How to: Student Accommodation Survival 101

Student Bedroom

Moving from the safety-blanket of a family home and into the “big, bad real world” can be a daunting prospect. Though is it any wonder with phrases such as “big, bad real world” floating around? Here are just a few tips to help make the transition into halls or private accommodation that tad bit easier.

Halls of Residence

Often the first choice of accommodation for many college and university first year students who are new to the area. Providing inclusive bills and pretty much standard student essentials many look back and realise that the giant leap they took moving out all alone wasn’t exactly that big in the first place.

Personally, being a second year student and now living in private accommodation, it is safe to say that I look back on my time (or as friends and I liked to call it “our sentences”)  in halls as stress-free, enjoyable and easy. Not having to worry about how long the heating is left on for or how much money we were wasting by using the steam from a shower to iron our clothes (last minute of-course) was definitely one of the best things about living there.

In reality, not everyone will find they become best of friends with the people they are essentially made to live with. Although I heard of some instances of people being shuffled around, don’t count on this and instead if you find yourself realising how polar opposite you are to Mary in the room next door, don’t fret as you are more than likely to meet and befriend neighbours and most likely course mates who are all in the same position.

Take advantage of the fact that you don’t have to worry about your bills. If you’re cold, don’t feel you can’t stick your radiator on. You’ve paid to use it, so don’t worry about it. I’m no eco-warrior but still be sensible! You’re a fresher (more than likely) – have fun!

Not everyone is a party animal so don’t feel pressurised to go out night after night if you would rather stay in. Find your balance and you’ll realise you are not the only one who wouldn’t rather stay in and stick a movie on!

Private Accommodation 

Having recently moved into second year private accommodation it is safe to say you need not be shy about kicking up a fuss if something isn’t right. When I walked in on moving-in day, the place was a mess. Turns out it hadn’t been cleaned in 3 months, when the previous tenants upped and left for China! Don’t let your landlord take the mickey out of you. You are an adult and you are paying (usually ridiculous prices) to live there. I immediately called them up and after a bit of chit-chat and complaining I managed to get brand new beds and mattresses and of-course a good clean of the place.  Pestering them is key, or they’ll forget about you. It’s a sad truth but usually they manage a lot of properties, which is a lot of students.

Speaking to friends, they often worry about complaining to the landlord and don’t want to upset anyone. Though it should be said that any dealings with people should always be polite and respectful (otherwise you could get in trouble in the long-run and not get what you want/deserve) don’t fret about rattling a few cages. Yes, you’ve signed a contract. But that contract binds them as well as you and your friends and it’s a two way agreement. If you feel they aren’t upholding their part of the contract, then let them know!

If you want to save some money become aware of that light you noticed was on in the kitchen even though the kitchen is vacant. You’ve heard it before. Leave a room: switch it off.  If you want to monitor energy usage to try and save money, why not buy an energy monitor?

I’m a firm believer in living life to the full. Enjoy university, for many it’s a three year journey which is over before you know it.

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