Flatting as a Student: Why you should do it

The only way you get to experience a well-rounded student life while at university is to do it all. Part of this is diving into the deep end and moving into a flat.

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The only way you get to experience a well-rounded student life while at university is to do it all. It's not just about studying (while that is a significant factor); it is also about standing up on your own two feet and making a new life for yourself. Part of this is diving into the deep end and moving into a flat. Whether you get a group of friends together and rent a house or join an already established flat, both options have their perks and offer an excellent opportunity to try out flatting. Leaving school and moving out of your family home can be an adjustment, but I promise you won't regret it once you take off your training wheels. You'll learn valuable lessons through trial and error, have irreplaceable experiences, and come into your own as an adult. 
Irreplaceable experience

Flatting as a student is an unforgettable and irreplaceable experience, full of highs and lows, friendship and adventures, and memories you’ll cherish forever. Flatting provides the perfect environment to learn how to be independent, co-habitat with people who aren’t family and is the last step to freedom. New Zealand (NZ) has a tremendous flatting culture, and your flatmates can quickly become family. There is nothing more comforting than coming home after a long day and knowing someone is always awake, the house constantly hums with activity, and there will never be a dull moment. Most of your flatmates will be uni students or people around the same age, which means you’ll all be going through similar adjustments and changes. And, bonus, you’ll have a live-in study buddy to keep you on track. 
Learning essential lessons

You’ll learn plenty of essential lessons when you flat as a student, and most of your peers will be in the same boat. Everyone in the flat will take turns making mistakes, and that’s all part of the fun. There might be cooking mishaps, laundry disasters, and even minor debates and compromises, but this will all be a positive addition to your life experience. Alongside learning how to function without parental guidance, you’ll begin to learn life skills that will help you as an adult. You will have to learn social skills and, most importantly, money management, budgeting, and bills. And while the stereotype of a poor uni student is accurate, it doesn’t mean your lifestyle has to suffer. Living within your means will help you get creative with activities and helps prioritise your finances. 
Lasting friendships and memories

Flatting allows you to see people at their best and their worst. You’ll share milestones, celebrate university achievements, birthdays, and landing dream jobs. It won’t always be the big moments that make an impact, but the small ones too, like bonding over all-night cramming sessions before exams, late-night trips to Kmart, and flat dinners. All of these moments may seem trivial, but they create lasting friendships. Your flatmates will become your new support system as you navigate life as an adult. You will also make new connections through mutual friends, and your social circle will expand.
Creating a new comfort zone

It’s never a bad idea to leave your comfort zone and while moving away from home seems like a big step, it’s also a huge confidence boost. You can survive and thrive on your own. Heading into the real world can have its downsides; cohabiting with new people can require adjustments. Everyone has a way they like things done, and sometimes that causes clashes. But learning how to live happily alongside others helps build character and teaches you how to compromise. After 18+ years of living with your family, moving out can be a massive change. Moving into a flat is exciting but can also be intimidating, so put time into personalising your new home and make it a place you can be comfortable. 
Independence

Independence is by far the biggest perk of flatting. In a house of your own, you get to contribute to what rules are in place and do what you want – when you want. Be courteous to your flatmates but enjoy the freedom. You can make what you want for dinner, stay up as late as you like, and decorate your flat how you want it. However, with independence comes responsibility, and being an adult is all about balance. You will develop a newfound appreciation for your parents and how easy they made everything seem. You may miss the endless supply of home-cooked meals, free rent, and bills, but it’s all part of the process. Being independent will give you a confidence boost and help with self-esteem as you slowly but surely come into your own. 
Flatting as a student gives you priceless experiences and memories to last you a lifetime. You’ll make lasting friendships with people who have become like family and learn life skills essential to your survival as an adult. It’s an experience you won’t regret with people who enrich your life.
-  Shannel Milne, Nxtstep Content Writer

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