You may have started looking for somewhere to live in your second year of university, or at least thinking about it...
But before you do anything, you need to have a careful think about it.
It probably only feels like two minutes ago that you were moving into halls and didn't know anyone, and now you've made some new friends and you've started with the first step of house hunting. Exciting times are ahead!
For most of you, this is your first experience doing something like this and you're likely to have a few questions. You may be unsure of who you want to live with or what type of accommodation you want to live in, but don't worry because we will try to help you out.
Before you embark on any house viewings and start your househunting process, consider the following:
1. How many people do you want to live with?
Would you prefer a cosy house with just another person or a bigger house of 10 or 12? Student houses come in a variety of shapes and sizes so you have the opportunity to live with as many people as you'd like, but choose what you prefer. If you've found living in a flat of 6 in halls overwhelming, opt for a smaller group. If you love being surrounded by people, a bigger house is probably more suitable.
2. Who are your closest friends? Who makes you happy?
Your happiness should always be a priority! You might have had people asking you to live with them or even trying to rush you into making a decision but ultimately, it comes down to you. Think about who you've shared your happiest times with and who has been a genuine friend - these are the people who will give you the best student journey.
3. Who have you fallen out/had disagreements with?
Unfortunately, even if you've sorted your problems out or other people in your friendship group absolutely love them, these are the people you should avoid next year. Living with them could make you unhappy in the long-run and once your studies are getting harder and count towards your overall grade, you need to be feeling the best you possibly can.
4. Who has bad habits?
Another type of person that isn't great to live with is someone who doesn't have the best living habits. If your current flatmates don't clean up after themselves and leave their washing up all the time, steal your milk just after you've done your food shop or forget to take their clothes out of the washing machine - these are a big no no!
5. Have you considered staying in halls?
Living in a private house isn't for everyone. Some people find the process a bit too stressful, overwhelming or just can't decide who they want to live with. If that is the case, rebook halls for next year. It doesn't have to be in the flat you're living in now, it could even be a different accommodation altogether but it's worth considering. It'll be a much less stressful moving process too!
The most important thing is to take your time. No matter what people say, there is no need to rush into signing for a house for next year just yet. It's a very big decision that needs to be taken seriously. And remember; once you're sorted, you'll be relaxed and have SO much to look forward too.