Tackling A Social Life While Getting Your Head Around Housing

Letting companies and landlords hurling promotion after promotion at you; making you believe that their property is the best for you. Many companies want you to put your time and money into them quickly - but don’t be fooled! You’ve probably got other responsibilities on your schedule, including University, perhaps a society or even paid work. Renting a house is a process that shouldn’t be rushed, there’s a lot to it (that we may know nothing about), so take your time and decide which house is best suited to you.

Despite first year being somewhat easy as whatever grades you achieve don’t count towards your overall grade, the grades you get can determine whether or not you have secured a place for second year. Added to this is the pressure of Letting companies bombarding you with information about prices, rooms, landlords, utility bills! Trying to juggle this information alongside deadlines, social opportunities, and work overload can make first year a very stressful time.

During my time sharing a flat with people that were all very different from one another in their own little ways, I discovered that I enjoyed my own company more than I thought and began relaxing in my room more than anticipated. In one sense this allowed me to be on top of course work and revision, but on the contrary I almost excluded myself from the day-to-day social interaction. (I’m not saying I was a hermit, but looking back I could’ve attempted to socialise a little bit more and get to know extra people).

(Photo: Pinterest)

September and October went fairly well, I partied a lot, as freshers do – and met tonnes of people. However, the problem sometimes with meeting people whilst intoxicated, is that you can’t really connect on a deeper level. You may follow each other on social media, but most of the time that is as far as it goes.

(Photo: CapitalFM)

However, if you meet people sober, in a social environment, chances are that you can find similarities (or differences) and perhaps build a relationship. Societies are the perfect gateway into finding people that are more like you. If you’re not a social butterfly, and the thought of joining one on your own scares you; It is OK. Many students have felt the same too! But I can’t stress enough how important joining one is, or maybe just giving it a go, attending one event and seeing if you get a taste for it. Societies provide the perfect opportunity to get out of your accommodation and meet other people who are different to those you live with, and perhaps you have more in common with than the people who were just thrown, at random, into the same halls as you.

Societies may help you find people you would enjoy living in a house with for your second year. The thought of housing alone is scary and can make you feel pretty damn anxious - most of us students haven’t got a clue about renting an actual house and everything else that comes with it. Never mind figuring out who you will share one with.

(Photo: Exoduswear)

Towards the end of November can be the most stressful time of year: you’re trying to find people to live with, letting companies are providing you with leaflet after leaflet in the street or posting them through your front door. Your brain is extremely overloaded. But, it is absolutely fine to feel like you’re bombarded with information that you know nothing about, most students are in the same boat. Being confused is all part of the experience.

It is a demanding time, but what you must remember is to stay calm and collected. There are a number of Facebook groups where students post about rooms available to rent, or just genuinely asking if anybody would like to move in with them. The University also has student halls and close connections with students letting companies, so  the advice team could give you a hand at any point in the process.

There are countless letting companies, so the whole process is just about figuring out which ones have good reviews (you can rate your landlord at www.rateyourlandlord.org.uk), amenities that are in decent condition, a good location, and of course - affordable pricing.

According to AccommodationforStudents.com, 52% of students living in accredited property are more positive about their landlord.

Overall, student life can be difficult; you have the pressures of meeting people to become friends with, but you also have the extreme pressure of finding people that you will then want to live in a house with for a whole year. Understanding housing concepts, such as water, electricity, WiFi, TV licencing, how to pay bills, the list goes on is just the cherry on top of the cake.

So, if you’re needing one to one extra information and advice, the Student Union is the best place to go. But if you fancy being more independent, you can find out useful information on websites such as “Your Move” & “Law on the Web”.

For most people this is their first time finding a house alone, without the help of parents or gaurdians. So although the stress can be overwhelming, try to enjoy the experience and, at the very least, learn from it!




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