Second Year Housing: A comprehensive guide- Part 1
6 weeks into University, as a Fresher you may or may not have fully settled in to independent living, but nevertheless, you will soon start to think about second year. I think we can all agree that the time to start signing contracts is far FAR too early, but really there is no one we can blame except ourselves, because we Warwick students are ridiculously organised. So for that I am sorry Freshers, if you want a house with minimal damage and of the correct size; that is just the evolution of things, current 2 years know where to go and who to be with and will snap up the best of the lot on their way home from the bus stop. The early bird catches the worm, and apparently adequate heating and 6 double beds! Therefore now is definitely the time to be scouting out houses in the local areas and, if you haven’t already, deciding who you want to live with. It is the norm to go with your flatmates, you will know most of their habits by now, who is messy, who thinks the best time to play really loud music is 3:30 am, who you have a complicated romantic history with etc. and therefore can make quite an informed decision. Additionally if you have been fraternizing with coursemates or those on your sports team more than your flat then it could be nice to live with them for year 2. The mess comes when grouping together to make the decision takes place, particularly when your flat is too large to fit in one house, as an unexpected someone may crop up as your best friend, or someone may wish to not live with you at all! My point is, make sure the topic has been introduced and give it enough time to sort itself out, although it may not be as awkward as I am making it seem, it is best to prepare for all eventualities.
The next step is deciding where you want to live next year. The obvious choice is Leamington Spa, where the vast majority of Warwick goes- and for good reason! The centre is lovely, with a good amount of shops, regular buses and hello Smack, Neon and Assembly on your doorstep! You may be aware of the North/South divide (generally marked at around the Church/River) and the advantages and disadvantages of living in either side of the town. It is difficult to find your way about and get your bearings when you have probably only visited to go to Smack when it is dark, and you probably won’t really know Leamington until a few weeks after you have moved in however I will try and summarise what you have to decide between:
- Near Smack.
- Near the shops.
- Shorter bus journey.
- Generally a nicer area.
- Rent can be higher (see above point).
- Nearby supermarkets are more expensive (Sainsbury’s and Tesco).
- Less bus stops so may not get a seat on the bus, particularly at peak times on the hour.
- Near Kelseys.
- Sort of near Neon/Assembly.
- Will nearly always get a seat on the bus.
- May have a really long bus journey if you are really South and are near a bus stop on the Sydenham loop (some U1s go on a really long ramble into the next town along after it has hit the Church providing more bus stops than just the Parade).
- Could be a looong way from anything, which means a scary walk home in the dark after a night out.
- Potentially cheaper rent.
- You get ASDA/ Morrisons and cheap local stores.
Alternatively you can choose to live closer in Coventry, Kenilworth, Canley or Earlsdon. The latter two being of walking distance from campus, and the former two requiring a short bus journey which is saying a lot as it can take up to an hour to get to and from campus in Leamington in rush hours (hello 7am alarms). I can’t give much detail about these areas as I have never stayed there but I would say if you would prefer to sacrifice some convenient nights out and most house parties for a quick and easy trip to Uni everyday (or you are really really into Pop!) then they are worth considering.
In order to not make this post far too long and sleep-inducing, I will split the information into two parts and the next post will contain more specific information on searching for the right type of house for next year.
In the meantime if you have any questions for my wisened 2nd year self give us a buzz at firstname.lastname@example.org.