If you’re used to having your own space at home, the thought of sharing a room or apartment with a stranger at varsity could be a little daunting. However, sharing space comes with a bunch of obvious and hidden benefits, according to Craig McMurray, CEO of Respublica.
“Leaving home to move into a residence is one of the boldest steps a young person can make, and it helps so much to have others along with you for the ride,” he says. “Sharing accommodation with someone gives you a new view on the world, it gives you the support you need on your new adventure, and importantly, research has shown that students who share accommodation achieve better academic results.”
While many residences offer single accommodation, sharing an apartment or a room comes with these great benefits:
An instant support structure
If you’re moving into shared student accommodation for the first time, chances are your fellow house-mates are in the same boat. You’ll work together to learn the ropes of living away from home, of negotiating your way around campus, and when hardcore studying time comes around you’ll have a study buddy to help motivate you.
Foundations of friendship
Sharing the same room with someone will offer a great foundation for new friendships – often with people that you would otherwise not picture yourself having anything in common. What’s more, the friendships that you build in shared accommodation are likely to last the rest of your life – it’s a well-documented fact!
Social life in an instant
Living away from home can often mean that you’re lonely because you don’t know where to go to make friends, or which places are the most popular hangouts. Having a roomie will mean that finding the nearest party could just mean going to your lounge… but if you’re just on the lookout for some friendly conversation, that’s within easy reach too.
Learn to be a chief negotiator
There are likely to be times when you and your roomie will have a difference of opinion, but you’ll learn quickly that stomping past one another in the hallway and refusing to speak doesn’t achieve much. The negotiation skills and ability to deal with conflict that you’ll learn by sharing a room will stand you in good stead once you’re out there in the working world.
Bridge the cultural divide
University is truly a melting pot of people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds, and many gravitate to spending time with people similar to them. Staying with strangers who are friends you just haven’t met yet will give you a different perspective on the world, broadening your horizons without you having to leave your apartment.
Keeping control of petty cash
Having a roomie will mean that you’ll save more money than what you save just by sharing rental costs – for example planning menus and shopping together to prepare for MasterChef-worthy creations on a budget will help stretch your wallet while making what would have been a chore alone, into something fun.
Sharing a room with a buddy – whether they’re an old friend or a new acquaintance – gives you an ally and a support structure as you navigate your way around varsity life. Look out for alternatives to conventional university accommodation when you’re on the hunt for a place to stay – for example, Respublica residences offer a choice of apartments with single or sharing rooms. Top of your list should be conveniences like a well-equipped kitchen, quiet areas to study, and look out for facilities like canteens, gyms, and WiFi access too.