In the summer before starting university I was excited (and nervous) about going to uni. My main worry was whether I had done enough revision and worked hard enough to get the grades I wanted, so when my place was confirmed at Newcastle I was over the moon! The last thing I was worrying about was which accommodation I would end up in.
Then the email arrived that changed everything. I hadn’t got my first choice accommodation. Or my second. Or my third. In fact I hadn’t got any of the six preferences I put down. And I was gutted about it. I had never really thought that where I would be living would have bothered me as much as it did, and (in a huge overreaction) I even said to my parents ‘I don’t even want to go to university if I have to stay there!’. Thankfully my parents talked some sense in to me, but I still really wanted to change where I was living.
So (naturally) I took to the internet! The University Accommodation Services Facebook page offers room swaps. You just put down what room you have been offered and what room you’d prefer and see if anyone else looking to swap their room wants yours.
I spent a few days trying to find people to swap with in all sorts of different accommodation, when finally I found someone! She wanted to be with her friends and I wanted to be able to cook for myself. So we sent through the forms and the swap was approved.
On the 21st of September I moved in to my room in Bowsden Court. It’s further out from uni than some other accommodation but South Gosforth Metro station is a three minute walk away, and it is really straight forward to get to campus.
There were five of us in the flat, and we all got on really well. The kitchen was great, with plenty of fridge, freezer and cupboard space (something you don’t realise matters until you all try and fit two weeks’ worth of food in one place) and a TV for when you needed to escape from work. There were shops nearby and a park that was great for relaxing in in the summer.
I loved my room and I loved the people. I have so many fond memories of that flat, that room, and those people (some not so fond ones too, but life is a rollercoaster after all). I even go back to Gosforth some weekends to see what’s changed. So even though not getting your first choice accommodation can seem like the end of the world to begin with, sometimes it can turn out for the best.