If you’re a First year, you may already be thinking it’s time to choose who you want to live with, and where. You probably know some people much better than others. Will you choose to share with people from your course, or this year’s flatmates? Perhaps you’d prefer a big house, or a smaller one, or staying in halls sounds appealing.
Although it may feel urgent to get out there and find a good place before they all get snapped up, it’s sensible to think hard before deciding who you’re going to be sharing with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sharing a bathroom, kitchen and the bills is bound to cause some tension before you all get used to each other’s lifestyles. But having your own place is fun too! Make sure you discuss some house rules – whatever’s important to you – before you even view a property. That way you can find out whose lifestyles are similar to your own.
Think about setting up a way of dividing the bills fairly, like the app https://www.splitwise.com/ where you and your housemates can see who’s paid for what, and what you owe each other. This takes away the scenario of heated arguments over money – important when you’re on a student budget.
You may have found the love of your life at uni, and want to jump at the opportunity to live with her/him. It might be an idea instead to find separate places nearby, so you can see each other as often as you want, while still having a personal space when you need it.
During the revision period and exams it’s difficult not to be distracted if your girlfriend/boyfriend is constantly around and not necessarily taking exams on the same days.
So before you sign any contracts or agree to share, why not go long to the Life Tools talk on House Sharing: how to make it work on Wednesday 11 November, at 2.00pm in Carrington 101.
Take a trip into RUSU or look online at www.rusu.co.uk/advice/housing_advice/ and see what’s available, and how to get started. RUSU and Student Wellbeing both have helpful leaflets on every aspect of looking for a house, what to check for when you’re viewing a place, dealing with the landlord/landlady, getting to grips with bills, and more.