Room with a view?


Accommodation is a constant worry for students. Nora Costigan examine the plight of three students with different living situations.


Attending college is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable phases of the lives of those who choose to embark on it. It’s when most people really start taking a hatchet to the parental apron strings and find themselves in the possession of a seemingly illicit amount of freedom.

Yet freedom is a variable depending on the individual circumstances. Where a student lives is a huge determining factor in the quality of their college experience.

Where you rest your weary academia-addled (and possibly beer-basted) brain every evening can determine whether you are living a life of flagrant anarchy or sheltered tranquillity. It decides whether you eat bacon and cabbage or beans and toast for dinner, whether you wear clothes scented with detergent or shaken from a pile in the corner of the room, with a stench of which you have become strangely accustomed.

Living at home is for many the only option because of the exorbitant price of rent in the areas surrounding UCD, although some students choose to remain at home voluntarily. Though some may feel a little stifled living under their parents’ roof throughout their college years, there are undeniable advantages to the comfort and familiarity of home.

Campus accommodation is another choice for students. It is deemed by many to be the most favourable choice due to its proximity to lectures and undoubted social benefits.

Inhabiting campus residence is not cheap but the cost is a necessary evil for many who are coming from the further corners of the country.However, the coveted spaces in campus accommodation are not available for everyone. Chances of obtaining one of the coveted places diminish the closer you live to Dublin, especially after first year.

If a bid for Merville or Belgrove is unsucessful, rented accommodation is the only option. Recent years have seen students struggle to find places to lease and subsequently, students bend over backwards to pay rent, with part time jobs being ill equipped to fund such high figures.

The recent property slump however has seen rents decrease steadily and rental property numbers increase with the number of properties for rent on having tripled since October 2006. This should ease the labour of flat hunting for the average student considerably, perhaps it can be considered the only silver lining in the storm cloud of recession.


In this section: Nora Costigan speaks to Soren Marl, Deirdre Ní Annrachain speaks to Richard Sweetman, and Amy Colgan talks to Sarah Costigan about their experiences of finding accommodation for UCD.