Congratulations on making it to Brighton! We hope you'll enjoy it here - we've put together a few summaries below to try to help with the settling in process and give you a place to start.

Setting Up Shop - Making a Room a Home

So, you're now the proud owner of a room, which might be tiny, or it might have a balcony and an en-suite, depending on luck, location, or how speedily your returned your housing application! More often than not, it may not exactly be a 5-star hotel room.

No problem! One of the most exciting things about this is going out and filling it with everything you think you'll need and anything that makes it a bit more like a new home, then marvelling when you have to move at how you accumulated all of this stuff.

One thing to be aware of - a lot of halls of residence don't allow posters on walls, or sometimes Blu-Tac specifially, as it can leave marks and require repainting. If it's the marks that aren't allowed, typically doors don't have the same problem (different paint), or you can get another type of adhesive that doesn't leave a mark - you can pick these up from most WHSmiths, they usually come in a strip format. Sometimes you'll get a corkboard on your wall which you can also use as a decorating space!

The top standard places for cheap, easy funishings are IKEA and Argos - unfortunately the closest IKEA is in Croydon, so you can probably rule that one out without delivery, but there is a full sized Argos in the city centre. Brighton has a huge array of charity shops in the centre for those essential/non-essential nik-naks to put on your new shelves.

A quick list of cheap, easy additions you can make to any room and should be able to grab from WHSmith, Argos or any charity shop in town:

  • Whiteboard/Noticeboard - great space to doodle or jot notes or to-do lists
  • Floor Lamp - you'll appreciate the extra light during those late nights
  • Fairy Lights - more character than a lamp, with a bit less light
  • Teapot - great to have the option to invite people in for tea
  • Cheap Speakers - lets you host gatherings in your room
  • Screen - if you've got a medium sized room, you can divide it with a cheap screen to separate work and sleep spaces
  • Cushions/Throws - cheap, colourful and great if your room has poor heating, also double up as seating!
Indie Boutiques and Charity Shops are a Gold Mine for Room Decorations!

Surviving

Uni is pretty exciting, but it can also be pretty hectic or sometimes downright scary! Hopefully you'll get into the swing of things quickly and it'll all be smooth sailing except for a couple of hangovers and work-filled nights.

For general things, such as late night, last minute shopping, laundry issues, banking or local GPs - check out our Living in Brighton pages (also on the right), or for Uni specific issues, you can follow the links to your list of Uni services below.

As a warning - you'll almost definitely get Fresher's Flu in your first couple of weeks, pretty much because everyone is bringing their own germs from all over the country and then living next door to each other. This is normal, but do feel free to visit your Uni/Campus nurse if it's really getting you down. Also, make use of the C-Card scheme, which gives out free condoms and advice to everyone under 25 so you never need to have a reason not to stay protected! There is an over 25 scheme called BrightSex available too.

If you've lost something, we've got a Lost & Found page in the For Sale section of the website (which also has a whole host of second hand items for sale, including phones, books and laptops).

Both universities also offer full access to counselling services and you can always phone the Samaritans (01273772277) if things are just getting that bit too difficult and you need someone to talk to right away.

Finding Free Condoms in Brighton is Easy!

Student Loans

Unfortunately, living costs in Brighton are pretty high - halls of residence cost £120-£190 per week, usually for 39 weeks and it's similar for a house share. That's already nearly £4,700 just on accommodation and the maintenance loans range from £3,821 to £8,200, though you can get a bit more depending on circumstance.

That makes it all the more important to keep an eye on your finances and find handy ways to reduce costs. There are plenty of online budget calculators you can use to check the numbers, but here are a few handy tips for reducing costs:

  • Use cash - withdraw the amount of cash you're happy to spend for day and leave your card at home, it's really easy to overspend on contactless payments!
  • You can usually get a discount with a student card, so it's always worth a try!
  • If you have one or two expensive items, you can often get them insured through relatives contents insurance for a couple of quid, rather than dish out more for your own insurance.
  • If you watch live TV, or iPlayer, you are liable to pay £145.50 a year for a TV licence. Netflix is fine though and that's super cheap if you share it with everyone in your flat or on your floor!
  • Remember that if you're only working in holidays and part-time, you're probably not eligible to pay tax since your grants and loans are not taxable.
  • A weekly shop is so much cheaper than a daily shop and most places offer free or cheap delivery, so just pick a time and day and load up! This is even more effective if you have a shared kitchen - just hang up a list in the kitchen that everyone can add to and order it every Friday.

Many students work part time during their course, or work during the holidays, to supplement their income. Some of the big high street names will allow you to relatively easily transfer between locations so you can work from home and from uni and there are always smaller part-time jobs appearing around the city.

Renting isn't the Cheapest in Brighton!
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