In my second year at Queens, I rented a house with a group of 4 second-year Queens’ girls. My advice for that would be to start looking early for a place to live. For example, start in October, which is well before final exams so that by late December you could have been to several house/apartment viewings and could have a better sense of what you want and what you can afford. This is easier to do if the people you might want to live with go to the viewings with you and are able to ask questions themselves, some people find alternative ways to do that.

Of the girls I lived with, I knew just one of them and she knew the rest. So, I knew this could be anywhere between a really bad experience and a really good one. I didn’t really have a choice based on a number of things; My tight budget for example, and I didn’t have many friends from Queens or in Kingston (e.g. my high school cohort). What I did know, through the friend, is that they are good people. I took the risk because I was willing to make friends this way and if the worst did happen, I believed I had some pretty good negotiation skills and I knew Queen's resources available to me. We had some highs and lows, but that is totally normal. I’m just saying that if you find yourself in a situation where you do not personally know everyone, it might help if a friend could speak to the character of the rest others and/or you try to hang out before living with each other.

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