Whether you’re going to university yourself or have a child or relative who’s just starting off on their big adventure, there are a few things that every soon-to-be student should know. Especially if they’re considering a university in a large city. From preparing to leave home and moving into your new place, to socialising and knowing the right places to go. You’re going to have to do a lot of research on your new home, educational institution and general lifestyle.
It’s easy to get lost in books. But it’s important that you use your common sense as much as your academic skills. Get to know where you live. Find out safe spots and crime hot spots. Be wise when it comes to working out routes home, be it from your seminars or a night out. Work out the cheapest way to do your food shopping. Is it cheaper to get it delivered or take public transport to the shops and back? Know your rights as a tenant and don’t let your landlord take advantage of you or exploit you.
Major Cities are pricey. They’re renowned for high rent rates for notoriously small spaces when it comes to accommodation. Landlords know that students need a place to live and will take full advantage of this. Accommodation in student areas will be just as expensive as anywhere else in the big city. Contact your university’s accommodation department and request information on the best places for a student to live during their studies. Some institutions will have their accommodation at more reasonable prices than private renting. It is advisable to house share while you’re studying too. Studio apartments and one bedroom flats are hard to come by. When they do surface, they are often extortionately priced or poorly maintained. Arrange a house share with people you already know. If you are completely new to the area, there are sites that bring together students looking for housemates.
Moving in is going to be difficult. Especially if you don’t have your transport. Lugging large belongings on public transport is a feat in itself. Buses, the tube, trams and overground rail services are always relatively busy. At peak times, they are packed. It can be stressful enough getting on and off public transport without trying to carry your life’s belongings with you. If you are driving, or have a lift, you will incur charges if you are travelling through congestion zones. The solution? Pack light. Only take what you need. You can buy little things while you are away. Consider the effort of moving and the little space you will probably have in your home. Minimal living and design is most likely the way forward. If you have belongings that can’t be left at home but have sentimental value, you could leave them in a London Storage unit. These are affordable, will mean that you have easy access to your belongings when you need them and will declutter your personal living space.
Many students return home for the holidays. Easter, Christmas and summer break. Who can blame them? It’s a getaway from university life and responsibilities. But think of the extortionate amounts of rent you’re paying while you’re away. A resolution to this could be subletting your room. This could help you save money that would otherwise be thrown down the drain. Just remember to check that this is allowed in your tenancy agreement.