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The highs and lows of student accommodation

A Picture of Rebecca

For the second time in my life, I’ve been thrown into a house full of strangers – but that’s university accommodation for you. I’m currently living in a house with other students, arranged for us by the University which makes the whole thing super easy as it’s without any agencies. Living away from home and being independent sounds awesome, but you soon realise it’s a lot less glamorous than in that head of yours…

You wake up at 8am and you need to leave the house in half an hour, but so do your flatmates, and so the bathroom wars begin. And the brutal cousin of bathroom wars? Kitchen nightmares. You’re starving, it’s 7pm, it’s food time, right? Wrong. First you have to wait for your four housemates to finish cooking; I use the term cooking loosely here with delicacies like pasta and gravy coming out of my kitchen at least twice last week. I’m assured it’s tasty.

You’ll probably have to make compromises but you’ll make friends too, (my new flatmates were even nice enough to take the cheesy family photo above). With student accommodation there’ll always be someone around to chat to or watch some tele with. These are the swings and roundabouts that make up student living.

It’s certainly a learning curve but it’s a lot of fun. And if you’re a bit concerned, here’s my tips for surviving student accommodation;

  • Figure out where your priorities will lie: cost, en suite, location, catered? Personally I’d give my left leg to have an en suite again like I did in Bowsden Court, but you may prefer to be a stone’s throw away from uni like Windsor Terrace so don’t have to roll out of bed until ten to 9.
  • Take a box of chocolates or cake, it’s a solid way to break the ice and get in your flatmates’ good books.
  • A pack of playing cards is always necessary and always fun.
  • Get a doorstop. They’re useful for moving in and out, and lets your flatmates know you’re being sociable.
  • Headphones – don’t make enemies by blasting our your music at 1am, you may think you have the greatest music taste ever (I know I do), but your flatmate who has a lecture at 9 will disagree.
  • Bring extra storage space, boxes to go under your bed/plastic drawers etc and don’t forget coat-hangers – that’s a common mistake.


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