What’s it like moving from halls to a house?

Jack Warren is a second year living in a student house with four other people. We asked him about the move from halls to a house and what he misses most about living on campus…  

How did you find a house to live in for your second year?

Plymouth University offers an approved accommodation database called Studentpad. All I had to do was register with my uni email address and I was then able to search for houses depending on rooms, location and budget. Simple.

How did you decide who to share with?

This year was the placement year for my course and I ended up getting a placement right here at the University. I secured the placement just after exams, which meant most people I knew had already arranged a house, so I went looking for houses with unfilled rooms. Once you find one, you can always ask the landlord to pass your details onto the others in the house, so that you can meet them first.

What were your priorities when looking for a house?

Obviously location is key, no one wants to walk miles to their 9am lectures. Location can be one of the biggest changes to get used to, with most halls being either on or next to campus, but the walk is never as bad as you think it will be. In fact it helps to wake you up for those early lectures. You will most probably be looking at houses with people you want to live with, so you’ll know how many rooms to look for. I was looking at houses with fewer people as I have to get up for my placement and typically less people means less noise.

What’s the main difference between living in a hall and living in a house?

In my experience it is so much quieter. I went from living in a flat of ten and a hall of almost 160 people to living in a house of four. I did enjoy living in such a big flat, but living with fewer people does mean far less cleaning. I miss how close halls were to the University, especially in the winter. There is also a great sense of community in halls – some of your friends might be living in the flat below or opposite you, whereas people tend to be far more spread out when they move into houses.

What advice would you give other students about making the move?

Don’t rush into it. Students seem to get lots of mixed messages about when to look for a house, but I would suggest leaving it until at least after Christmas. The Christmas break gives you time to decide who you really do want to live with. The University also offers services for you to go and get your contract looked over, so they should be able to point out if they think there are any issues with it.

What are the three best things about living in a house?

1) Living in a house is more homely than halls!

2) I’ve got a MASSIVE bedroom, though that does mean more space to try and keep tidy…

3) They have more social space than halls, which only tend to have the kitchen and sometimes a shared common room.

Student Life magazine: Spring 2016 issue 2