1. When looking at flats/houses, try to talk to the current residents as they will always be more honest about the property/area than the landlord or letting agent.
2. Read the contract carefully and check to see if it is going to be signed jointly with other residents. This can have a huge impact on your rent liability, especially if someone moves out before the lease is up. Check out Shelter Scotland for some great student housing advice.
3. Before deciding on a place, walk around the area and get a feel for it. It’s best to know where the nearest bus stops and grocers (and takeaways if we’re being honest!) are located.
4. If in self-catered accommodation, think about sharing the cooking with your flatmates. It can be fun and help you to get to know them better, as nothing says friendship like pretending burnt food tastes delicious.
5. Address any issues with your flatmates head on but in a polite manner. Passive aggression is never the answer and you may end up with a pile of dirty dishes in your bed (true story!).
6. Understand that if you are sharing a fridge, your stuff will inevitably be stolen at some point. That’s just a fact.
7. Check out public transport options and see if there are student discount options on offer. However, if possible walk to your destinations as much as you can as this is a great way to get to your new area.
8. Go to the sports, clubs and (if relevant) fresher’s fairs. It’s a great way to see what’s on offer and even if you don’t sign up for anything, odds are you’ll walk away with some free stuff (you’ll never need to buy another pen) or vouchers.
9. Make a budget and do your best to stick to it. You will be tempted to go big during your first month or two but try to remember that you will need money for nights out after exams later in the year.
10. Set up a routine for calling/visiting your family. You being away from home is also difficult for your family so keeping in touch regularly will go a long way, and may make them more amenable when you bring home huge bags of laundry.