You got accepted into the university of your choice. You are ecstatic and cannot wait for August to come. Acing your entrance exam, however, is only a battle half won. Why? You live 570 kilometers away from that school.
You need to live nearby where you won’t have to cross two rivers and one tollway. But finding a place that’s right for you can oftentimes be just as nerve-wracking as your first day in college. Stick to these three considerations and you will be guided in your search for student accommodations.
An ideal place is one that is close to your school. If there are university accommodations, start from there. Ask the student services office of your school for a list of their housing facilities and comb that list. Living nearby will allow you more time in school to finish your group work, study in the library, or practice with the varsity. You will also worry less about catching more zzz’s after finishing a paper. If you fail to secure a slot in their housing, look for a residence outside the campus that is still within walking distance.
If the best possible option for you is to get housing in the neighboring city, do not fret. Find one that is close to main transport lines. Know the shorter routes. Install that ride-sharing app on your phone just in case you forget that flash drive needed for your afternoon class.
In the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), students may choose from among the student accommodations that is either a stone’s throw away (literally) or within 15 minutes of walking. This affords students easy access to just about anything: food establishments, churches, malls, medical centers, and the University’s very own top-of-the-line sports facilities. UA&P will also open a residence hall for male students and faculty by May of this year.
Ask the school’s student affairs officers regarding the safest neighborhoods in close proximity to your school. Get feedback from occupants of the place where you are inquiring.
As you make your choice for a place to stay, ensure that your health will not be at risk. Are there windows where natural sunlight can enter? Is the building near a noisy establishment? You may have a difficult time studying given situations such as these. Choose a place that promotes friendly interaction among students. The concern for others grows as you get to know each other more. If you become friends with the other students, it will be easier for them to respect your study period.
Another area where your student affairs officer can help is the choice of a roommate. It can be hard to adjust living with a person you barely know, but it will help you mature. You will have to set rules and agree on them so you can live amicably. Otherwise, you risk coming to a room that smells of cigarette smoke or where you can barely walk without stepping on a personal belonging. If you are lucky, you will find one who will wake you up for your class or join you in your early evening runs.
The farther you are from the city or points of interest, the cheaper the housing rates become. Know how much your family can shoulder. There are agreements or contracts involved in availing of student accommodations. Payment terms are clear and strictly followed in most cases. If your course offers a scholarship to which you are qualified, go for it. Some types of scholarships include board and lodging expenses.
Even if you can afford to pay a lot, try to find accommodations that are comfortable but not luxurious. You are there to study and acquire the discipline necessary for bigger responsibilities in life. The other amenities in the building may only serve to distract you.
There will always be hitches in finding the place that suits you best. Know your priorities, focus on what matters (your studies!), and you will be able to sort out the rest as you discover the adventure and joy of living away from home.
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