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Your second year of uni is an exciting time. You have done your first year, lived in halls, made some friends and generally experienced the student lifestyle. While some students will choose to remain in halls in their second year, most will go out on their own and choose a place to live with their new uni friends.
Here’s some things to know before going out in the scary world of renting as a second-year university student.
Do Choose Your New Housemates Carefully
It’s exciting to be able to choose who you will live with in your second year and beyond but be careful this is a big decision. Think how well do you really know them? Especially if you are thinking of moving in with friends you've met on your course.It’s one thing seeing each other for a couple of hours a day but will you be compatible over a long period of time sharing the same space?
If you're moving in with friends you made in halls in the first year, consider whether your friendship would be stronger if they weren't always 'borrowing' your food!
Do Shop Around
Depending on where you’re attending uni, rent prices could be vastly different, so you’ll need to spend some serious time as a group choosing the best place for you.
Often the closer to the university you live, the higher your rent will be. Take other factors into consideration too, for example do one or more of you drive? If so, could you potentially live a little further out and save yourself some money?
It’s also a good idea to check out how close you will be to local transport links, so you don’t end up stranded and spending your entire student loan getting taxis to get to and from lectures.
Don’t Be the Party House
It can be tempting to overdo the celebrations and the overexcitement of being truly independent and throw constant parties.
While it’s fine to have the odd party and expand your social group, you don’t want your house to become the one that EVERYONE comes back to at the end of EVERY night out.
Sounds fun, but actually, in your second year the amount of uni work will increase and there will be times when you’ll need to knuckle down and get your work done. So, you will need your home to be a quiet place where you can either get your work done or come back and relax after a hard day. It should be about balance, no one wants to live in a constant party anyway, it will get old fast.
Don’t Leave It Too Late
One of the most common mistakes students make when choosing their uni accommodation is leaving it to the last minute and then either scrambling to find people to live with or frantically searching for a house that hasn’t already been taken.
Give yourself plenty of time, decide who you want to live with before the end of the first year and begin your search asap. You need to have sorted your accommodation and have your agreement in place before everyone goes home for the summer.
Do Make Sure Everyone’s Happy
Often two or three members of the group will take the lead in the search for accommodation, which is fine, as long as everyone has a chance to view it themselves and decide if they are happy with everything.
Deciding on behalf of someone is a recipe for arguments down the line, as is assuming someone will be happy with the box room (there’s always a box room). Talk about who gets each room in a mature way and if you can’t agree you can always draw straws to decide. Even then, make sure everyone’s happy with the results, as these tensions have a way of coming out in the future.
If you choose the right people and everyone is reasonable then you should be able to decide amongst yourself who needs the en-suite most and who won’t mind being in a single bed.
Choosing your accommodation for year two of uni is a big step towards becoming an independent and responsible adult and there will most likely be things you wish you did differently, but it will be a learning curve and great for your personal development.
Happy house hunting!
Uni Baggage is a luggage delivery service that helps students send their belongings ahead to their university accommodation which is one less thing for students to worry about.