9 Reasons to Stay at College until Graduation
Living at a residential college can be surreal. For many students the first and even second year can be a whirlwind experience of freedom, friendships and study.
Whilst living at College is a once in a lifetime opportunity, towards the end of the year students must decide whether they’ll embark on life in a share house, return to College, or even choose to remain at Tommy until graduation.
The further freedom of living with friends in a share house can seem very appealing, but behind the gloss and surface appeal this option can actually be harder, time consuming and more expensive.
Here’s 9 reasons why many students choose to continue their studies at a residential college until Graduation.
- Every year is different, and easier… if you’re at College
Just like high school the college experience provides a range of different activities, platforms and events for students to develop throughout their time at university.
Beginning as a fresher, students embark on a journey that involves dynamic social events, new friendships and an exciting transition to life in Perth and university. This is a environment that was created to make the transition fun and seamless.
A students second year at college changes. They’ve gathered an understanding of what embodies college living and settled into a routine as they embark further into their journey at university. This can often be a reality that is quite different to that of the previous year.
For students who choose to live in a share house, it’s almost like starting over again. The burden of new furniture, the added responsibility of bills, bonds, cooking and cleaning, increased time travelling to and from university – the tricky navigating of friendships and roommates – all whilst university studies ramp up and they actually need MORE time to study.
Students who return to Tommy More enjoy an even smoother return to their ‘home away from home.’ With established friendships and an understanding of how college life works, students who return for their second year get the chance to participate in things they missed the first time around, whilst continuing with academic support and an ideal study environment as assignments and pressures, level up.
Returning for a third year becomes even more enjoyable. Starting afresh isn’t an issue amongst all the other pressures of beginning what is undoubtedly the most important year(s) of their life. Third year students are provided the opportunity to upgrade to a studio apartment which offers more independence with the ability to utilise the kitchenette and a study space within their own room.
Third year and above is much more about life as an adult and ensuring that they continue to enjoy the convenience of college so they can focus on graduation and beyond.
- It’s not like the rest of your life
Life after university is filled with many more obligations, more chores and more responsibility. Living at College is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You only get three (maybe a few more depending on your degree) years to soak up the social life, events and leadership opportunities that College brings. This is in comparison to a lifetime of living in their own house.
We often hear stories of students who have embarked on life in a share house only to later regret not staying one or two more years and enjoying the opportunity whilst it was available. Instead, they’re tied up with the burden of navigating the rental market, buying furniture, cleaning, mowing lawns and connecting utilities. At Tommy however, their friends just came back and slid right into their home away from home.
- Share houses are not ideal for study
With noise, small rooms, housemate relationships, cooking and cleaning, the reality is that share houses are not ideal for study, particularly for students in third year or above when study workloads increase.
Students in their third year and above, as members of the Graduate Association, have access to the graduate lounge in addition to existing study spaces. Complimentary academic programs are also readily available. They can enjoy the convenience of College life whilst living in an environment tailored for study.
- Career Opportunities
It’s usually only in third year and above that students realise the importance of career networking, resumes and job application preparation. St Thomas More College provides students with one to one alumni mentoring, career development programs, networking opportunities and seminars and sessions with field experts.
- Resident Advisor and Leadership Opportunities
Alumni and employers tell us regularly that the graduates who stand out from the crowd are those who have leadership skills. Students in their second year and beyond have wider access to leadership opportunities such as attending a leadership course and committee and Resident Advisor roles. These opportunities provide students with skills, training and experience that are valuable for their future careers.
- Sometimes things go ‘pear-shaped’ on the outside
Navigating housemate relationships is tricky for anyone, let alone students who are in the midst of studying in their final years of university. It’s much easier in a residential college setting to maintain relationships and boundaries. When students have their own living space and guidelines to promote harmonious campus living, along with the personal, emotional, academic and career supports, they won’t ever feel like they are “stepping on their friends toes.”
College provides MORE space and better security which is something that shared housing rarely does. College also provides spaces to wind down after a long day of study by chilling out at Hammock Grove or in the recreation rooms. It also provides peace of mind that students are safe as there is constant security measures in place, from gates surrounding the precinct, security swipe cards to get in and out and a 24/7 contactable reception/resident advisor.
Their is less of a chance that things will go pear-shaped as students are surrounded by spaces, supports and opportunities that are not provided on the outside.
- You are inducted into the Eagles Society
Students who live at Tommy More until graduation are inducted into the Eagles Society which provides them with an award and alumni opportunities. The eagle society provides students who have finished their degree whilst living at Tommy with unique opportunities to connect and network.
- The cost is very comparable
It’s easy to look at the weekly price of rent at St Thomas More College in comparison to the weekly rent of a share house. Many students who later choose to return to St Thomas More College report that the price of living in a share house is comparable to College. Share houses do not include utilities, internet, furniture, lawn mowing, additional food costs, bond, maintenance, insurance, and all of the perks that College includes such as a gym membership and academic tutoring.
Furthermore, students who are studying at the University of Western Australia need to factor in additional petrol and parking costs (as well as transit time).
Currently, prices are high and availability of rental properties in Perth is low. Finding a rental that is well maintained, affordable and close to university is incredibly hard, with rental properties often favouring families over groups of students. In addition to the pricing stress that comes once students factor in the full costs of living out of home, the process of finding a property whilst putting your secure College accommodation at risk, can be unnecessarily stressful.
St Thomas More College also has a range of bursaries and scholarships, as well as financial hardship packages to assist students who require financial support.
- You might miss out on a scholarship
The very last thing is being the recipient of a scholarship. Although St Thomas More College offers a number of scholarships and bursaries for students in first year, there are considerably more opportunities to receive financial assistance in the students second and third year of studies and students are encouraged to apply for these.
So there you have it! Our list of 9 reasons to stay at College until Graduation.
Regardless of whether you choose to live at College for one year or five, St Thomas More College is proud of all its students for their contribution to college life and spirit and knows that once a Tommy Moron, always a Moron.
If you’re a current Tommy More student and are on the fence about whether or not to leave the nest or stay and study, our Deputy Head of College, Bec Wood is always happy to have an honest chat to help students work through all of their considerations about where to live next year.
If you’re thinking of applying as a first year student in 2021, the time is now. Due to current economic factors and global events, St Thomas More College is experiencing a higher than normal demand for accommodation in 2021 and spaces are filling fast.
Applications are now open, and applying online through the website is both quick and easy.
Students are advised not to wait until the end of mock or WACE exams in order to secure their room.