You’re nearly finished first year of university and soon you’ll be moving out of halls and home again for the summer; but before that you have to sort out where to live next year.
Most people leave halls and move into a student house or flat with some of the friends they made in first year thinking that your second year flat will be even better than first year.
Here are eight things you should know before moving into your student house:
1. There will be a major design flaw
You will gather your flatmates-to-be and head off to view several student flats and houses before you realise that the only ones you can afford have a major design flaw that makes no sense. The bathroom might only be accessible through one of the bedrooms, the walls might not be insulated or there could be no light or windows in the hallway.
2. Somebody has to be responsible for the bills
Avoid being this person at all costs. You will spend your life checking when the bills have to be paid and you will have to constantly chase up your flatmates about it. You will automatically become responsible for submitting metre readings and all problems with the wifi will rest on your shoulders. If you aren’t careful, you’ll start hating your flatmates for giving you this responsibility.
3. You will hate your landlord
There are two types of student landlord: the kind who you never meet and communicate with you only through the letting agency, and the kind who are constantly checking up on you to make sure you aren’t breaking the terms of your lease. The first type seem okay at first – the ‘you don’t bother me I won’t bother you’ type. You’ll soon realise that everything in your flat is broken and needs to be replaced, but the letting agency claims that the landlord won’t return their calls so you spend eight days without a fridge freezer. The second type are usually fine but everything about them annoys you; does nobody trust anyone any more?
4. It will be impossible to keep clean and tidy
Remember in halls, those people came in every morning and woke you up banging about with a hoover? Yeah, those were cleaners – good luck attempting to keep your student house clean without them. Every time you take it upon yourself to clean a room, your flatmates will mess it up again almost immediately. Somehow the floor is covered in crumbs again after you just hoovered and you’ll have to stop yourself firing messages into the group chat about it.
5. Something will go wrong with the water
The boiler might break, leaving you to shower in ice cold water, or a pipe will burst and you’ll scramble to find the water switch before the bathroom starts to resemble Loch Ness. There is nothing you can do to avoid the inevitable – all you can do is tell yourself that Andy Murray and Jessica Ennis-Hill take ice baths all the time, it’s character-building.
6. Your social life will slump
You go into second year with all the right intentions about keeping up with the freshers – but doing it better than them, obviously. Little do you know how hard it is to actually arrange a night out when you can’t just pop next door to that flat party in halls. None of your halls friends live near you anymore and it’s just so. Much. Effort. You’ll end up making friends with Alan, the Chinese takeaway delivery man, and he’ll know your order off by heart from all the times he’s handed over your free bag of prawn crackers with any order over a tenner.
7. Your neighbours will hate you
Some letting agencies will straight-up tell you that the man on the ground floor hates everyone who lets this flat because students are too noisy. At some point the scary lady from the floor below you will slip a passive aggressive note through your letter box telling you that you’re putting the paper recycling in the plastic recycling bin and you must cease and desist. Don’t expect your neighbours to smile at you in the stairway – the most you can hope for is avoiding eye contact.
8. Somebody will lose their keys
This will, of course, only happen at 4am when all of your flatmates have gone home for the weekend, leaving you stranded outside and calling everyone you know begging them to let you stay at theirs instead. You’ll have to let your landlord or the letting agency know, and you can almost see the disapproving look on their faces as you wheel off the carefully rehearsed lie you prepared to avoid telling them the truth – you lost them in a club.