Produced by Sarah Knox
It’s easy to immediately panic and freak out in the Clearing process, and it’s understandable; I definitely did. There can be a lot of hurdles to cross, and after each one there’s always another, bigger one to tackle and it seems endless, but it isn’t. Getting a house is one of these hurdles, and one of the life-savers of Bournemouth University is the BU Find a Housemate Facebook page. Places in Halls usually go pretty fast on A-level results day, and as a Clearing student you may end up having to hunt around for your own place. I searched online for solutions and stumbled upon the Facebook page and started to see what was available.
There were loads of posts from other students under the “Posts to Page” section, so I started taking notes. It may sound creepy, but it pays to check out the profile of whoever posts, just so you can get an idea of your future housemate, check for common interests etc. This part is actually very important, sure you need a place above all, but if you aren’t going to connect with your housemates then it will just lead to difficulties (especially when bills are concerned!).
If you think you have found something you like, check out the house (if it’s advertised) online; it should be listed with an estate agent. Send them a message saying you’re interested, try to sound friendly and approachable, it’ll help break the ice and make it easier. If possible, it is worth doing this for more than one, and also booking viewings. This can be arranged with the tenant, you don’t have to worry about the agencies because it is up to the lead tenant to find spaces to fill! I personally looked at two houses I liked, and having the choice made it a lot easier for me. I traded info with the lead tenant, said I was happy to go for it and got in touch with the landlady where I was then was put through to BU Lettings (agency may differ) and gave them the necessary information.
I settled in surprisingly fast. I was the only first year in a house of second and final years, but I was welcomed and supported. The whole process can take a while, but it is important to stay at it and put the effort in, because you really can end up being somewhere that can have many benefits over being in Halls!
By Ben Russell