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Anyone/anyone's DC have any experience of living "out" in their first year? Swansea University [grr] !!!

(40 Posts)
duchesse Sat 10-Sep-11 00:57:05

We found out this evening at 8pm that barely 18 yo DS has not got into halls at his university. The university is now expecting a bunch of 18 yo to go up to Swansea and trudge around the town trying to find a house to rent privately with a bunch of people they do not know. I am very angry and stressing a lot on his behalf. He says it could be fun but I can tell he's worried as well.

I am mostly worried about him socialising, so would really like to know if anybody has any experience of living out of halls in their first year and what it was like- good thing or bad thing overall?

duchesse Sat 10-Sep-11 09:44:34

Maybe I posted that at a slightly unsociable hour... grin

Shameless morning bump. (that sounds rather rude)

deemented Sat 10-Sep-11 09:48:42

I don't live in halls or anything, but do live in Swansea, and there are loads of rentals around.

Best areas for him to look at would be Uplands, Brynmill, Mount Pleasant.

Theres also a company down here that i've seen called Student Digz - might be worth haing a google and seeing if it has a website?

duchesse Sat 10-Sep-11 09:50:29

Ah thanks Dee- I think the university has seriously more people than they can honestly manage this year. What worrying us having to find a group of people to share a house with as obviously he knows no-one yet.

Just as a matter of interest, do you know how much a room in a shared house tends to be in Swansea?

CoffeeCrazedMama Sat 10-Sep-11 09:52:45

Don't know any concrete details, but dd mentioned the other day that a girl she knows in the same situation had joined some Facebook wall thing (I don't do FB so its all Greek to me) for first year Swansea students needing to do this. Apparently its all very friendly and helpful. If your ds has Facebook maybe he could try that. Good luck.

Lizzylou Sat 10-Sep-11 09:53:06

Dee's idea is a good one, am sure he'll find something.
Years ago I didn't get into halls and ended up living in a rented house with a gang of girls who I didn't know (wouldn't have known anyone in Halls anyway though, I suppose!). It was best time of my life, most of us stuck together through whole 3 years and we meet up regularly now 20 years later.

Whenever I went into Halls I was always glad I didn't get in to be honest, our house was loads nicer.

gingeroots Sat 10-Sep-11 09:57:08

I can understand how you feel - wouldn't want this for my Ds .
But try and take heart ,he won't be alone and there's bound to be swings and roundabouts regarding halls v. shared house/flat .

It's not all bad not being immersed in the mayhem that halls ( especially if on campus ) can be ,and believe me you can very easily be lonely living in halls .

He'll be making friends with others on his course and socialising with people living in halls .

Good luck .

deemented Sat 10-Sep-11 09:58:30

On find a Property.com at the moment, theres a 4 bed house in Mount pleasant thats £200pcm.

TheMitfordsMaid Sat 10-Sep-11 09:59:17

No experience of living out, but as an ex Swansea resident he really must live within walking distance of Joe's Ice Cream parlour. I agree that Brynmill would be best. I'd look there first before going to Mount Pleasant. Sand fields could be OK too, especially now the Vetch (football) is no more.

Swansea is a fantastic place to live. If you fancy staying somewhere overnight when you visit, can I recommend Morgan's?

clopper Sat 10-Sep-11 10:07:45

My son is just starting his 2nd year there and he has a room available in the house he is renting if thats any help! Agree it's awkward and I was glad he was in halls to meet people initially, although he didn't think the whole hall thing was that great. Also many of the 1st years live in the 'student village' (can't remember the welsh name for it) which is quite a long way from the actual uni. His girlfriend has just started at another uni without much 1st year accommodation and the uni arranged a house hunting day. She found a flat straight away with some decent people. Look at facebook for swansea freshers as there will be adverts for rooms and he will be able to meet people online from his course etc. before he goes. There is also a thing called student pad and the student room which can help people get together before uni starts.

clopper Sat 10-Sep-11 10:10:30

Oh forgot to say that he is paying £260 I think per month, but bills will also need to be paid e.g. gas, water, electric between them.

duchesse Sat 10-Sep-11 10:14:07

Thanks Clopper- we're coming up on Wednesday to go house-hunting. The university is arranging a thing. Ideally I think it would be better for him to be with other 1st years, but being with 2nd years could have a lot going for it as well. I will get back to you by the end of the week!

clopper Sat 10-Sep-11 10:23:52

Hope all goes well, would really recommend the whole facebook thing though as he may have at least one 'virtual' flatmate by the time he starts looking!(this is what happened to his girlfriend) My son and his friends like a laugh and a bit of football,pub drinking and quizzes and the xbox but are not massive drinkers! this is what he didn't like about the halls initially, the massive pressure to get drunk out of your head to have 'fun'. People tend to gravitate towards similar types of people to live with in the 2nd year. I think I may have made him sound like a geek but he is definitely not! My daughter had only been 18 for 2 weeks by the time she went a few years ago and I felt she was a bit more vulnerable then, so I know what you mean by being too young

dreamingofsun Sat 10-Sep-11 15:17:14

have now looked up train times for son to go to 'looking at houses in swansea' day and if he's to get there before lunchtime its £235!!!! probably not helped by the excessively short notice they have given for this - so unable to book in advance.

