Going to University is probably one of the most exciting, but scary times of your life. You have to deal with moving away from the familiarity and security of home, to an area you’ve most likely never really been to before, and then you have to learn all the basic skills you seriously took for granted when you lived at home. Using a washing machine – yeah it’s probably a lot more complicated than you think it’s going to be!
Although you learn a lot and tend to adapt to flying solo during your first year, the second year of University is also home to a lot of new challenges. Gone are the days of living in your University Halls where, believe it or not, a lot of the main aspects of living are taken care of for you. It’s only when you move into a student house during second year that you really start to appreciate those halls cleaners that used to annoyingly wake you up on the only day you got a lie in! Just finishing my second year of uni myself, I thought I’d share some of the things second year has taught me…
1. Paying bills are expensive and CONFUSING!
When you step foot into your new student house, you’re full of excitement, wanting to get settled in as quickly as possible. Then you realise everything you want to do, from putting food in the fridge, charging your laptop, and even flushing the toilet, has to be paid for, and you haven’t registered to any bills companies. WHAT?! So you find yourself spending you first day ringing up companies for Gas and Electricity, Water and TV & Internet and sorting out payments – a skill you definitely don’t get taught at school! Then, once you work out how much of your ‘hard earned’ student loan it’s going to set you back, you’ll pretty much faint with shock – it’s inevitable!
2. No Cleaners? How will you survive?!
After living in your house for about a week, and noticing that empty microwavable rice packet that’s been sat on the side since the day you moved in, and those stains all over the hob, it’ll finally start to sink in that the cleanliness of your house is all down to you. Yes, you. Also, you’ll learn the importance of remembering the weekly bin collection day, having a bin overflowing with numerous amounts of rubbish really isn’t fun!
3. Doing a weekly food shop with do wonders for your bank balance.
Student halls always tend to be conveniently located next to express Supermarket stores – Sainsbury’s Local, Tesco Express, stores that charge way more than necessary just for their convenience. But when you move into a student house and realise all the little things you have to pay for that you didn’t before, cleaning products, bin bags etc etc, you’ll see how much money you can save doing a weekly shop in a big supermarket rather than going to Tesco Express everyday to decide what you want for dinner. Trust me, it’ll be so much easier to save for that new dress you’ve had your eye on for the past month!
4. You’ll find yourself doing things you never used to.
Having my own house has definitely turned me into a bit of an old woman, as much as I hate to admit it! Every time me and my house mates go out together I find myself saying things like ‘Have you checked if the back doors locked?’ or ‘How are we using so much water?!’ every time out water bill comes out. I feel a bit like a nineteen year old girl with the mind of a forty year old woman!
5. Most importantly, you’ll appreciate the freedom and have so much fun!
As much as I had the best year living in halls, second year has brought so much fun and laughter! You don’t have to worry about turning your music down at 11 o’clock, won’t get in trouble for lighting candles in your room and don’t have people checking up on you 24/7! Everything feels that little bit more personal, and living in a student area has such a community feel making nights out so much fun!