There is a completely different feeling living outside the campus and inside. I lived in halls of residence for two years within close proximity of the University. I really enjoyed living on campus and feel I made the most out of ‘student life’. I made a lot of friends who came from all over the globe and to this day keep regular contact. Although my time in halls was amazing and an unforgettable experience, a part of me didn’t feel fully independent and decided it was best to move to a rented flat off campus.

Choosing a roommate

In the process of renting a flat off campus, choosing a flatmate is a difficult decision that lies in your hands. For me it was fairly easy - I decided it was best to live with a fellow student, who was my neighbour and friend in halls for almost two years. In saying that, I know of others who found it more difficult choosing between teammates, classmates, friends and other halves. My advice – it’s best to move in with someone you have already lived with in halls, or someone who you spent a lot of time with in your first year at Uni.

I was glad to be moving into the big city, into my own flat! Picture it. No more food labels, clashes over fridge space, kitchen time and disagreement over taste in décor! University is a time to discover who you are. And in your own place, you can confidently display your developing sense of self.

City living

Living in Edinburgh will change how you experience Edinburgh! Given the title “most desirable city” and numerous other articles boasting about the city - I agree with them all! With culture, romance, history and a thriving centre, it's easy to see why Edinburgh is a popular place to live.

I got myself a nice 2 bedroom flat on Leith Walk, a popular and busy area close to town. Takeaways, restaurants, supermarkets, cinema, shops, libraries and barbers are only minutes away - on your doorstep. In my first year living in Edinburgh I managed to secure myself with a part-time job at CarphoneWarehouse. I made a lot of friends at work and familiarised myself with the city. It was also amazing to experience the festivals that Edinburgh had to offer, such as the Fringe and the Christmas market.

The night life in Edinburgh lights up and has the most vibrant atmosphere. There is much to do with popular bars, there are great clubs for students and even arcades are open late. If that’s not your type of ‘thing’ and you prefer peace and quiet, there a lot of nice places in Edinburgh located outside of the centre. 

Being involved with campus life

The great thing about off-campus living is that it doesn’t mean not being involved in campus life. Not everyone who attends the events that the student union and university offer live on campus.

Involvement in University activities and societies is a great way to develop the uni spirit, meet new friends and create memories. It doesn’t, however, require that you live on campus to do so. Also, living off campus is good, if you want to keep a distance from the loud party animals; you have your very own fortress of solitude where you can work on assignments and exams for your modules.

Trains and buses

Living off campus can also be a little bit frustrating at times. Buses and trains to university can be hassle! My advice is to become familiar with the bus and train times. Also, get yourself a bus or railcard!

Preparing for the post grad life

My lease is almost over now that I am a graduate, but living off campus has made me ready for the wider world! It has prepared me to live on my own and made me fully independent. It’s a sure-fire way to ease the transition process from student to post-grad living. I also enjoyed living with my flatmate who put up with my hyperactive self. We had so much fun in Edinburgh and at the same time worked really hard!

More information:

You can also read another blog I have written about my time at award – winning agency, Holyrood Partnership - an opportunity which arose living off- campus:

Mohammed Maj Meah, BA (Hons) Public Relations and Media

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