Posted in Lifestyle

The Cost of Being a Student

Okay, so some of you may have read yesterday’s somewhat rambling post, others of you won’t have and that’s perfectly okay. Basically, it was me clearing my head of all the weird and wonderful things I think about when going to bed.


One of those thoughts was about my living arrangements for next year, and how it would all play out for me. While I’m actually more excited than scared, I still have to remind myself not to panic. I don’t necessarily believe in God and there being a plan for all of us, but I do think that everything happens for a reason, even if that reason isn’t overly clear to begin with.


From that point, I began to consider where I want to live. One thing’s for sure, I’m not returning to halls to live with 17 and 18 year olds again. Heck, here in Scotland you can even have 16 year olds in university! So, no. That’s not for me. My 21 year old liver couldn’t take it again. Flip sake, Jason isn’t even 20 yet and that feels young!


However, this made me start looking into a one person flat. Now, Nuala, Mary and Jason (never mind my other friends) will be in shock at the fact I would even consider this. I’m what they consider quite sociable. I grew up in a house where if someone walked into a room, you spoke to them or at least acknowledged them – not something a lot of students are used to doing. They normally do chat when in the mood though, and it’s often been said that I wouldn’t last living on my own as I’d go insane with no one to talk to.


Imagine, though. I leave the flat at 8:30am to get in for my 9am lecture. I spend my day on campus, or visit friends during my breaks in the day. At around 5pm I would get the bus/train back to my own flat for dinner, a bit of tidying, and a quiet night in talking to all you lovely people. Weekends can be spent around campus or in the library or in my flat, it doesn’t matter which! My point in this mini paragraph is that there is the possibility to socialise with people at any time, I don’t have to live with people to socialise! I think people seem to forget that. Plus, I’m never one to stop people from coming to visit me for coffee or a meal.


So, that brings me to the point of this post (only 421 words later, sorry!). When looking at flats, I though – why restrict myself only to flats? Sure they tend to be cheaper etc, but why shouldn’t I start to think about the future and consider a small house or something? So I took to the websites. Now I know I can’t start looking now to move in in August (when our current contract runs out) but I just wanted to get an idea of prices. And do you know what I found? There’s a 2 bedroom house. It’s 15 minutes away from the university by bus, beautifully furnished, has a nice little garden where I could hang laundry out to dry in fresh air. The main bedroom has 2 built in wardrobes, plus its own little bathroom with an actual bath! The second bathroom is a smaller, box-room that could easily be a nice study. The living room had a nice gas fire, and a tv above it. Kitchen and dining area looked brand new and so nice! I would move in there in a heartbeat. And do you know the best part about this little house? Double-glazing, carpets, and windows that open on a sunny day. All for only £350 a month rent. Know what I’m paying? £410 a month. Plus bills. Bills that come to about £50 a month. So really, no matter what the bills would be for that little house, transport money wouldn’t be much of a problem!


I don’t really remember where this post was going. I just know that I wanted to raise awareness of the fact that student accommodation is rubbish. I was changing my bed at the weekend after the sheets being on for only 2 weeks, to find mildew on the bit touching an exterior wall. My clothes constantly stick of damp. I’ve had to bin multiple pairs of shoes that have been ruined by mould. And there’s a perfectly good house just down the road that I could quite comfortably live in.


So sometimes I wonder why students have to live in our flats that are so cold our glasses steam up. Why do we accept these conditions? Why is no one ever standing up for us against landlords who do very  little about these things?