This month sees thousands of students start or return to university, and that’s always a cause for excitement.
However, some students find themselves in accommodation that is not quite so exciting. In particular, many students find themselves in bedrooms that are not quite so spacious as they would have liked. This doesn’t have to put a damper on the excitement of a new term though, as there are several things you can go to get more out of a smaller space.
The size of your bedroom for one year of your degree – perhaps less if you manage to pull off a room swap – is not the end of the world and it doesn’t have to bring down all the other excitement that goes with university life.
Whatever you do, don’t spend your time complaining about it to your housemates. Somebody was going to end up with the smallest room, and there’s no sense in sowing resentment over it. Instead, try to look on the bright side and focus on the good things.
Rent and Bills
If you have ended up with the box room, in a fair world you should not be paying the same as the lucky housemate who ended up with the spacious main bedroom that was originally designed to house two people, a massive wardrobe, and a fancy dressing table.
If you are paying the same as others with larger rooms, raise the matter politely with your landlord (if they have set the rent for each bedroom) or housemates (if you’ve been given a single rent figure and then divided it up between you). If a decrease in rent turns out not to be on the cards, then you could instead try to negotiate paying a smaller proportion of bills to reflect the fact you are getting a smaller room. Or at the very least, you might be able to persuade your housemates to buy you a round now and again as thanks for putting up with a glorified cupboard.
One good way to make a small space more bearable for living in is to make it look nicer, and a good way to do this is to get creative with the way you decorate. Try to maximise the amount of light coming into the room and minimise clutter to make everything feel a bit less cramped.
Try to find interesting and innovative ways to make the most of whatever storage space you have, including making use of any “alternative” storage ideas that occur to you, while keeping things as neat as you can. If you really don’t have enough space for everything, try to persuade your housemates to give you exclusive rights to use some storage in a communal area to make up for the fact you have less storage in your own room than they do.