You’ve probably already made the difficult decision of halls vs. house, but here’s a few pointers, to make your accommodation as pleasant as possible.
Halls are generally clean, lively and noisy places, but 1st Years often find it harder to make friends in halls than in private houses. On the plus side, with so many people in one place, you can always avoid ‘friends’ who turn out to be obnoxious. Also in their favour is the fact that they also sometimes have their own bars and common rooms, bills are included and they’re on campus so less travel – more time in bed.
Private houses are frequently dives (infested, damp, etc.) with landlords who couldn’t care less, but they are less noisy and you have more space than in halls. It is also easier to make friends initially (can be both a good point and bad), and you have real freedom: basically, you can do what you please.
To help you settle in wherever you live, take lots of stuff to put up on your walls: pictures, posters, and photos. Decorate your room – plants won’t go amiss, nor will candles and rugs. All these ‘wishy-washy’ things make you feel comfortable and more at home. They’ll also impress your parents when they inevitably visit.
Other things that you need to take are: a duvet, coat hangers (there won’t be any), comfort food (tea, biscuits, pot noodle) for when you first arrive, kitcheny things like a bottle and can opener, kitchen knife, chopping board, spoon, strainer / colander, frying pan, saucepan, teatowels etc. But I’m sure your mum will remind you of all these items (and more).
As a general rule, for life as well as university, don’t piss-off your landlord or warden (without due reason). The result will be that they’ll take some if not all of your bond for ‘damages’ to the property.
Student houses and halls are also goldmines for burglars, so if there aren’t any already fit window locks and use them. Don’t be too paranoid, but if in a house, expect to be burgled at least once during the year.
Click here for freshers' week tips
Click here for eating and saving money
Click here for the Golden Rules of student life