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You don't have to live in halls!

Student roomUniversity halls of residence might be the top choice for most first year students, but smaller flats have hidden advantages.

When applying for accommodation, most new students try to get into halls of residence, but if you don’t get into halls, then you shouldn’t be too downhearted.

Many students are worried that if they are not in halls then they will be isolated, and find it difficult to make friends at the beginning of the year. It’s true that if you are in halls, then you will get to meet a lot of people very quickly: neighbours, people in the dining room, the halls bar and social events are all good ways of getting to know lots of your fellow students.

If you are in a university or private flat, you might need to make a bit more effort to be social, and you are unlikely to be in such a large group at the beginning. However, you will quickly learn that this has some real advantages.

You will have more freedom to follow your own interests, and you are less likely to find yourself stuck with a group of people that you don’t have much in common with. By being outside of the halls, you will have more time to develop some close friendships. And once the term starts properly, with lectures and tutorials, you will soon find that, halls or not, you will regularly meet plenty of your fellow students.

It is sometimes said of university that you spend the first week making friends, and the rest of the year trying to lose them! That’s a bit harsh – many of the people you meet right at the beginning may become very good friends. But by being in your own flat, away from the herd of the halls, you can choose your friendships a bit more carefully. And, after a few weeks, it’s usually the people in halls who wish they were in flats, rather than the other way round.

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