As I am writing, it’s two weeks until New Year’s Eve. My main concern is where I will spend it – probably at home, watching a reality show, feeling like I should have done something special. Last year was a bit different though, and I believe the concerns I was having this time last year relate to the same thing many first years are worried about now: housing for the following year.
York is still new for you – you’ve only been here for 3 months or so – and you already have to think about where you will live next year?! That seems a bit unfair to me! Here are the most common problems:
- You barely know the city, especially the ‘student residential’ areas. This is regardless of how many nights out you’ve been on or how many shopping days you had.
- You have to choose with whom you will share a house/flat, when you haven’t lived with anyone very long.
- You are afraid of being misled by housing agencies.
Don’t fear, everything can be resolved – let’s address each problem one by one:
- That’s absolutely normal! York might be a small city, but once you’re out of the walls it can be a confusing place like any other city! Furthermore, you’ve probably already passed through many of those ‘student residential’ areas without even realising: for example, if you live in Halifax College, you probably know all the Heslington area by now! Other areas include Fulford, Osbaldwick, Tang Hall, Hull Road/Lawrence Street… Yes, you have a lot to choose from, and there is something for everyone!
- This is a tricky one. ‘Should I live with some of my current housemates? They are used to me and I’m used to them…but how will I tell the other housemates I don’t want to live with them?’ or ‘Should I live with people I don’t know? Is it better than living with annoying people that I’ve actually met?’ These are some questions you might be asking yourself right now. My answer for those questions are the same as to the question ‘How did Portugal win the EURO 2016?’: I DON’T KNOW. I think the answer is to go with your guts. Firstly, talk with the people you’d really want to live with, the people you get along with best – you don’t want to live with someone you can’t stand, do you? See what their plans are! Don’t be afraid to ask people, you are not proposing to anyone!
- There are several trustworthy letting agencies in York, such as Adam Bennett and 2Let Agency. I have many friends who went with different ones and all of them seem to have mixed feelings: some are happy with their choice, some are not as satisfied. However, you have another option: private student accommodation. I know, it doesn’t feel as ‘grown up’ as living in a house, but it has its perks: everything is included in the bill; the living conditions tend to be better as they are more modern buildings; you have security 24/7, which is especially handy if you lose your key. Yes, this makes me feel a lazy person, but it means you do not have to worry about anything housing related during a whole year – that’s the dream! You have several in York: ‘United Students – The Boulevard’, ‘Student Castle’, ‘Foss Studios’, among others.
In the words of a famous singer, my advice is for you to simply: ‘Relax, take it easy!’
You’ll be fine!