So many of you, first year students, have experienced your first year living away from home and living in halls of residence with strangers you did not know 3 months ago! Or maybe you are a prospective student contemplating the thought of what happens after halls.
Before I attended the University of Worcester, one of my many thoughts was what happens if I do not like my hall mates, who will I live with during my second year?
Thinking about what happens next can be a daunting feeling for many of us, especially if you have not decided who you want to live with or where you want to live!
Thankfully, when you arrive at the university and get settled in, everything tends to fall in its place. You meet friends for life, those you will always have for support, those who will be your family for the next couple of years and those who will lend you £10 when the goings get tough.
I do not know anyone who has not made friends to enjoy the excitement of house hunting with. I, for one, enjoyed my time looking for places to live with my house family, and if I knew then what I know now, I would have one less grey hair!
Here are 5 tips I used to overcome any troubles I had when contemplating where and who:
Tip 1– Distance – To me, being close to the university was the most important because it means for a 9am lecture, I do not have to leave an hour early to ensure I get to my class on time.
Also ensuring that the distance to local shops was short (Loco is my local and it is so cheap for essentials, including the chicken and mushroom pot noddle I tend to live off).
Tip 2– Similarities and Differences – The people you live with in halls do not have to be the people you live with in a house. You may meet some amazing people and not so great people.
Being on a Primary Education course, it was important for me to live with people who understood my work load (great way of sharing lecture notes).
Luckily for me, the people I lived with in halls happened to be the people I choose to spend my second year with.
Tip 3– Getting your money’s worth – Being as my family help fund my rent, it was important to have a house that had the overall cost in the rent so that I knew all bills (especially WIFI) were included.
Obviously it comes down to individuals input on what they think it is worth, but do not just settle for the first home if it really is NOT worth it.
Tip 4– Getting to know your Landlord – It is important to get to know your landlord to see if you can rely on them, but also to find out as much as you can about the property. Having a good relationship is so important!
Myself and everyone in my house have a great relationship with our landlord. We respect that our home is essentially his house, so we make sure we clean it (some more than others) to keep it well looked after and, in return, he helps us with any problems we may have.
To our benefit he has allowed us to stay here for our second and third year!
Tip 5– Do NOT rush! – I am sure everyone will tell you how IMPORTANT it is not to rush into anything. I would not recommend signing a contract for the first house you see. There will always be something better…or something worse.
Remember, we are students after all, so we do not look for luxury but something that is worth the price and we feel at home with.