The focus around results day can be solely on courses and university places but finding student housing or accommodation after Clearing is just as important – you are going to need somewhere to live whilst at university, especially if you’re looking for accommodation after going through Clearing.
Firstly, students shouldn’t panic about this – you’re not going to be living on the streets so don’t worry. Get yourself organised and write down a list of the basic requirements you need – probably best to steer away from 5* ideas. Then set yourself a budget and take into account your student loan and if you have a part-time job, or your parents can help you out. Also, speak to your parents before looking around or committing to a 3 bedroom flat in Mayfair!
These expectations are vital as most students realise that they have to make compromises with their accommodation and you might have to be more flexible when booking last minute. Understanding what reasonable and unreasonable expectations are key. Having a smoke alarm and a functioning shower is important, but wanting a cleaner, or living on the university’s doorstep isn’t so much. Never hand over any money over to a landlord or fellow student before looking at a property, unless it is the university’s official student halls of residence, and guarantee that at least yourself have read every single word of a contract before signing, and if you can get someone else to read it too.
Most universities should help their students in some way but it depends on what they have to offer and it differs to each university. Firstly speak to your university housing department and see what they can do for you, they may have spaces available in halls or have a list of trusted landlords who offer student housing. Don’t let it all get on top of you, universities are meant to help you with this!
It isn’t that important but it does help to live in Halls in the first year. Living in Halls first year really just helps to ease students to student life but you can still do that if you’re not there. Remember you still have your course, studies, housemates, classmates, sports team or societies to make friends. Actually, it might be a better idea because you can miss out on sharing a bathroom, a fridge and horrible sticky floors with 10 other people!
There are flat and house shares you can find. There will probably be other students who have entered Clearing or Adjustment and in your position. It won’t be too dissimilar to halls as it will still be a bunch of strangers living together! Students can also become a lodger by taking up a spare room in someone else’s house. You can get a better value for money – as student accommodation costs an arm and a leg! – and you won’t have any weird landlords (okay might not be guaranteed!) The only downside is that this is someone else’s house and late night parties and pre-drinking games might not be an option here, but you could always go to your friend’s instead.
Students can also choose private halls which are usually quite expensive but offer a lot of advantages that university run halls offer. They usually are nice and less hectic, if money isn’t a big problem in your house search then these can be perfect for your situation.
If you can’t find something that is suitable for you then you are going to have to think very hard and realise that this is the situation you are in. Students don’t usually live in the places that wish to live in, or with the people they choose and get on with it, so you, sadly, will have to get over it too. Unless student budget and finance is a serious option you have to balance all the pros and cons and find somewhere to live. As long as you have your basic requirements then your student life and experiences will always override the downside to your accommodation. Remember it’s only first year where you will probably be too busy going out, drinking shots and missing lectures, and in the second year, you can always move in with your friends.
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