Making the choice to move away for university is daunting no matter your age, but as a mature student you may feel like you’re taking an even bigger step when there are so many misconceptions surrounding living in halls when you’re over the age of 21.
As a mature student, you may assume that living in university halls is only for those fresh out of college or sixth form – but this simply isn’t the case. Almost 60% of all undergraduates in the UK are aged over 21*, and this figure is set to continue rising. Although student accommodation is often associated with all-night parties and messy kitchens, there are actually many benefits to living in halls as a mature student.
We’ve broken down some of the biggest worries mature students may have – from too much noise to finding likeminded housemates.
*Calculated based on HE student enrolments by level of study 2017-18
Can mature students stay in halls?
If you’re a mature student heading to university, there is nothing stopping you from applying to live in your university’s halls of residence. Being a mature student at university doesn’t necessarily mean you have more or less income to spend on privately renting, so choosing student accommodation where gas, electric and council tax are taken care of may be a preferable option. Living in halls also provides 24 hour safety, the opportunity to make new friends and a short commute to university lectures and seminars.
The misconceptions of living in halls as a mature student
You have no privacy
University halls can sometimes feel overcrowded, with the inevitability of sharing both kitchen facilities and living space. While living in halls is ideal for socialising and getting to know your housemates, if you’re someone who prefers a quiet environment, most universities offer studio flats and apartments which means that there will be fewer people sharing common areas. Many university rooms now have en-suite bathrooms as standard, too.
There will be too much noise
One of the main downsides of university halls can be the level of noise, with walls typically being thin enough to hear everything going on both inside and outside. It can become a nuisance if you have young flatmates who are drinking and playing music before nights out, especially when you’re trying to sleep or study.
But did you know that some universities have dedicated ‘quiet halls’ for those who don’t want to party hard? This type of accommodation tends to be popular with both mature and postgraduate students who prefer to spend their weeknights catching up on coursework or cooking dinner with friends. Of course, the quiet life may not be for everyone, and if you are seeking ‘party central’ there are plenty of halls to suit that lifestyle too!
I’m not going to fit in
Many mature students worry they won’t find common ground with their younger housemates, but this is largely untrue. As long as you make an effort to integrate with those you live with (including possibly attending the odd party!), then the age barrier won’t be as big of a deal as you imagine it is. Also, if you’re the eldest in the group, you may find that people begin to look to you for advice – from studying to relationships and even cooking!
It may not be fun
Just because you’re a mature student doesn’t mean you’re past wanting to have fun! University is designed to push your boundaries and provide new opportunities, and for many people a big part of the university experience is living in halls. No matter the type of halls you choose, it’s guaranteed to be an experience you’ll never forget!
Student insurance from Endsleigh
Whether you choose to live in halls or a shared house, it’s important to protect your possessions with contents cover designed for students. With Endsleigh you can also build your student contents policy to include cover for gadgets (including mobile phones, tablets and laptops) against theft, accidental and liquid damage should the unexpected happen.
Find out more about student insurance from the only insurance provider recommended by NUS.
Not sure where to live? Download our eBook to find out what to look out for when choosing your student accommodation.