Posted by mney on December 1, 2016 9:24 am
During your first year at university it’s likely you’ll start off living in halls, so it’s important to research what’s available in your area and find the best place for you. When you go to open days make sure you look at the accommodation offered by the university. Before you go make a list of places you’d like to visit and check them out too and use the time you have in the area, see what’s close, whether you like the location, decoration or vibe of the place.
When first browsing online it’s important to look up different companies to see what options they have in the area, for example Unite Students have three properties in the area as do Prodigy living and DIGS have two. All of these companies and locations offer different pros and cons, facilities and prices so it’s important to look at what will work for your needs and your budget.
Many people choose to live in the university’s partner accommodation, Storthes Hall because that houses a large number of students and is set in a beautiful forest setting, has a handy bus service and has lower rent than most of the externally owned places in town. It also hosts some of the Student’s Unions Fresher’s and holiday events making it a social hotspot.
Some people may want to live closer to their classes because they struggle with travelling and transport, want to be closer to amenities or are on a practical course that involves a lot of carrying heavy materials and equipment that they may struggle to bring on the bus.
Whichever halls you choose, there will be pros and cons so the best thing to do is to get a good feel for the place by calling to arrange a tour or visit so you can see if it feels like home.
If this is your first year or you’re choosing to move back into halls in a new flat like I did and haven’t got a place with your friends then you’re going to have to get used to the idea of meeting new flatmates and living with strangers. This is something many people (myself included) find very daunting and it can be a struggle to settle in and make yourself at home among new people. However it’s important to be friendly and polite and try and get to know each other, set boundaries and respect each other.
It’s also important to remember that if you don’t get on with your flatmates it’s not the end of the world. You don’t have to imprint on the first people you meet, you’ll find friends through societies, course mates, socials and just general uni life so there will always be people to turn to. Try to keep things at least civil with your flatmates even if you’re not the best of friends because this does make your life a lot less stressful but if things really do get too much you need to talk to the security or admin team at your accommodation. It’s their job to make your time living in halls as smooth as possible and they can help with things like mediating meeting between flatmates, reminding stubborn people about the rules of your tenancy or even moving you somewhere you’ll be happier and more comfortable. Don’t give up if you don’t make your best lifelong friend in your first room in halls. I only got on with a couple of my flatmates last year but I didn’t end up living with either of them so this year I’m back in halls with a new bunch of flatmates all of whom get on great with each other and it’s a much happier mood in the flat this time around.
Another thing to get used to is living independently, possibly for the first time. Get a bit of practice in before you leave home by learning to cook at least a basic meal, know how to do chores and look after yourself if you don’t already. Flatmates and friends can sometimes be on hand to help if you’re floundering but nobody really wants to be the baby of the flat and have everybody do things for them. Share responsibility of communal areas and tasks and take responsibility for your own things.
Good luck in researching, visiting, and living in your new home and enjoy your time with your new flatmates and friends!