On or off campus?

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It is the time of year again when we are all looking for houses and accommodation for next year, but the big question that faces pretty much all of us is: should I live on campus or in town?

In my first year. I alternated between wanting to move off campus and wanting to stay on. Between the endless building work that went on just outside my flat in County for eight months and the ability to roll in to my lectures in Bowland five minutes before they started, I just could not make up my mind. By the time it was time to make a decision, I had only known my flat mates for a matter of weeks; living in town was still a terrifying concept.

About two months later, it seemed that the builders had decided to start their work even earlier – and the routine of lectures had become second nature. This led me to wish I had chosen to live in town. Throughout my second year, I wished I lived off campus, and when I was somehow convinced to live on campus again in third year, all through that year I wished I lived off campus more than anything. I could see into my lectures office from my bedroom window, my tutors would pop into my Townhouse kitchen to say ‘Hi!’, as they walked past, and the luxury of being able to roll on over to the art studios within seconds of waking up just became a harrowing reminder of how I was living in a bubble.

Living off campus this year has, of course, shown its down sides. Waiting for the bus in the rain, full buses driving past you and of course the inevitability that you will be late at least once a week. But as a whole I have loved it. The separation from work and home gives you the ability to switch off and relax. Having a space that feels more like a home that you can shape to fit you, rather than a flat–pack room desperately plastered in posters in a vain attempt to make the room personalised. But I think I am one of the lucky ones. I found a pleasant house, a good landlady and a house-mate I have known for years. I know that not everyone is as fortunate. I know people whose landlord have told them to expect their ceiling to leak regularly, people that have to deal with piles of rubble in their back yards all year round and have neighbors that are under the opinion that having a student live next door to you is on par with having Metallica living in the next room. So I fully understand why people would choose to live on campus with like minded people, where a plumber is just a phone call away and the structural quality of your house is not the last thing you worry about at night.

Personally I much prefer being off campus and do enjoy the responsibility of looking after a house, but I do see why people like living in the bubble that is campus. My advice is – don’t make the decision too quickly.

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