Choosing your accommodation for first year can be quite stressful. Like me, you may not have a great memory and struggle to remember which accommodation you visited on the Open Days or on the post-offer day and so you’re not too sure where to start.
So here is a list that helped me pick my accommodation for first year:
Look to see where the different colleges are in respect to your department
This helped me narrow down my search straight from the beginning as I knew that I very much value my sleep and if I’m close to the Biology Department I could have those extra minutes in bed! That became especially convenient when it came to those 9 am lectures and practicals.
Do you want self-catered or catered accommodation?
This point is quite personal as different people want different things. I personally went for self-catered as I wanted to learn more about cooking. Before university I hardly cooked at all, just because my mum’s cooking is amazing. You can never beat a good homemade meal done by your mum! But ever since I’ve been cooking for myself I feel like I have improved and I have to say I am quite proud! My own experiences aside, I have friends that were in catered accommodation last year and they really enjoyed the food so that option benefited them.
How about the bathroom situation: en-suite or shared?
People tend to have very strong views on this factor: they 100% want an en-suite and they don’t want to budge from that. After talking to different people I have noticed that people’s opinions changed once being at university for a bit (and after they have got to know their flatmates like the backs of their hands).
Shared bathrooms are not as repulsive as some people seem to think! I have been told that they get cleaned more – definitely more than en-suites as you are expected to mainly keep them clean yourself, so that’s a positive. Also you become really comfortable around your flatmates faster than you’d expect, so having to share a bathroom doesn’t become much of an issue. So don’t discount shared bathroom accommodation too quickly!
I won’t go into this in too much detail, as prices change from year to year and they are all accessible on the University of York website. The only thing I will say is to carefully look at all the different prices, work out your budget and see if you’re willing to pay that amount of money for a certain accommodation.
How do I pick which college to be part of?
This is another factor that people put a lot of thought into. I personally didn’t put that much thought into the colleges. I prioritised the actual accommodation more than the personality of each individual college. To be honest the colleges at York don’t really live up to their stereotypes. People will say that Derwent College is the party college, James is the sporty college and Vanbrugh is the musical college, but I haven’t found that. I am part of Vanbrugh College but I haven’t played a musical instrument since year 10 and I only know a handful of people who are part of Vanbrugh College that are musical. Of course it’s natural to look at the reputation of each college but I wouldn’t take that into too much consideration.
The main thing that I’ll say is that if you don’t get the accommodation you wanted it’s not the end of the world. I know people who had all different types of accommodation last year and no one complained. You will make friends and be happy wherever you end up!
I hope that this guide is useful and good luck with everything!