One of the natural next steps from first year to second at University is to move out of halls and into a house. This can be somewhat more stressful than halls, as you have to actually take into account things like utility services, landlords and estate agents (all of which are in my experience thus far, not particularly reliable). However, on the other hand can be a whole lot more fun.
My University only went back this week (W/C 25th), so that’s when I decided to also move my last few bits and myself into our house for this year. We’re living in a little town house about a fifteen minute walk away from Campus. There are six of us in the house, myself included made up of four girls and two boys which is a really lovely mix.
Living in a house, certainly gives the accommodation a more homely feel as not all of the rooms are the same and you’re off of campus. One of my girlfriends, Lucy and I went to visit another girlfriend, Rebecca for supper this week. Rebecca is living in halls again this year and we found it really strange to be driving back onto campus and around to accommodation again. Which is bizarre since it really wasn’t long ago that this would’ve been the norm for us. We agreed that perhaps that reaffirmed how much we’d actually already settled into our houses and adapted to the change.
Whilst student houses are renowned for being pretty grotty, what I’ve seen and experienced so far really isn’t so bad. Yes, they are quite basic and landlords/estate agents certainly do not take students seriously but I think the overall experience of being in a house if far pleasanter. It allows you to inject as much (or as little) personality into the space you have and you feel as though you have more independence and responsibility also. I think too, depending on the property and the way in which you do your utility bills it can also work out cheaper than halls.
A few little things I’d advise if you’re looking to move into a student house are:
- Look as early as possible. At Reading everyone started looking at around Christmas time, which I at the time thought was ridiculously early, but if you snooze you miss out on the best properties i.e. the ones with the closest proximity to the university, car parking spaces etc.
- Try and live with people you wouldn’t usually socialize with. Of course choose people that you get on with, but if you choose those who aren’t generally in your friendship circle you could find it to be less intense if you have an argument etc. It also means you’ll have a more active and exciting social life keeping up with your friendship group. I’d advise to try and stay with those you’re already in halls with if you can.
- Keep on nagging. From my experience, the only way that estate agents and landlords do what you need/want them to do is if you chase them up.
- Don’t stress too much. It’s easier said than done and I’m a nightmare for over stressing, but it honestly won’t change anything. Houses will fall through, landlords/estate agents won’t pull through, but in the end it’ll all be o.k.
What are your experiences of student houses? Do you love/loathe them? Or are you looking to move into one next year, would you like to know anything else? Just leave me a little comment below!