As it’s almost the beginning of term, most of the second and third year students will be moving into their new student houses (if they haven’t already). Of course, myself included. For my final year, I am again living in Clarendon Park in a 3-bed terraced house. We were a little concerned about what our new house would be like, as none of us managed to view the house before signing the contracts. Risky I know, but with all of us abroad for the year we couldn’t find a convenient time for anyone to get to Leicester for house viewings. Luckily, a friend popped over for us and gave us the thumbs up and that was all we had to go off.
As it happens, we have done really well with the house. It’s so cosy and we’ve made it all girly with plenty of bunting and the odd poster (for example, Tom Daley sporting a pair of speedos). I am so happy with my bedroom as it’s so much bigger than the one I had in second year and I even have my own little sink in there.
If I could give any advice to the new first year students who will be arranging their second year living arrangements soon (I know it’s early days as you haven’t even started first year yet, but it will come around quick!), it would be the following:
1. Make VERY careful choices about who you’re living with. You don’t know someone until you live with them. You might learn the hard way that if you decide to live with your closest friends, it could all go wrong and you might not be best mates for long. I know that sounds drastic but I’ve seen it happen a lot! Think about living with people on your course who will have similar uni schedules to you.
2. Don’t let letting agents/ landlords walk all over you. They seem to be able to get money out of you for the most absurd things. Always read the contracts carefully and query any concerns you have with them. If you want to complain about something, do so in writing as well as verbally.
3. Be thorough with the inventory. If something seems small and irrelevant, put it on there anyway. If you haven’t written something on the inventory then it could come back to bite you when you’re due to get your deposit refunded. Same goes for repairs; report them and chase them up otherwise the chances are they won’t get fixed.
4. Be direct with your housemates about any issues you have as soon as they arise. Passive aggressive post-it notes or shirty messages in the house whatsapp group will get you nowhere and just cause tension. If you have an issue, talk to your housemates straight away and get it resolved or figure out a compromise between you.
Although some of these points seem pretty obvious, I’ve experienced each of them first hand myself! Hopefully they will save some other students trouble further down the line. I hope that drawing on my own experiences from second year will ensure I have a great year in the new house with the girls for my last year as an undergraduate.