Alright! So in honour of all those freshers heading into University right about now, I’m doing seven posts over seven days, all dedicated to different aspects of University life. A lot will be based around making yourself at home, things you should take and ways to make the most of your experience. This one in particular is a quick psa of things to avoid as you move into University Halls of Residence. Little, but can have a big impact over time if you find yourself in a difficult situation, so it’s worth a read! It’s a quick one, I promise.
It’s taken me two years to realise it, but blu-tack is an absolute nightmare. When I arrived at my house for my second year, there were oily blu-tack marks all over the wall. It depends what type of paint the landlord has used (because the walls in my bedroom at home aren’t damaged by blu-tack at all) but more often than not, you’ll be left with some unsightly marks that are very difficult (maybe impossible) to remove without some questionable suggestions from reliable sources on google. Instead of using blu-tack to pin up posters and photos, I’d recommend the sticky tabs sold in practically any store that sells glue and tape, or any product that is designed purposely to avoid marking walls. ‘Command Strips’ are a little more expensive but seem to be a good option. I’d recommend making whatever product you do use a little bit less tacky by sticking it to the back of your hand first. (Sounds a bit weird, but trust me). The natural oils on your hand remove a little of the tackiness, and prevents any risk of you pulling the paint away when you do remove the tabs. Works similarly with sticky tape.
- damaging anything permanently
This should really be an obvious one, but try to avoid damaging anything that could possibly run you the risk of losing out on some deposit or being charged at the end of the year. Landlords and letting agents have a habit of over-charging students, and the best way to avoid this is to not give them any reason to question anything you’ve done. So if you do break anything (like a lampshade, cupboard, door or bed), it’s worth letting the maintenance team know at the time. Often, things can be fixed during the year, and you don’t have to rely on their discretion after you’ve moved out and left for the Summer.
- using the wifi for anything stupid.
Another obvious one, but I’ve found that many students (including people I know) used the WiFi for really stupid things. Particularly when you’re at halls of residence (as the WiFi is often more closely monitored), it’s important not to do anything stupid or ‘illegal’ – more important than it would be at home. I heard regularly about students being banned from the WiFi or receiving written letters from companies after they had been recognised as having illegally downloading films/TV series’.
With this, it’s just worth considering what’s worth the risk and what isn’t.
I’m not advising you do anything like this at all, but it’s all the more important when you’re at risk of being banned from WiFi (That would result, I imagine, in a lot of frustrating trips to a library or internet cafe to ensure you got all your work handed in on time).
Because I wanted to keep this short and sweet, I’m leaving it at three quick tips. I hope, though, that it’ll help you keep your deposit, reduce any stress you might have mid term as you peel away a Polaroid to reveal a dark, oily mark, and stop you from trudging to a cafe everytime you want to check the weather online.