One of the most difficult things for any student to achieve when taking up accommodation near their university is turning their chosen house into a home. Postgrads are of course in something of a better position than their undergraduate counterparts and you undoubtedly have a few ideas in mind for making your student house somewhere that you live rather than simply somewhere you stay. Moving in also comes as a lot less of a shock the second time around when you have had the opportunity to experience a good few years of standing on your own two feet.
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of creating a homely atmosphere in a rented house is the fact that you can’t actually do much in terms of changes. Student accommodation tenancy agreements are among the most stringent around and that’s not even considering the fact that you have to account for the other people that are sharing the house. However, that is certainly not to say that you forever have to be content with mediocrity when it comes to your living arrangements and the following are our top tips for getting the most out of where you live.
Make the Décor Suit Your Style Painting the walls and putting up shelves is almost certainly out of the question and there are no guarantees that you’ll finish your postgraduate course any better at DIY than when you started. However, if you look in the right places then there are plenty of things you can do to spice up even the drabbest living spaces. You can change the curtains, for example, as long as you keep the landlord’s stored safely and put them back when you leave. This alone can make a room feel more ‘you’. Most tenancy agreements also include provisions for small pins or hooks in the walls, so a mirror or picture rather than a roughly torn poster from a magazine can give a sense of continuity.
Use the Facilities If you’re staying in a house then you will almost certainly have a dedicated kitchen with far fewer people to share it with than in your undergrad days. Hopefully the baked bean diet will be long gone and this kitchen serves up the perfect opportunity to make it feel homely. Cook a proper meal once or twice a week – your housemates will love you for it, the chances are that you’ll get out of doing the washing up and food is the biggest productivity boost going.
Don’t Be Afraid to Bring Things from Home You may well look around your current home and see things that you want to take with you but as they don’t really do anything then it doesn’t seem worth it. In actuality, a photo, memento or other item can really help you to call your rented house a home. If you have anything that really elicits an emotion of homeliness then don’t be afraid to take it to your student accommodation. Just be careful not to let it make you homesick!
Get to Know the Local Area It can be difficult to really feel like you’re at home if the side streets from your own road lead to the unknown. There are plenty of reasons to explore the local area , but making it feel like home is definitely one of the leading contenders. Best of all, it doesn’t cost a thing to take a long walk and you never know what you might discover.
Don’t Skimp on the Creature Comforts We all know that being a postgrad is not exactly a life of luxury, but there are some things that you simply should not do without in your rented home. Try to budget for a decent television or at least a radio to break the silence and give you something to get away from studying, or even get a television licence for your PC. Anything that provides a (planned) distraction will help you relax… in the comfort of your very own home.
Useful Links Living Costs
Sharing a student house: what to expect
Making The Perfect Postgrad Student Study Space
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