect you? Are you highly reactive? Do you ruminate for hours or even days on events that are insignificant in your life? If so, practicing a bit of mindfulness may be the way to go.