Lisa Moran lives at New Mill Student Accommodation, Dublin, and shares her advice about choosing where to live whilst at college.
1. Consider the student accommodation on offer when researching your desired university and course
When choosing a potential university and degree, it is equally important to research what student accommodation is on offer too. Most students will live in the accommodation for nearly a year, and for a lot of people, it will be the first time they’re living away from home. Therefore it’s vital that you are in the right location and are in a comfortable setting in which you quickly feel at home. I loved Dublin due to its great culture and its regular exciting events and activities – for me, it was essential to be within easy access to these and New Mill was the perfect option. I am only four minutes away from my college and a local supermarket and the popular bars and nightclubs are just six minutes away in a taxi. New Mill also has 24-hour staff on hand which really makes you feel safe – the staff are based on site meaning you have someone to speak to straightaway whatever is needed.
2. Sign up to relevant newsletters and alerts
This is a great way to hear about the latest university news, upcoming events as well as spaces available at local student accommodation buildings. Once I had decided I wanted to study Commercial Modern Music as part of the Design Institute of Technology, I made sure I was part of their mailing list. This is where I heard about the launch of New Mill and it allowed me to register my interest in becoming a resident a year before the development even opened.
3. Look beyond the price
Wherever you’re looking for accommodation, there will be various options available at different price points, but you must look beyond the price and get to the bottom of what is and isn’t included.
On the face of it, some residences may appear to be more expensive, but when you factor in the auxiliary benefits of these developments, such as all-inclusive bills, city-centre locations which save on transport costs and access to gyms, for example, they often work out as really good value. At New Mill, whatever type of room you choose, you sign your own licence, meaning that you aren’t liable for other people’s bills.
These all-inclusive residences also reduce stress as you know exactly what you need to pay each term, so you can focus on settling in, meeting new friends and studying. The condition and quality of your accommodation can have a huge impact on your overall university experience, so it’s imperative you choose what’s right for you.
4. Be organised
There is a lot to think about when applying for university and it is really important to remain organised. Proactively reach out to student accommodation developments to register interest; there are plenty of students also looking for places to live so if you want to guarantee your spot, it’s important you get in there first. Dublin is known for its limited supply of student accommodation so I made sure I applied in advance to secure my first choice residence.
5. Don’t underestimate the importance of social activities
Look for accommodation that offers a busy social calendar and make the most of the resources they provide. Meeting new people and making friends can be really daunting when you move to a new city and are taken away from your home comforts, but attending events hosted by your student accommodation is a great way of breaking the ice with new people. Most student residences will place flyers around your building highlighting up-coming nights out or social clubs, so make an effort to attend as many of these as possible to meet new and different people.