Making the decision to return to education as a mature student is never easy. Indeed, the word itself – ‘mature’ – has somewhat awkward connotations in the eyes of many, with the prospect of once again revisiting full-time education being one of enormous implications. Nevertheless, according to the experts at Findspace studying at university as a mature student has never been more popular up and down the United Kingdom – nor have study opportunities across the board been more accessible and attractive.
There is however one crucially important, yet rather difficult matter to address before even a moment’s studying can begin – student housing. Assuming you’ve decided to head to university in a location where staying at home simply isn’t an option, what’s the best way of going about student housing as a mature student? Chances are, the idea of diving back into grubby and chaotic halls of residence won’t exactly appeal to those who aren’t of standard university age, so what can be done to ensure that the housing found and chosen is appropriate for those choosing it?
1 – Know You’re Not Alone
Well, first and foremost, it’s of crucial importance to get out of the way of thinking whereby you assume that you are in something of a minority. Not only are you not alone in your plight, but right now in the United Kingdom over half of all university students across the board enroll at an age of 21 or over. Or in other words, the majority of the UK student population is in fact designated as mature. This should instantly alter the way the subject is looked at quite drastically – especially for those concerned about living in close quarters with youngsters. And of course, with so many mature students heading to university every year, finding appropriate accommodation almost always tends to be easier than expected.
2 – Discuss Designated Housing Options
One of the first things to do is to reach out to the university you will be studying at in order to discuss what is available in respect to specifically designated mature student housing options. Every single university up and down the country will offer a variety of options and designated accommodation types for students of a variety of ages. Contrary to popular belief, universities are not blind to the unique needs of older students and nor all they prone to simply throwing everybody into the same block and hoping for the best.
3 – Know What You Want
Chances are that rather than being returned with a relatively remedial list of options of which comparatively few are in any way appealing, you might find yourself well and truly spoiled for choice. These days, and especially when working with professional agencies, the key to getting exactly what you want is to know what you want before beginning the search process. There is such an incredible abundance of accommodation options on the market right now for standard and mature students alike that there’s very little to gain from just diving into the market and choosing at random. You can technically be as picky as you like – think about the kind of place you want, where you would like it to be, if/who you’d like to share it with and so on. Chances are, you’ll be able to tick all boxes with ease.
4 – Speak to an Online Agency
On the subject of online agencies, these will more often than not turn out to be your absolute best ports of call when it comes to finding student accommodation that suits your needs. These days, there are agencies in operation up and down the United Kingdom covering pretty much every town and city with a college or university. Rather than scouring the market endlessly for a place that suits you, it’s more a case of taking your list of demands, putting it in the hands of those who know student accommodation best of all and letting them do the hard work on your behalf.
5 – Look Beyond Normal Student Lets
Last but not least, try to remember that as you are a mature student, you are far from limited to the various types of accommodation that are tailored for and offered to students exclusively. There are so many property owners and landlords who for a variety of reasons are not willing to let out their properties/rooms to students – mature students on the other hand tend to be held in much higher regard…at least in some instances. As such, it’s a good idea to remember that there are in fact vast swathes of other accommodation types and options on the private market to consider, along with those designated specifically for student use.