Written by Cassie Walker – Student Writer
Second semester is a vital point in the academic year: You should feel more comfortable and settled in your new city and course and hopefully established strong friendships. It is also a perfect opportunity to start thinking about where you want to live for the second year. Therefore, I have compiled a list of tips to think about when house-hunting:
Who to Live With?
The first, and essential, step when finding second year accommodation is deciding who you want to live with. So have a think, will you be moving out with your flatmates or course and society friends? Or a mix! Consider the amount of people you want to move out with and if you’re suited to a quieter house or large, lively one, as student houses can occupy up to as many as 10 people! Pick your potential housemates wisely, as living together can test the strongest of friendships.
Also, do not worry if you feel you haven’t made any close friendships in your first year. There are plenty of house shares for people in the same situation, which can be found through estate agents, the internet and social media. Just make sure you take the opportunity to meet your potential flatmates before signing any contracts, making sure you are comfortable.
Where to Live?
So, you’ve picked your housemates, great! Now to think about what area you want to live in. Take into account how far you are willing to travel to university and city centre, or if you are more suited to a central location if public transport is not for you. Research student friendly areas in your city, as there is always one where the students migrate. Areas like this are great as there’s a strong chance you’ll live near people you know (and no shortage of house parties!). But also take the time to and look up crime statistics or newspaper articles about that area, as your main priority is to live somewhere safe!
Flat, House or Halls?
Finally, you will need to agree on what type of accommodation you want. You have more freedom and can really achieve a homely feel with a flat or student house, decorating it and making it your own home. However, it does come with the responsibility of sorting out gas, water and electric bills unlike first year. From my own experience, this is easy as long as everyone helps out!
Alternatively, if house-hunting isn’t for you and your friends, a lot of student halls give the option for second years to stay. They often require immediate notice as they have hundreds of freshers to accommodate so it is vital to be quick. One tip I will give you is that you don’t want to leave finding accommodation any later than Easter! Think about the amount of university students in a city; the options of where to live will be extremely limited the longer you leave it.
Good luck on finding your new student home!