Moving to Dundee this year, I had a decision to make. Where to live? With my parents living twenty minutes from Dundee, I could have easily moved back in with them. But after four years of independent living, working to my own timetable, eating when I want, and not feeling bad about getting home noisily in the small hours of the morning, I knew this wasn’t for me – and probably not for them. No matter how strong the child-parent bond, I’m fairly sure my Mum’s grateful she’s no longer responsible for my laundry! The tough choice ultimately came down to living in student accommodation or private renting.
Student accommodation has plenty of advantages. It’s really close to campus, affordable, and the hassle of splitting bills is not a constant pressure. Not to mention how modern and comfortable the Dundee University halls are! And, of course, there’s the brilliant social aspect – how better to make new friends than throw yourself into a living situation with complete strangers?! You’re sure to make new bonds quickly!
However, I wasn’t keen to rule private rental out. I spent the first year of my undergraduate degree, my third year abroad in the USA, and my fourth year (after forgetting to organise a flat for my return to the UK…) in student accommodation. Was I really willing to go through another year with shared utensils, missing cereal, and early morning fire drills? With rent in Dundee being considerably cheaper than private rental in Glasgow, I was keen to look further into my options.
After arranging various viewings in the West End area, I took some time to consider the pros and cons of each living situation. As far as finances, location, and standard of living space were concerned, both Uni halls and private rental seemed to be much and such the same. I just had to decide where I would feel most comfortable.
I have now been living in my new flat for about three weeks. I opted for private rental, as I felt it suited me better. Although I have not been thrown into a bustling building of students, I am lucky to have found a building filled with friendly locals, not too far from the University. As for the social aspect – which was one of my main concerns – I have picked up a voluntary job at a charity shop in the city centre to fill my time, meet new people, and build up the ol’ CV.
Ultimately my advice to those of you deciding on where to live, whether undergrad or postgrad, I can only recommend carefully considering your options and going with wherever you feel most comfortable – not only do you want to feel safe in a new environment, but have a place you can feel happy enough to call ‘home’ for the foreseeable future!