'It's a mad dash and so stressful finding a place - I'd be petrified if I left for the summer'
Aware of how cut-throat the rental market can be, student Andrea Kelly, from Co Louth, decided to spend her summer working in Dublin rather than risk losing her apartment before the autumn term in college.
Although the 21-year-old had the option of a nine-month lease on her apartment, she thought that was too risky, and went for the security of a 12-month term. It meant she had to give up her summer at home and a weekend job in Drogheda.
Ms Kelly, from the coastal village of Termonfeckin, is heading into the final year of the visual communications programme at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) in Dún Laoghaire.
"I just can't take the stress of finding somewhere because I would genuinely be looking from now. That was the case last summer, I was so worried. I can only imagine for someone who is away for the summer, it would definitely be on their mind. It's a nice apartment, and it's in an ideal location. I couldn't lose it, I'd be petrified if I left it for the summer," she said.
She described the search for student accommodation as a "mad dash".
"It's like buying concert tickets. You will jump on anything. It is definitely 'right place, right time'."
Ms Kelly admitted the "scramble" for a place to live gets easier as the college years go on, saying that when you get into the swing of college life you start to hear of empty rooms from other students and around campus.
However, she knows this can be too late for many first years and says that resorting to sites such as Daft.ie or Facebook groups can be the only way to find something.
She also said students can't have too high expectations either: "You need to be ready to accept that a student house is exactly that - a student house," she said.
While she misses summer in Termonfeckin and says the cost of living in Dublin is very high, on the flipside, she is enjoying her independence.