A conclusive guide to finding your second year house in Leamington Spa
A lot can go wrong in one house
So, it's a month or two into your first term at the University of Warwick. It's officially time to start thinking about second year housing.
Coming from a particularly large flat, I know all too well the difficulty of splitting into groups before you start house hunting. And take it from me, the way forward is not writing your top three people on a list. Finding a second year house should most certainly NOT be treated like a dramatic, tearful episode of the X Factor.
A few awkward conversations and emotional breakdowns later, you'll hopefully be in the know about who your lucky housemates will be next year.
Think through how many people you want to be living with
Do you like a bit of peace and quiet? A tidy kitchen, maybe? If this is the case, it's probably best to stay away from a larger house. However, if you're like me, living in a house of seven still feels a little too empty and quiet, so if you're into constant noise and company, the more the merrier.
And sometimes it's better to wait it out a little bit. You can't necessarily suss people's characters out within the first month, and you, of course, don't want to end up stuck with a group that you might not remain so close with.
Once you eventually establish who you're living with, house hunting can be a bit of a headache
From worms coming up the sinks , to giant penis' painted across the walls, you'll see it all on your quest to find the perfect house.
North or South?
If you want to get on a bus in the mornings, living in South is unequivocally the better option. However, if you're slightly less concerned about making your 9am lectures and only have eight contact hours a week, it's really not that much of an issue.
If you're living up in the north, you'll be closer to Smack. And down south, you'll be much closer to Neon. So, you could let this aid you in your decision making. You'll thank yourself when it gets to the winter, its tipping it down with rain and you can't afford an Uber back without maxing out your overdraft. I must admit, however, neither is a particularly attractive option – if only Kasbah was in Leamington, sigh.
At the end of the day, when you do eventually find your house, there's a high chance that everything that could go wrong, will go wrong.
50 slugs could invade your house. Your kitchen and bedroom ceilings may leak. Your flatmates might drop out after first year. And it's highly likely it will reach a point where half of your kitchen is no longer working.
Expect the unexpected
From stories of finding draws full of pubes, to ceilings completely falling through at house parties, there's a whole variety of things that could potentially go wrong in your new house.
A personal highlight for our house was, unquestionably, when we were given strict instructions to empty the bowel of our blocked, filled to the brim, toilet before a plumber would be able to come to our rescue and stop our house smelling like a literal sewer (probably worse).
Masks, gloves and about ten deodorant cans at the ready, we rose to the challenge. We are, however, all scarred for life.
You have real bills to pay and they're expensive, so prepare to freeze
Bills can be a tricky one to get your head around. And if you're useless with things like that, definitely make sure you've got someone in your group who has a bit of initiative and common sense. But be prepared to have to sort everything from water to WiFi – it'll for sure make you miss living in halls.
The best tip for moving to Leam is quite simple – try and see the funny side even when it all goes tits up
You're having to deal with real life issues- landlords, heating, councils and much more. It's not going to be plain sailing, but choosing your housemates, location and house wisely will make things a little easier when everything goes wrong. You may not be able to just call up campus security when there's a problem, but you can laugh through the issues and use it all as a learning curve.