picture pinched from pinterestSo, as promised here, here is my take on 'living in London'.
A bit of background: I've always lived locally to London, having been born in Surrey and living local to Croydon (South London) my whole life, but a year ago I moved up to Clapham to be nearer to uni as I was a bit too far into Surrey (Oxted/Warlingham way, for those of you who know Surrey!) to commute and was desperate to move out.
Anyway, long story short, I LOVE IT. It's utterly been the best thing I could have ever done. I've come right out of my shell, I'm happy here and a proper little home bird. I love having my own place to fluff out and have people over whenever I fancy/equally have the place to myself whenever I fancy.
I currently live with my pal Gem, who I met during my foundation year in 2012/13. She's from Wales so goes home for Christmas etc so I spend a lot of time here alone although I'm moving to a bigger house around the corner this week with James, my friend Olivia and of course, Gem and the cat.
I rent privately, as opposed to living in halls. Halls were never really an option for me as I hated the idea of shared living areas etc (it's not rare to find me wandering around in my pants) and they were more pricey, as well as being too central for me to commute back to work at the weekends. Olivia lived in halls and hated it, as it's not as social as normal universities with campus' etc are, although I know people who did enjoy it.
I chose SW London as I needed to stay south of the river to be close to work, and it's only 30-45 mins from my family so easy access for my mum and James. I originally looked at Balham, but fell in love with Clapham so opted for here. I would whole heartedly recommend the area, it has everything you could dream of. I'm on the Northern line, local to the Victoria line, have access to the Overground, busses to most of London and have bars and nightclubs galore at the end of my road. Not to mention a good selection of restaurants, shops and of course, Clapham Common.
Living in London isn't cheap and if you're thinking of moving up then consider things like a deposit on a rented property, it's usually 6 weeks rent + your first month upfront, as well as admin charges so you'd be looking at well over £1000. Bills aren't too bad and we use a company called Split the Bills for ease. Rent is expensive, you're looking at about £1300-£1600 for your average 2 bed, luckily my student loan just about covers my half, but obviously I work too. You'll need a guarantor if you are a student, so someone with a reliable income.
In terms of the cost of living, I don't find it to be more expensive than anywhere else. I spend about £25 a week on food, and eat really well (cos I'm a fab cook and a terrible student) and travel is about £80 a month when commuting daily to university. Nights out are pricey, but what can you do? There are cheaper options like 1 Big Night Out, and other bar crawls, but the main places are upwards of £5 for a drink, but you do get used to it.
Living here has a billion perks, obviously you're in the capital of the country so there's always something to do. As a blogger it's fab as most events are based here, as well as LFW etc. I could talk all day about amazing things to do here, but that would make this post super annoying, so perhaps another time!
If you're looking to move here, I absolutely recommend making the leap. Get involved and live the London life, work out in public parks, go to some of the best restaurants in the country, visit all the pop up shops and galleries and absolutely know the tube inside-out. It's fast paced and busy, but it's honestly the best thing I've ever done; I hope I never have to move away! (Unless it's to Manhattan...)
Again, if you have any questions, leave them below or drop me a tweet! (Link below for ya)