Choosing who to live with can be a very big task. Asking around your friendship group can be one way. But, you don’t want to ask someone out of courtesy and then realise they snore and have to live with them for the next year, not being able to sleep.
It may seem like a faraway idea, like you have lots of time to figure it out. However, the more you put it off, the harder it will be to find a nice place with people you actually like to be around.
So, here are some tips on how to make sure you find the right people for you.
Think about what you want
You need to have a serious think about what you actually want from university living. While you may think this doesn’t require much thought, being with someone almost 24/7 can be a big change. If you think this may be too much of an undertaking for you, maybe consider renting a studio or single room apartment.
Most students house share due to costs. The house or apartment you find may be a little sparse, so think about what is non-negotiable for you. For example, if you definitely want a bath, en suite, parking, good location, etc. But, remember to be reasonable for your budget.
Who do you actually want to live with?
Many universities house random students together during the first year, so you have no real control over this. But, in second and third year, you can move into housing or apartments and you need to be careful about who you move in with. Friendships do not equal perfect housemates. You may want to talk about this with the people you are thinking about moving in with.
People have habits that they don’t even think about when they live alone. But, they are put on show when you start living with others and, suddenly, leaving dirty pots until the weekend is an issue. Small things like this over time can sometimes cause a rift and ruin friendships, so you don’t want to sacrifice a friend for the sake of living with them.
Some universities have online groups of students looking for people to house with, so you could safely meet up with someone from that group and see if you can see yourself sharing a house with them.
Of course all university courses are hard, but some have a bigger workload. It may be an idea to share a house with people on your course if you study something like medicine, law, etc. You can go to lessons together and, when you have exams or stressful assignments, you will all understand that you need time alone. Or even help each other out.
If you live with people on your course, they wil also understand if you get burnt out or don’t want to party, because they too have had his big workload.
Student accommodation prices can vary. If you are given a maintenance loan, then you need to figure out what percentage of that needs to be set aside for rent. The last thing you want is to spend it all on freshers week and then have to get multiple jobs over the year to help pay rent.
Some landlords may try and take advantage of students, knowing that this is probably the first time they are renting. So, take a good look around at different places and get a feel for the prices. You don’t want to get bullied into signing a contract when you are not ready.
This will be somewhere you live, so you want to feel safe and happy. If you need help, you can always talk to your university, ask your fellow students what they are doing or look online.