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Student Housing 101

Like most university students, you probably spent your first year in halls. Personally, I loved my accommodation. Well, despite the incessant fire alarm which insisted to go off at the worst moments: mid-shower, dozing off the night before an exam, dinner cooking away in the oven. Yeah. That part was never fun.

June comes around and it’s time to wave goodbye to the luxury of ensuite, similar sized bedrooms and the short walk to campus as you prepare yourself for the move to student housing.

This can be exciting. You’re moving in with friends, have spent months looking for the ideal place, and the additional bills mean you have even more independence than you did the first year. That being said, student housing itself is not all sunshine and rainbows. It’s your first year in a privately rented student house, and things aren’t quite so idyllic.

From idyllic to infernal

Unless you happen to be moving into a swanky new house, chances are, you new student housing won’t be nearly as luxurious as first year. I lost count of how many properties we visited that were infested with damp walls, narrow staircases and odd sized rooms.

We eventually found a flat in which all the rooms were around the same size. This luckily freed us from the whole ‘who will have the box-room’ argument (trust me, they tore friendships apart and they hadn’t even moved in yet).

In terms of the deposit, be prepared for the brewing animosity you’ll feel towards your landlords as they try and claim money from you. In our case, we only had to pay a small price for a cleaning fee and received the majority of our deposit back. However, upon arrival, be sure to snap pictures of any damage and markings around your new abode, alongside an inventory.

Moreover, be ready for appliances to be breaking down left right and centre. I think we cello-taped our freezer door on at some point, a futile attempt at fixing what was undeniably broken. A week later our fridge relocated itself to the front garden, with a new, and to our delight, slightly bigger one taking its place.

Noisy neighbours

The majority of student housing at my university are on really long roads and the surrounding area is primarily dominated by students. This is great considering that you will probably live within close proximity to your friends; ordering taxis is a doddle, pre-drinks are only around the corner, and you can pop around to your mates at the drop of a hat.

However, the whole student area thing isn’t so great when instead of the cheerful chirp of birds, you wake up at 8 am to house music thumping through your walls. This will be accompanied by the sound of drunken students stumbling over wheelie bins which are sporadically sprawled across the street.

This by no means came as a surprise. However, the noise soon becomes intolerable with exams impending and you’re trying to get your sleep.

Student housing is noisy.

Cleaning Chaos

Keeping your student house spick and span at all times is impossible. Accept that it’s never going to be spotless. Nonetheless, as a piece of advice, don’t be that person who leaves their plates mounting on the surface. Just get it over and done with and wash as you go.

Cleaned the kitchen? Gold star. Give it five minutes and a few pizza boxes and a trail of crumbs will appear, erasing any proof that you got your hands dirty.

Expect arguments and cleaning rota galore.

Adapting

Student life is bizarre.

One minute everyone will be locked away in their rooms accompanied by an endless pile of snacks, their stress levels reaching their max.

Next minute, you’ll hear HSM blasting out from the living room or a chick flick rolling on the TV in spite of the 9 am French exam the following morning.

As with the first, your second year is all about adapting. During my first year, I remember merely eating a packet of scotch eggs for dinner and asking whether I was in any form of a routine is laughable. However, during my second year, I got into the swing of things and I found a routine around the cleaning and the inevitable noise.

While this post hasn’t sold the university lifestyle, it’s genuinely been the best time of my life so far and student housing is all part of the experience.

What’s your experience been like with student housing? Do you have any tips for those transitioning from first years halls?

Evie

11 Comments

  1. My halls of residence weren’t particularly nice (and didn’t have ensuite!) so transitioning from halls to student housing actually wasn’t that much of a problem. Having said that, I do remember having lots of arguments with my housemates over the messy kitchen/bathroom/living room (I lived with three guys and I don’t think they understood what a duster was!!) and there was endless bickering about people eating other people’s food! Despite all these things, I loved having more independence and it was a brilliant experience (its also makes me appreciate the clean house I live in now!!). Great piece!

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      I lived with three girls and there were still a load of arguments over cleaning! Haha definitely, I love coming home to a clean house. Couldn’t agree more! It’s all part of the experience at the end of the day. Thanks for reading! x

  2. My flat that I’ve just moved out of was awful. They left us without a working bathroom light (and no windows) for so long that we ended up bringing in one of our dads and fixing it ourselves, but for ages we were showering in the dark which was so sloppy and dangerous. And then our toilet flush was broken for 5 months, which meant for 5 months we had to reach into the cistern and flush it manually. It was so gross 😫

    Some landlords and agencies are great, but others really look down on students because we aren’t “adults” earning our own wage yet. I think that’s so shitty, because we are adults, and we should be treated in the same manner and give the same respect and facilities as any other wage earning adult. Just because we’re studying for a better education, we’re sometimes treated like shit 🙄 that’s another thing I would definitely warn uni students of – prepare to live in a less than functioning flat, because chances are you aren’t going to get a good landlord/agency!

    Beka | http://www.bekadaisies.com

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Oh that sounds like an absolute nightmare 😭 I honestly don’t know how some agencies get away with it, or even think it’s okay to completely disregard students. I know some people who weren’t too bothered and just kind of got used to living in a slump, but nonetheless, the landlords should be helping us out rather than looking down on us 🙄 we shouldn’t have to live in conditions like that, especially with how expensive it can be!! Thanks for reading 💖

  3. I hated living in a dorm as a freshman. Everyone was so loud and never talked to me so I just hung out in my room with a couple of friends. I rented a house my second year and it was sooo much better. I could clean, cook, and do whatever I wanted. It was hard at first but my friends made me feel so comfortable that we would hangout all day and help each other study. I loved it, even if it was expensive.

  4. I’ve just moved into my second year house, so I’ve got all of this to come! I’m excited to some extent for what’s to come, but I’m sure it’s going to be a big learning curve at the same time. Thanks for the prewarning haha

    Megan // https://www.pixieskiesblog.wordpress.com

  5. I really hated living in my halls in first year. I lived switched 4 student gals for 2 professional guys in my house share in year two and I stayed there for a while after finishing uni – it was so much more fun than halls/students ever were for me, but my uni experience wasn’t the most conventional anyway! I’ve always been lucky with really quiet and tidy housemates for the most part of the last 5 years…but there are always a few that have to been seen to be believed. x

  6. I’m moving into a student house in September with one friend from uni/school so hopefully we’ll keep on top of everything! I really enjoyed this post as it shows that student life is such a unique experience! X

    Emily // dailydoseofem.blogspot.com

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Ah hopefully it won’t be too messy then with it just being the two of you! Haha thank you, hope you love your new student house! X

  7. Loved this post! All of it is so true! The box room arguements are so real…

    My halls of residence were a palace compared to the really cold flat on a dodgy arts we ended up in for 2nd year. The agency tried to get money oro of left right and centre, including ignoring is every time we complained about the broken oven and then trying to get money of our deposit to cover it. I ended up moving in with my boyfriend in 3rd year because a 1 bedroom place was so much cheaper and it wasn’t until then I found my routine!

    • eviejayne eviejayne

      Thank you! God some agencies and landlords are a joke. Swear they expect students to just be ok with broken appliances etc and think they can take whatever money they want from us. But that sounds so much better than living in an awful flat 😭 dread to think about finding somewhere for my 4th year! Thanks for reading x

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