By Josh Milton
A few months ago, I was in the car with my family. A throng of bubble wrapped furniture and suitcases surrounding me. Travelling through the streets that heaved with the hustle of metropolitan living, I hadn’t really hit me yet that I was moving out to live in the centre of London.
One of the major hurdles of college life is moving out to your own place. With communications so fleeting and the lines between countries dissolving away with every Skype call, geographical freedom is at its peak. When picking a college to go to, the location is key. Finding a place that will cultivate both your studies and your maturity can be an ominous challenge. The city, or the countryside? A campus space, or a college where the city is your campus? All of these lead to the decision of where to start over all again. To begin anew.
Many campus-based colleges will offer on and off campus accommodation. Your new residence will often be based on your year of study, so if you decide to flat share, your fellow student housemates will be experiencing the same joys, and challenges, as you will be. When moving out, you’ll form a new family of flatmates; you’ll cook together, clean together, and maybe even party together! Whatever you and your flatmates decide to do, you’ll be your own little community.
If you don’t want to live on campus, most colleges will provide off-campus alternatives. Arriving one to two weeks before the start of term to move in is best, so you can fully settle in and sort out any debacles that may arise. Asking the landlord to see if you can arrange a visit, and double checking on external bills beyond rend, such as utilities (think electricity, water et cetera) and how much a deposit is will erase any chances of landlord-related feuds when you move in. Just be wary of travelling to college, knowing the area and its travel routes will save your punctuality records when your alarm clock doesn’t go off and you’re rushing out of the house…
When applying for college accommodation, the application form will often make you question your existence as you have to describe the kind of roommate you’d be. Are you tidy or messy? Do you smoke? This will help the Accommodation Admissions group students together so it’ll be a more amicable experience for everyone. Even if you end up with someone messy and you need everything to be in place, a cleaning rota will essentially save your life!
Furnished or unfurnished, that is the question. Furnished places will typically have a higher rent cost, but might save you money in the long run. Though, nothing will make you feel more like an adult than going furniture shopping (but just wait till the dreaded first grocery shop!).
I’m writing this in my new place. My flatmates chatter in the kitchen humming in the background of my laptop’s typing. This is my new home, follow this advice, and you’ll easily find your own.