Studying at university is expensive. Finding somewhere to live on top of paying tuition fees can often mean temporarily compromising on quality. In general, student housing is – while not always ideal – perfectly liveable. But it doesn’t come without it’s fare share of complaints. Here we take a look at some of the most common issues faced by students living away from home, and some simple tips to overcome them.
Problem: Single-Glazed Windows
Solution: As a student, money is often tight. It’s not uncommon for students to forego regular heating to save some cash. Which makes dealing with single-glazed windows even more of a nuisance. Whatever heat you manage to generate quickly dissipates against the encroaching air. But there are ways to fight this. Aside from wrapping up warm, draft excluders applied around the window frames are a great way to minimize heat loss, as well as a layer of secondary glazing film. You could even tape a sheet of thick bubble wrap across the glass. These may not be the most stylish of home upgrades, but they are practical, and will help keep you warm during temporary living.
That being said . . .
Solution: One of the best combatants against damp/mould forming is to keep your house warm and dry. While many students are unable to afford prolonged, regular heating, an hour or two in the morning and again during the evening goes a long way in staving off moist, heavy air. This is another reason why using draft excluders to battle single-glazing can be extremely effective. Anything that sustains warmth is a huge plus. Besides, a little bit of heat in the morning can make getting up for class a whole lot easier!
Problem: Enthusiastic Gastropods
Solution: Slugs! Who knew slugs liked heat and dryness? I had no idea this was a problem until I moved into my second student house. Since then I’ve heard several friends lament the same thing: Slugs are invading our home! There are endless ways slugs can slide their way inside. One of the most common is a loose back/front door jamb, or a door not positioned correctly in its frame. While these issues are virtually unnoticeable on a day to day basis, they can prove troublesome if you’ve got a particularly large slug community living nearby. Laying down slug pellets or a little bit of salt outside the door is a great way to deter any would-be molluscan invaders.
Problem: The Oddly Scented Kitchen
Solution: File this one under ‘messy house mates’ – unless you’re also contributing? The transition from living at home to living with friends/strangers can be a daunting one. You’ll learn the answers to all sorts of mysterious questions, like: Who does the dishes? Who wipes the counters and tabletops? And who cleans the floor? The answer: You do. And if you don’t, you’ll begin to notice it fast. Piling dishes by the sink with the intention of washing them later is all well and good, but it’s a temptation that can quickly backfire.
Nobody wants to come home from class and get stuck into a mountain of dishes. That’s why it’s best to establish some sort of rota or agreement between you and your house mates, whether it’s doing your own washing up and sharing general kitchen maintenance, or something else entirely. Keeping on top of kitchen cleanliness is important, and can stave off all sorts of nasty related problems.
by Brian Wilson