Front on photo of the exterior of a terraced house featuring a green and a red door

Living in shared student housing

Moving into your first year at university can be a unfamiliar process, especially when deciding where to live. While the majority of students may experience living in halls for their first year it may not always be possible. In this article I will be talking about my experience with living in a shared house.  

Making friends and becoming independent

I currently live with two others and the friendship that us three have formed during the past year has been strong. Living in a shared house is a completely different experience to halls because it’s almost as if you are living independently. The way I like to see it is that living in a shared house is in the middle between living with your family and living entirely independently. It’s a stepping block that eases you into the big wide world. You will learn many new skills while living in a shared house with the help of your housemates. Skills such as how to increase the pressure of the boiler (something that I had to figure out and was very proud after doing so), how to use a washing machine and how to cook meals on a budget. These skills are very beneficial especially when you move into independent living.  

House hunting is great fun!

One of my favourite parts of living in shared housing is at the very beginning, when you look around for your perfect first year house. Being able to choose not only where you’re going to live, but which house you will live in is an amazing experience and the ability to have a house that is unique to yourself is a great feeling of independence. Most university halls are very simple, and they look mostly identical to each other. However, with living in a shared house there is a lot more variety that will help you find the house that meets your needs the best. Maybe you want to live near a gym? Or somewhere with easy access to a shop? Maybe you were looking for somewhere which doesn’t have a hill that proves difficult to climb after a night out. The options are endless with shared housing.  

Possible downsides

However, living in shared housing does have its flaws. It is very easy to feel somewhat disconnected from the university, so it is very important that you take part in the university culture. Whether that’s getting involved with the SU an activity or making friends around campus or even still taking advantage of the services that the university provides for you such as student advice and the library. Another downside to living in a shared house as opposed to on campus halls is that you may have to get up earlier to get to the university, which means less time in bed! One of the more appealing aspects of campus accommodation is the ability to pop back to your room in between lectures and seminars, this is not something that will always be possible if you live off campus. That being said, it all depends on how far away you live.  

No matter where you are living whilst studying at university you will find pro’s and con’s but in the first year you can really figure out what will work best for you!

Please note: This content was created prior to Coronavirus, and some things might be different due to current laws and restrictions. Please refer to Government advice and the University of Lincoln for the latest information.