dreamingofsun Sat 10-Sep-11 15:21:51

no problem - now found a bargin with national express. if he leaves home at 3.30AM he will get there by lunchtime (takes 8 hours) and will only cost 47.50. so he can go to the viewing day after all - though doubt he will be able to keep his eyes open.

lets hope they will let me take a couple of days off work, despite the very short notice. Thanks Swansea Uni - i'm no longer feeling rosy or positive about you.

t0lk13n Sat 10-Sep-11 15:24:36

Student village is Hendrefoilan

dreamingofsun Sat 10-Sep-11 15:34:34

Yes we know that tOlk. Unfortunately swansea is unable to provide any accommodation for duchesse or my son's. thats why we are angry and fed up. And the way its been managed leaves a lot to be desired. Saying they will let us know each week and then emailing that nothings available and expecting him to visit swansea on wed and find housemates via facebook. would you want to houseshare with someone you'd only met a couple of days ago on facebook?

webwiz Sat 10-Sep-11 16:55:26

Sorry dreaming and duchesse this must be really stressful. DD2's boyfriend has just had to organise a house in Bournemouth as he got in through clearing and there was no university accomodation left. He organised it through facebook and had to go down last week to view houses.

I have heard of other universities having problems accomodating first years, someone else that DD2 knows is starting off in a B&B in Reading. It is disappointing that they are having to start off the university experience worrying about where to live. One of DD1's friends went straight into a house at Hull university and it didn't seem to spoil the fresher experience.

dreamingofsun Sat 10-Sep-11 17:17:43

webwiz did he find somewhere in bournemouth? I know it well - what area? there are hardly any halls there.

I suppose this is partly around expectations - if he my son had gone to his 2nd uni option i knew he wouldn't have got into a hall. but swansea tell such a fab story on the website about 98% of 1st year students being uni accommodation and how they know its stressful and they want to provide the right accommodation - the experience has been so totally different to what they led us believe.

LaWeasel Sat 10-Sep-11 17:27:20

Good luck to both of you.

When I went to Uni they originally had no space in halls for me. By the time I'd found some people online in the same situation and we'd arranged to look at a house the university had gone through all the room shuffles with people who'd decided not to come and there was space for me after all, so all hope is not lost! Keep in touch with the housing department just in case.

DH also didn't get a place in halls at his Uni, the housing department had a list of approved landlords and he found something through them. He also highly recommends joining an active society and getting really involved to make up a bit for the social side you can miss out on not being in halls.

dreamingofsun Sat 10-Sep-11 17:37:18

thanks for your comments everyone. the encouragement and sympathy etc is much appreciated. Sure it will all work out and i keep reminding myself that at least he's going

clopper Sun 11-Sep-11 00:06:47

Remember that even if you go into a student flat, you will still be with strangers , so either way you end up with people that you don't know initially. In fact on facebook you may have more of an idea about someones interests etc. before you meet them. Swansea do have many more places than most unis for 1st years so you have been very unlucky in that respect. I guess maybe they are taking more than usual because of the fee hike? Really hope you manage to sort something out- the whole train fare thing sounds crazy, how can they justify that cost?. Has he got a railcard? I would echo the joining lots of clubs and societies, in a way being much nearer to the uni will be easier for attending these sort of functions and clubs and he will meet like minded people.

dreamingofsun Sun 11-Sep-11 09:34:56

clopper - appears i was looking at routes via london which make it much longer. if i can drop him off at a different station 3/4 hour away he can then catch train to cardiff and bus onwards to swansea.

i know he will be ok. he's a very sociable person and has made lots of friends easily at school despite the long distance away that we live. but it is adding to all our stress levels.

I think they must be lying on their website when they say they provide student accommodation to 98% of first years though. HND etc students only get hall places after degree students and some students must live at home...maybe i'll do a freedom of info request.

duchesse Sun 11-Sep-11 14:01:19

I reckon that most universities use airline-style overbooking of places on the premise that a proportion will drop out. Sadly this year that is unlikely to happen at this stage- far too much at stake with the fees hike next year. They should have factored that in. But if they had, DS may not have got a place at all this year, so I really can't complain. Just got to make the best of it.

ggirl Sun 11-Sep-11 14:09:18

one of dd's friends was in the same position last yr , not at swansea though.

He ended up living with 2nd and 3rd yrs and got on really well with them .didn't spoil his first yr at all.

Hope wednesday goes ok , are you going with him? I know I'd be gagging to go along but it's awkward isn't it.

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