Lisa from the University for the Creative Arts shares some thoughts about how to make the most of your student accommodation...
With accommodation searches looming, there are a few things you'll need to know for the ever-important process of moving into a new home. Whether you're in halls or not, student accommodation doesn't have to conform to the kind of 'student home' we have all heard about. Here are a few tips for you as you begin to search for your new place to live.
Make it your own home
Wherever you choose to live (university accommodation or not), this will be your new home for the next year or so, and it's important you make it your own. Bringing things from your bedroom back home, hanging wall art, stacking books, creating moodboards: do whatever it may be to make your accommodation comfortable and relaxed. Just because a 'student' home is lead by thoughts of uncleanliness, unorganisation and unending mess, doesn't mean that has to be you. It's your home, so make it your own.
You don't have to spend loads of money
Making your new home just how you like it doesn't have to involve spending all your student loan in one go; IKEA, Home Sense and Wilkinson's offer a wide range of products perfect for a tight student budget (I recently got some fresh linen candles from IKEA for 50p so keep an eye open for bargains wherever you may be).
Create your own working space
Even though I wasn't in halls, I had to find my own place to live and wanted to create somewhere I could work and allow creativity to flow. You might only have a small bedroom space, but try to create your own study area. You are working towards a degree of course, so if you find somewhere where you can enjoy working, writing essays and late nights on InDesign will be a breeze. My personal desk area is surrounded by potted plants, a candle and notebooks (something which helps me to work to tight deadlines) - create an area that will help you, even if you're on a tight budget or in a small bedroom.
Making an effort with those you live with
In order to maintain peace in your new home, it will take a little co-operation from everyone. In other words, living together is team work. Leaving the dishes for one person never goes down well, and neither does bad communication. At UCA you're probably all going to be studying a creative course, and so helping each other find internships and all taking it in turns to model for one another is most likely going to happen. Even if you're only housemates for a year, making an effort with each other will affect how you feel about your new place to live. And have fun, too. Throw dinner parties, enjoy being with each other and help out around the house - after all, they are your new friends.
by: Lisa Waldenon from the University for the Creative Arts