Living on Hazel Farm vs Near Campus

With the end of the academic year approaching and my time at Surrey, I thought I’d write to you about the differences in living away from campus vs close to it. I know this is a decision everyone struggles to make as it plays a big part in your everyday life at university. In my four years of being at Surrey, I’ve lived at both Hazel Farm, which is the university accommodation far from campus, as well as near Guildford town, which is only a 10-minute walk away from campus. So let me give you the pros and cons of each living situation, through the points of price, distance, and quietness and hopefully that will help you decide where you want to live in Guildford!

Firstly, the most obvious factor in choosing where to live is rent prices. To start off, Hazel Farm is quite cheap: it holds Band A and Band B single rooms, so you’re looking at £86 or £99 per week. This is a great price for living at Guildford, in comparison to whether you’re going to house share or rent private student halls like Scape or UniLife. You can find the prices of all the other room bands offered by the University here. House sharing or private renting can still be within budget, but will most likely be more expensive than living on Hazel Farm. So just something to keep in mind! 

With Hazel Farm’s biggest pro comes its most obvious con which is distance from the main campus. Hazel Farm is a 44-minute walk from the university, which can be quite hard to do if you have a 9am lecture most days of the week. However, this is conveniently fixed by the buses running around Guildford. Once you get the bus pass with your student discount, commuting to campus and around Guildford should be easy. With a place closer to campus you can easily walk to and from campus as well as to events around it whenever you feel like it. So it’s really all a matter of whether you prefer walking to campus or don’t mind commuting everyday. 

Another point of comparison is that Hazel Farm is a lot quieter than living around campus. Because the areas around campus are buzzing with a lot of student life as well as Guildford town itself, it can be a lot louder at times. Whereas in Hazel Farm, it’s a lot quieter, with a calmer overall feel to the place. So the surrounding sounds are just something to keep in mind, they’re obviously not entirely defining where you choose to live!

I will also say, now that I live closer to campus I find that events on campus are a lot more accessible as I get to leave a little later than the last bus to Hazel Farm. It allows me to stay and study for longer on campus as well as for society events that start at times like 7pm. So I’d say overall choosing where to live depends on whether you prioritise cheaper rent and a quieter place or living at walking distance from campus and staying for longer.

To recap, the three points of comparison are price, distance and commute, and quietness. When you’re choosing where to live it’s important to also keep in mind that every year of uni can come with different priorities, so you can always choose to live on Hazel Farm one year and then nearer to campus another. Remember that both areas are great living areas, Guildford in general is a really nice town and anywhere you choose to live will certainly be great!