So recently it was the Student Union elections, and as a member of Forge Press, I attended most of the debates. During the Welfare officer questions, a lot of focus turned to housing and how landlords should be ranked, how more help is needed to make sure students know what their rights are and so on.
Thus, with it being March and the time of year where most first year students are now drastically looking for flatmates and houses to live in next year, I decided to write a blog on housing.
When you come to university, it is generally accepted that these will be the best days of your life, you will make loads of friends and life will be just great. Thus, in second year, you will be living with people from your first year accommodation or friends from your course and everything is awesome.
Unfortunately, quite early into my first year, I realised that I probably was not going to be living with my first year flatmates. Although they were nice people, I just didn’t seem to get along with them and when it got down to that awkward housing talk flats seem to have in November, I stated that I would not be living with them next year, an arrangement that suited everybody.
Now, normally you would expect me to find friends on my course to live with and that’s that. But, I struggled seriously in first year to find any friends on my course and by the time I had, it turned out they had already agreed to move in with someone else.
So, if you are in a situation similar to me, don’t panic!
The university was very helpful in giving me advice about what my rights were, where the best spots in Sheffield are, what landlords I should look at, etc…
One of the best things the university does is run monthly housing fairs after the Easter holidays where people who are in the same boat can attend and try to find people to live with. However, when I attended, I just found it to be a bit awkward. Therefore, I decided to live alone. I went onto Rightmove, searched for a one bedroom flat near the university, went and looked at it and then boom, payed the hefty sign on-fee and the flat was mine.
Now, although I said university was meant to be the best social years of your life, the idea of living alone cannot be understated.
The best parts about living alone are:
- You don’t get distracted by flatmates making noise or having loud music.
- You can focus on your actual university work
- You get a good nights sleep
- Your house isn’t messy
- You feel like an actual adult
Living by myself for the second and third years of university was one of the best decisions I made. I was able to focus on my coursework, keep my house tidy and feel like I had my life on track. The obvious downsides are the loneliness and isolation but I was lucky enough to live two minutes away from Bar One and thus I could easily meet with friends to socialise, or have them come to mine.
So if you are concerned about how you have no one to live with next year, don’t rule out living by yourself! It isn’t all that bad.