By Zara Lim, MEng Electronic Engineering, Department of Informatics
Accommodation at uni shapes a crucial part of your young adult life and it can be difficult deciding where to stay during your time at King’s. If you already live in London, you may choose to stay at home and commute to university, or you also have the option of staying in student accommodation and embracing the ‘complete’ uni experience. I personally chose to stay at home for several reasons.
Staying at home means you will save a lot of money. When you don’t live at home, there will be additional costs on top of paying rent, and depending on your needs, you might have to pay for utility bills, get an internet plan and think about council tax exemptions etc. Not to mention, you may also have to allocate money for food depending on whether you live in catered/non-catered halls.
At the end of an academic year, you will have to move out and you will need time to pack, as well as sort out your accommodation arrangements for the next year. Due to the nature of the academic year at King’s, you will also probably be studying for exams or writing coursework at the same time and it can be a hassle and an additional unnecessary stress when you might want to spend the time focusing on work and socialising with others.
Arriving home from uni, chances are you’ll come home to a fully stocked fridge that isn’t filled with expired milk, and you’ll probably be living with your family, meaning there are people you know and (mostly!) trust. It’s needless to say that having a home cooked meal – that isn’t your standard student bowl of instant ramen – with family and being in a familiar setting can be comforting and a great way to unwind after a long day at uni.
Being at home also usually means you face less distraction and noise from your other flatmates. When you’re surrounded by students, it’s often rare that you’ll get a moment of peace – from partying many nights, to the regular testing of fire alarms – that’s just a part of being in student accommodation. At home, you are given the option of stepping away from all the hustle and bustle when you need a moment of peace or a good night’s rest.
Of course this doesn’t mean you will spend less time socialising. Living at home encourages you to join more societies, since you will have less time to socialise with friends outside of lectures. You’ll maximise your time on campus and make full use of your time at uni. In fact, you may actually spend most of your time there.
Naturally, staying at home also has its cons. The daily hour-long commute on a packed train is never fun, especially on a cold and wet morning. You can’t just roll out of bed five minutes before a lecture.
Most people opt to live in student accommodation for their first year of their degree as part of the ‘complete university experience’, but I don’t feel like I missed out by staying at home. On the contrary, my experience of staying at home has encouraged me to take advantage of the full range of facilities King’s has to offer.