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All the issues you’ll face living in Liverpool’s private accommodation and how to overcome them

How to deal with your anti-social accommodation


University – the term used to loosely describe the best time of your life. When you've spent the entirety of your A-levels waiting for results day to arrive and bring on bigger and better things, you’ll be expecting to find a halls family who you can share your time with, as you all cook together, eat together, go out together, and frantically cram for exams together.

However, when you find yourself living in the private sector as a UoL student, your experience might be a little different to what you’d expect. The en-suite rooms, free TV and the fact that you’re only five minutes from Concert Square might have a certain appeal on your initial viewing, but when you're two weeks in and can’t relate to the 699 banter you’ll wish that you weren't so fussy about having to catch a bus to uni.

Here's a guide to some of the issues you’ll face living in Liverpool’s private accommodation and some (hopefully) handy tips on how to overcome them when you’re feeling like the only fresher who can’t relate to the halls banter.

The people in your flat are a mix of LJMU and UOL students

You join the Facebook page for your accommodation, eagerly waiting to see who you'll be living with for the next 10 months. But after a few days of no response, you discover that you’ll be cohabiting with a mix of LJMU students and UoL students.

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Initially this may not seem like an issue, but within two weeks of settling into your new pad, you quickly realise that your social schedules will never match up. While you and your fellow UoL flatmates are discussing the upcoming vintage fair at the Guild, they’re talking about the LJMU x PLT sample sale, AND the fact that they plan on joining the gym for FREE (sucks to be UoL in this case). You quickly realise that the fact your campuses are on different sides of the city means that you can never go to the library together or join the same societies.

You live with a mix of first, second and third year students

When you first discover that you'll be living with a mixture of students in different uni years, you will definitely try to convince yourself that it'll be like having a few older and wiser uni siblings. Granted, they will definitely know the city more and be able to tell you all the best places to go for brunch on Bold Street, but ultimately they're at completely different stages in their uni lives and potentially this may become an issue.

For second and third year students, the novelty of being a "student" has started to wear off. While you're fresh-faced and ready to take on Concert Square, they're sort of already "over it". Essentially this means they might prefer to do more sophisticated things like go for drinks in Oh Me Oh My, or spend their Sundays brunching in Love Thy Neighbour with their already established friendship group. Although they can definitely show you how to use a tin opener/washing machine, the fact that they’ve already been there and done that means that you may never really be that close.

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So instagrammable

Your halls are eerily quiet and you’ll spend the whole year wondering who lives in the flat opposite

For some reason, there's just something about private halls which makes them far too quiet. Perhaps it’s the fact that you're living with second and third year students who are meant to be studying, that guarantees that you'll literally never bump into anyone on your way back from uni.

The halls will definitely have a Facebook page run by the resident student reps who advertise their organised quiz nights, running club and FIFA battles constantly. The fact is, it doesn't matter how many times they post about their Harry Potter-themed quiz nights, private halls will still never provide a sociable accommodation and people will probably definitely avoid awkward quiz nights at all costs (even if they do offer free pizza).

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However, you can almost definitely find ways to meet new people

Granted, there are many things "wrong" with private accommodation, and you can certainly find yourself feeling like you're the only student in Liverpool who hasn't been on a flat trip to the Raz. However, not everyone's university experience is the same and there are so many ways to turn your unsociable time into a social one.

Join a Society

There are so many societies at UoL which are catered to suit practically everybody. Whether you're into football, rugby, beer, politics or helping the homeless, there'll definitely be something to suit you. It's a great way to mix with people from your uni who you can guarantee will share your interests. Societies also hold socials all the time which will probably involve the Raz, so you can finally relate to your coursemates' conversations about drunkenly singing along to Come on Eileen.

Get yourself a part-time job

There are so many places in Liverpool to find a part-time job and this is definitely a good way of meeting new people. Whether you fancy retail, events promotion or hospitality, there’s something for everyone. Not only will you be able to earn yourself some dollar, but you’ll also gain a whole new circle of work friends that you can socialise with and complain to about your unsociable flatmates.

At the end of the day, it's not that deep

Nobody's university experience is the same, and even though there is a certain student stereotype, most uni expectations drop short in one way or another. Just remember that everyone is in the same boat, trying to adjust to a new football-mad city, in addition to trying to grasp the Scouse accent as well. Take advantage of your time on campus – sometimes simply sparking a conversation with someone in your three o’clock lecture can make the world of difference.