Sunday 2 April 2017

The Truth About Uni | Accommodation

This is the third instalment of the blogger collaboration I'm a part of as a student blogger.

For this post I will be talking about accommodation at university.

First Year

Even though I lived fairly close to my university (Portsmouth) I wanted to experience living on my own (and with several other people) I wanted to live in halls as it seemed like an interesting living situation. Unfortunately, either something messed up in the post or I was so busy with my college deadlines I missed the paperwork for when I should apply for halls.

I was a bit devastated as it was only two months until I started university with no where to live. I was advised to still apply for halls but that I was better off to looking into private housing. I had no clue where to start. I visited various Facebook pages with calls for housemates but I was a bit sceptic living with people I'd met through Facebook and if they looked a bit dodgy.

I worked as a sales assistant at the universities graduation photos, and one of the other assistants needed a housemate (I felt a bit more positive this time as I felt I knew her after working up to twelve hour days by her side). I had already said yes to another house at this time, but there was no contract, and apparently I couldn't move in until the first day of uni...I wan't too fond of this but at the time I had no where else to go. As there was no contract I wasn't obliged to pay anything, or find a replacement for them (I was also a bit miffed at how I was treated but oh well).

I visited this new potential house and it was the best one I'd seen, it was all inclusive so once I'd paid for my rent that also covered all the bills each month as well (bonus!) the last room available was the front downstairs one. I wasn't overly keen as I'd never had a room downstairs at the front of the house before but it was a decent sized room.

My mum helped me move in with a mediocre load of my belongings (it's worth noting how much stuff multiplies when you move in some where) and when it was time for my mum to leave we both got really emotional. I hadn't had time to actually process that I was moving out, even though I'd already spent a lot of time at my boyfriends, this was something definite. When she left I felt really alone as I didn't know if anyone else was in and I put on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and shed a few tears in self pity.

After a few days I got to know my housemates and settled in, I tried to go to as many Fresher nights out as a I could and made new friends. My housemates were all third years and they didn't go out clubbing at all so it was a bit hard to make friends so I had to make some on my course.

In my first lecture I met my future housemate as we instantly got on, and you have to start looking for decent houses by October/November if you don't plan on staying in your current one. Looking for decent houses is really stressful, basically all student houses have mould, it's something really gross you have to deal with. Landlords won't really help with that you just have to clean it with mould spray yourself (I learnt this the hard way when one landlord just painted over it, that doesn't work at all). Or you end up with really tiny rooms.

Second Year

As previously mentioned I moved in with two of my course mates and a mutual friend. I became the lead tenant as I liked to organise things and had arranged all of the viewings for houses. I was really excited as this was a bigger house and I bagged the bigger room (it's noted there was some arguing and falling out over this, in retrospect I was quite stressed from my first year and wouldn't have minded one of the medium rooms).

I did get on with my housemates really well but there's always issues over bills (this time we had to pay via meter) or cleaning as you don't realise how quickly a kitchen can get messy with four people living in it...ok maybe you can.

Three of us were second years, and we lived with one third year but we all loved going out and clubbing and bonding as housemates, which made me really happy! We'd go out on a regular basis and take lots of housemate selfies.

In the middle of the year, we decided to live in the same house to save the hassle of looking for another one, we were really close to uni and the centre of Portsmouth and some of the discrepancies of the house could be overlooked.

However, our current landlords sold the house to another company who wanted to redo the house into a seven/eight bed property and charged ridiculous prices. So we were left to look for another house.

Third Year

I'm jumping to third year because after a lot of university stress and mental health problems, I'd decided to live at home to try and save my sanity. I'd realised in my current state I wasn't fit to live with other people and needed to move back home to try and get better, as I'd started receiving counselling. This meant I could save some money as I'd only have to pay a bit of rent to my mum and cover travel to and from university.

Even though the travel is a hassle when it comes to late finishes and getting stuck in traffic (I tried to take the bus because it was cheaper than the train), and with going clubbing and having to pay £15-£20 for a taxi home, I felt a lot better living back home at my base and not falling out with housemates as it's just me, my mum and our two nuisance cats.

If you're a regular on my blog you'd have read my Why I'm On A Spending Ban post, and by living at home I've been able to crawl out of my black hole of an overdraft.

I don't regret living at home at all, I feel more grounded and more me again! I have fallen out of clubbing for now, I'm not sure why but I'm going to write a post about it soon! I just wonder what it might have been like if I'd stayed at home this whole time, would I have more savings, would I be able to drive??

Even though I've learned a lot through living away from home, I already had some life skills through working and through how my parents raised me. For some moving away from home is essential for what university you go to, but if you can, I would advise living at home for at least one of the years.

So there you have it, my accommodation story! I hope it's insightful for those going to university this year, and maybe even current students who are having housemate/landlord/money issues!

I will be posting the next instalment in two weeks time!

Please check out the other lovely blogger's posts:

Jasmine from Thoughts From Jasmine (she brought us all together)

Jen from Velvet Spring

Becky from The Owlet

Annaleid from Actually Anna 

Sophie from The Glamour Reel

Katherine from Millennial Rants

Tori from Legally Brunette

Saffron x


  1. I like reading other peoples university stories, it's nice to be able to relate!

    Sophia xx

    1. Yes I found that reading the other bloggers in this collab that everyone can relate but also everyone's experience can be different!

      Saffron x

  2. This has been really relatable! I'm so sorry you had to deal with MH issues during university, it's awful especially when we have a lot of expectations to try and fulfil. I hope things are good for you, now!

    - Chloe

    1. Aww thank you! With the help and support from my parents, boyfriend and friends I'm a lot better, not fixed but better!

      Saffron x

  3. I have a few friends at Portsmouth! It's so good to see that even if you didn't bond as well with the people you lived in for your first year that you'll still always make friends!


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