School leavers set to fly solo
IT may be all parties and excitement for school leavers at the moment, but soon they will return to reality with a thud as they prepare to leave the comfort and security of the family home in search of higher education or work.
Casting a dark shadow over the path to independence are the horror stories of student and shared living, whether you are staying on the Coast, heading to Brisbane, interstate or overseas.
USC student and Varsity Apartment tenant, Jordan Foster, can put your mind at rest as long as you live on campus.
"You can't go wrong if you live in uni accommodation," he said.
"The apartments are well-maintained and close to campus and having students around makes it more likely you'll actually turn up to classes."
The 26-year-old Sippy Downs man is six months away from completing his double degree in event management and business tourism.
He said although he was ready to finish, he would miss the life-style on-campus living provided.
"It definitely had a party atmosphere but it is a misconception the only thing that happens there is partying," he said.
"You still have plenty of time to hit the books.
"People have to make their own decisions about what they do with their time.
"You can't blame where you live."
But 24-year-old QUT engineering graduate, Catherine Egan, believes you can.
She said had a shock in moving from her Buderim family home to a share house with five girls from school.
"Moving to Brisbane was a lot of fun but it was a really dodgy house," she laughed.
"I dropped out of uni after only five weeks."
Although her decision to drop out was not a result of living away from home, her choice to spend the rest of the year enjoying herself was.
Now in her fifth residence in the city, the former Coasty is accommodation-savvy and urges school leavers to think carefully about whom they move in with and what suburb they live in.
"It is tough when you first move out," she said.
"Make the most of every opportunity and enjoy the independence.
"Just always keep enough money for the essentials - don't blow it all on partying."
Varsity Apartments student accommodation manager Leanne Foster said the varied age of students at the residence gave the place a great feel.
"We have students from 17 to 40," she said.
"It definitely is a fun place to live but people are still serious about their studies."
Jordan recommends to give on-campus living a go before venturing out into the big wide world of renting.
TIPS FOR SCHOOL LEAVERS
- Choose your flatmates carefully
- Keep some money aside for emergencies
- Draw up a budget
- Cheap is not always best
- Spend your time wisely