At the start of the 23/24 academic year, there were stark headlines about the shortage of student accommodation in many UK cities. This resulted in many students having to change their plans at the last minute by choosing to live in different cities and commute or even select a different university. But all is not lost, there may be a way to find yourself back to where you wanted to be, and if not this year, how can you avoid this situation next year?

Waiting List

There is a lot of movement at around October with students switching accommodation, leaving university or opting to commute so it is still worthwhile getting on a waiting list for your preferred accommodation options. Make time to pop in or call to make sure they know who you are so if that all-important room becomes available, it has your name on it.

Adjust your requirements

Whilst you might have considered it to be really important to have an en-suite bathroom or be five minutes from campus, review your requirements and ask yourself if you can compromise on any of them in favour of getting back to the city where you’re studying. Now you have had time to reflect, you can revisit those must-haves and see if there are an options you can get on board with.

Check your timetable

Before panicking, check your timetable as you might not actually need to be on campus as much as you think therefore if you have subscribed to a long commute, you may not even have to do this every day. More and more universities are condensing their timetables to enable students to effectively plan their time and can commit to work and volunteering opportunities. The result of this is you may have clear days or afternoons which will enable you to make the most of when you are on campus but also not need to fork out for lots of train or bus fares every day.

Experience something new

OK so you may have ended up living in a different city to where you are studying but look at that as an opportunity to make some new friends you wouldn’t have otherwise. You may be living with students from different universities who are studying a range of subjects from diverse backgrounds so embrace that and realise how much richer your experience will be.

Make a plan

Your experience in finding student accommodation this year may not have gone to plan, which means you need to get ahead of the game for next year and be super prepared. Most private student accommodation will release their prices and availability by November ’24 enabling you to book your room for September 2025. Whilst this seems a long way away, students will be considering their options and booking the best rooms in the best locations early. It will be one less thing to worry about, so do the research early and be prepared to put a deposit down before the end of the year and you can relax knowing you’re sorted.

Whilst some of you will have found finding accommodation stressful this year, there are ways to make the most of it but also know you are in control of your next step with a little preparation and organisation.

Written by Sarah Canning – Senior Accommodation Features Editor