Home Comment Student Housing: Tantrums, Tension and Tears

Student Housing: Tantrums, Tension and Tears

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Arts editor Sophy Coombes-Roberts argues that we should wait a lot longer before deciding on next year’s housing arrangements.

Troubles, tantrums, tears and tension all around… yes you guessed it, the yearly student housing dilemma has come around yet again.

Photo Credit: sludgegulper via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: sludgegulper via Compfight cc

No longer than six weeks ago, we moved into our second year houses and already everyone has to make the decision as to whether to stay put or ditch their house in hope of finding a better alternative. Strictly speaking you have just over a month to make an impact, meaning trivial things such as not washing up, excessively abusing hot water or pinching your housemates’ eggs are real deal breakers.

On the other end of the spectrum the freshers are still getting to know their way around campus and settle into Exeter life, how can they be expected to choose who their housemates for next year will be with people whom they have only known for less than two months?!

In every group of friends there are bound to be people who are left out, and then have to scour the campus for people who will have them in their house.  These cases are obviously sad, and being without housemates is every student’s worst nightmare but student housing is laughably cut throat, with every man for themselves.

However, the problem of sorting out housemates is only half the battle, next comes the stress of finding the actual house in November.  Those waiting until after Christmas will inevitably be left with extortionate prices for average accommodation, miles away from campus or just a pretty grimy house. It is really quite ridiculous how quickly the best houses get snapped up. The main estate agents put their student accommodation on the market on Monday 11 November, and at 4pm the very same day at least three houses I had hoped to view were already taken. It is a battle to grab a house on Queens Crescent or Longbrook Street and I would be extremely surprised if they were not all snapped up by now. We even ran to the estate agents to secure our house in the hope of getting there before another group who we knew had liked the property.

Obviously, we all want to make sure we pick the perfect house, one which meets everyone’s individual requirements, is in a good location and is somewhere we know we will be happy. Inevitably, this can take a while to find – some groups look at over 20 properties before they find one they want, however, this isn’t like the real world of real estate where you can look for a new home over a period of months – oh no – all of this has to be done within a matter of days otherwise all the good houses will be long gone. Stressful is an understatement.

The worst part is, after all the hectic viewings, having made a final decision you can’t even get excited about it because you won’t be seeing the house again for another nine months because we do the whole thing banally early. It makes absolutely no sense – what would be the problem with moving the whole thing back to January at the earliest? A few months later everyone would be properly sorted and ready to jump into house hunting rather than being swept up in the mad rush of it in November.

Sophy Coombes-Roberts, Arts Editor

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