reports and opinions

Finding second-year accommodation

By Olivia Smith

 

The stress of finding a house when you have a small circle of friends

 

https://www.brunel.ac.uk/life/accommodation/living-off-campus

 

For as long as I can remember I have had a small circle of friends, up to 4 people max. At school, this served me well and I didn’t have any problem, so I continued this at university, little would I know this would cause many issues.

I made my 3-4 friends during pre-freshers’ events and continued to hang out with them throughout the first term. We happened to be living near each other which made it easier, and then we decided to live together next year. Somebody allocated themselves to look for houses during the first term and we let them get on with it because it didn’t concern us.

Then Christmas and the new year passed with no news. We started looking around houses early January and viewed about 8 properties in a 2-week period and found a house we loved, we were amazed and were excited to finish this journey so quickly. Unfortunately, this is where it all went down-hill, we lost a housemate due to financial issues.

We looked for a 4th housemate for nearly 4 weeks and interviewed several online and only met 2 in person, who went on to view the house. Unfortunately, we could not progress with one due to her not having a guarantor. We progressed with the other person but had a set back because the landlord decided to continue with the current tenants.

We then secured a viewing for another property – I was eager to complete this journey and encouraged to go ahead. We arranged a meeting to discuss how to move forward from here. Then one person decided not to turn up and we all decided to part ways.

My two original friends are looking together now as they have a larger budget than I do, and I have been left to fend for myself. I have contacted or been contacted by up to 10 people and have viewed 3-4 properties, but nothing has worked out. I have joined a WhatsApp group of people looking for housemates so we can meet and then look together. I also have applied for on-campus accommodation, even though I didn’t want to as I am extremely desperate at this point. My friends have ditched me, and I am still looking for a house to live in.

When you are in a university town or city it can be incredibly difficult to find suitable accommodation that meets all your needs, that is within your budget and a suitable distance from your university campus or work. Many people are choosing to live with friends, due to mental health concerns that living on your own is not always best. If you only have a few friends it can be difficult to be able to reach a compromise on something you believe is very important. If you chose to branch out and not live with your current friends, there is then the added challenge of meeting new people and seeing if you would get on enough to be able to live with them for a year or more.

My experience has proven to me that finding a second-year house is not always smooth sailing. You have to have true friends that you can rely on, and I hope in future that students consider this before going into a house with people they think like their friends.

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