Accommodation or Adversity?

While I myself do not live on campus here in Maynooth I have heard many complaints about the cost of accommodation and the difficulties in managing the paying of rent with buying the essentials needed for living a comfortable life. Do not get me wrong, I understand perfectly that it requires a huge financial undertaking on the university’s part to supply and maintain accommodation for the students here on campus and there is certainly almost no complaining about the conditions in accommodation here on campus. The purpose of this article is to give others an insight into the life of an on campus student and to tell those who do live on campus that they are not alone in any struggles they may have had or currently have.

The primary concern on many students’ minds seems to be the balancing of where and when to spend money, there is no doubt that on-campus life can be an undertaking at the best of times and this budgeting can easily become your primary concern, even beating out assignment deadlines. Over the last week I asked a number of students, who wished to remain anonymous, of the daily experience of on-campus life and they had many interesting points to make. These students had nothing but positive things to say about the apartments they were living in. They said they are comfortable, have enough space for all living there and create a great sense of friendship with the people who are living with you. What these students also said was that paying  rent for this desirable accommodation sometimes makes it hard to balance out money in regards to purchasing items such as bread and milk.

‘I can’t tell you how many times we’ve asked one another who borrowed the milk from the fridge’ one student said, this remark, while amusing, also has a slightly serious side. With all of the work we do in university with regards to assignments and exams, particularly around this time of year, students can’t afford to be caught up in situations like this which, if it were not for the financial pressure on those who live on campus, would be trivial. One first year student during the interviews said that ‘It has become easier since the beginning of the year, I’ve become much better at balancing money than I ever was’. The life of an on-campus university student appears to be one of new experiences and through these experiences I hope those who are struggling will continue to get better at coping with any financial pressure they may have.

To sum up, I hope that by reading this article those of you who do not live on campus have been able to gain an insight into the life of someone who does and I hope that those who live on campus, particularly those who may be struggling, realise that they are not alone and that this ‘active struggle’ will get better with time.