For most people, choosing your university accommodation will be the first time you have had to decide where you will be living. In this blog, we asked James to write about his accommodation selection process and his top tips for prospective students.
At first glance, choosing accommodation at any university can be pretty daunting. There are dozens of variables to consider, as well as a fair few unknowns! I remember trawling through The Student Room, trying to get some tangible insight into what different accommodation options offered in terms of community, amenities and room size. This blog post hopes to simplify the accommodation selection process and give prospective students a few helpful hints.
Warwick offers a whole range of accommodation, differing depending on room type (single or double), size of flat (from 4 to 16 people), and location. You can choose to live in same-gender halls, or mixed, as well as live in Undergraduate or Postgraduate blocks. Sports enthusiasts are likely to live in Westwood, whilst Medical students congregate in Rootes and Jack Martin. With all this to consider, it is worth taking a step back to realise that the University of Warwick has curated all residences to be conducive to academic life. All rooms come equipped with a desk for private study, and all flats have some form of communal space. As well as this, Warwick students are a friendly bunch, and all first years are in the same boat. It is common by the end of first year for students to be loyal to their flat and all hold fond memories of the comradery between flatmates.
So how do you go about choosing accommodation? My first tip refers to location. Warwick is far from being a stagnant university. It prides itself for being at the forefront of research and education. This requires its boundaries to expand continuously, both in metaphorical and physical terms. As an example, just consider the fact that over the next five years, Warwick has nine development projects planned, including a new Faculty of Arts building. Even the Warwick Business School, with its contemporary architecture and state of the art technology, is always improving functionality and form.
Consider your location to buildings you will be studying and learning in. In first year, I lived in Rootes and it was less than a five-minute walk to the majority of my lectures. As a keen triathlete, it was also an accommodation that offered easy access to running and cycling trails. Look carefully at Warwick’s campus map and trace out the buildings you will often be in with their relative proximity to your shortlisted accommodations.
My second tip is to consider what type of environment you prosper in. Are you naturally extroverted or introverted? Do you savour alone time, or is social interaction key? The answer to this question will go a long way in answering the question of which accommodation you should choose. Lakeside or Bluebell may be a perfect middle ground, offering 8 rooms per flat, ensuring both social elements and private time. Instead of choosing your residence based on whether it has a double bed or en-suite, ensure that the environment the flat offers is matched to your personality.
Once you have created a shortlist depending on your approach to the above tips, its finally time to decide. For some students, it is an obvious choice. For others, it seems impossible to decide. This is where I offer a traditional business tool - The Cost Benefit Analysis. On a page, draw up a list of all potential halls in consideration. Then on the horizontal axis list the crucial elements you desire. You could even weight these depending on importance. Examples could include proximity to lectures, size of flat, communal space, social atmosphere etc. Find information on each of the accommodations and score each element on a rating scale. The hall that wins the most points is ultimately the residence you are most likely to feel at home in!
Information like this blog and other information found elsewhere can be incredibly valuable in making your decision, but nothing online will match the experience of coming to visit the range of accommodations the university offers. During your open days or offer holder visits, be sure to visit any prospective flats in person to get a real feel for dimensions and ambiance. Irrespective of where you end up living, keep in mind that it is only a small part of university life and students are in no way limited to the halls they live in.
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