I’m starting to settle into my second-year house, so I thought that now would be a good time to talk about what living off-campus is like, especially because house-hunting mania might be approaching for some of you (watch out for a blog on why you shouldn’t panic about houses soon!).
This year, I am living in Earlsdon, which is a part of Coventry. I’m about a 10-minute walk from Coventry City Centre and I commute to university by bus.
This year, I’m living in a 12 people house (and have gotten used to the horrified looks people give me when I tell them this) and I am really loving it. House-hunting was really stressful for me last year, partly because I worried about it a lot more than was necessary. By the end of January, two of my friends and I decided to each book a room in a Warwick Accommodation house, because we were getting tired of visiting houses and not finding one that was right for us. We settled on our house because, despite the big number of people, it is a really modern house with 12 en-suites that could be booked independently, which was great for us since we didn’t have 9 other people to sign up to it with us. I was a bit worried about living with people I didn’t know, but I’m so happy I didn’t let that stop me from picking this house because so far it has been amazing! My housemates are great and the house is really lovely. It’s also a big change from campus accommodations because the rooms tend to be bigger and it’s easier to make them feel like ours. Because of the number of people, the ‘flat’ atmosphere is still there, and there is always someone to talk to in the kitchen.
The main thing that has changed from last year, is being outside of the Warwick Bubble. That means not having everything I might need conveniently all in one spot, figuring out where to go shopping now that Cannon Park is further away, and overall just being more independent than last year. All of this made the first few weeks a bit overwhelming, because we had to get used to how our house worked and discover the area around us, as well as get through the craziness of the start of Term 1.
But, it’s also nice to be so close to City Centre as it has a lot more options for shops, restaurants and coffee shops 🙂 I also live close to Memorial Park which is the perfect spot to go to when I need to take a break from studying.
An additional change from last year and the bliss of living on-campus are the buses! Last year, I would feel both amused and horrified at the crowds that gathered for the buses at the end of the day. Now, I can wholly sympathize with them. This is not to say that taking the bus is always a crowded and chaotic experience though! Most of the time, there are plenty of seats available and on the right bus, my trip to university takes as little as 15 minutes. The problems mainly occur around rush hour, whether that is if you have a 9am lecture and need to get an early bus, or want to get home around 5pm. It can definitely be annoying to wait for the bus, but overall I don’t mind it too much. I also like having the extra 15 minutes of calm before reaching university, especially in the morning because it allows me to take some additional time to wake up.
So, this has been just some of my experience living off-campus so far. I think the most important thing is to know that living off-campus absolutely doesn’t mean being isolated from the university, and that while it might take you a while to settle in, you do get used to it 🙂