The Great Debate: Are digs a solution to the accommodation crisis?


There are plenty of reasons why I can say that living digs this year was a great experience for me and would be for anyone.


I will be the first to admit that after hearing urban myths and hearsay about nightmare digs I was apprehensive about it, but now, six months after moving in I can say it was very worthwhile.


You live in a proper house. Last year I was living in Larkfield and to say it was scarcely equipped is an understatement. In digs however you are sharing a house with a family who also have to live in it, so it is guaranteed to be well kept and furnished. It isn’t like a creaky old rented house where the landlord cuts every corner to maximise profits. The houses are more than suitable and well above the standard of living usually associated with students.


In my case, I was given full access everything in the house, from the Sky TV and broadband, Netflix, Playstation and even a home gym. I know not every house has these facilities, but you wouldn’t find it offered in other accommodation.

Digs is more often than not a cheaper alternative to living in Dublin. Where purpose built accommodation and landlords can have prices set at ridiculously high to squeeze all the money out of our pockets, digs can be done as a way to fill an extra room or help out stranded students. My digs mammy told me that she offered the room because her son is off on Erasmus and being looked after very well, so she wanted to do the same with someone studying in Dublin.

You are not restricted in what you do. This is a give away for campus accommodation but often overlooked when sharing a house. From day one I was always told that there is no problem with me coming or going as I pleased, regardless if it was 3am on the way home from town. As well as that, I have never been told that I can’t do something or been disturbed from my work – or naps for that matter – I had full control over my actions in the house.

Socialisation. Never is there a day when I don’t by asked how my day was when I walk in the door. I am always presented with opportunities to mix with them and their friends. You learn so much by spending time with people outside of your usual social circle. This is something you don’t get elsewhere, you’d only be mixing with the same college friends all the time.

Aaron McElroy





Where you live while studying in third level education dictates so much of your college experience. One of the main reasons my best friends and I are so close is because we lived in the same student accommodation in first year. We all instantly connected when we found out that we all lived in the same place.

I have lived in student accommodation for the past three years and it has been a brilliant experience. Student accommodation allows students to get to know each other and make friends with people outside of their course in a relaxed environment.

This is something I think students living in digs miss out on.

One reason I am against digs is because of other peoples feedback,  a cousin of mine lived in digs when she was in first year. She said she found it difficult to make friends because everyone on her course either lived on campus or in a house with other students. The woman she lived with set a curfew of 11 o’clock so she could never stay out past that. She is now in second year and is living in a house a five minute walk from the college with four other girls. She is finding her college experience so much more enjoyable now.

Beth Sheridan, a first year communications student in DCU is also living in digs. She said ‘I do feel kind of claustrophobic at times because I don’t really have much space and there’s me, a family of four, and two other students in a pretty small house.’

Living in student accommodation or a student house gives you so much independence. You can go where you want whenever you want! When most first years come to college it is their first experience of living away from home for a long period of time. This can be a daunting and unsettling experience for even the most confident of eighteen year olds. Living with students who are going through the same thing as you can be comforting and reassure you that having our own independence can be fun.

Choosing to live in student accommodation has been on of the best decisions I have ever made. It means I have been able to get involved in society life in college, make so many new friends and it has made me a much more independent and confident person.

Aoife McCormack


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