Being a student, it is inevitable that the time will come when you have to decide on house sharing or living alone. I want to talk about picking the right housemates and being a good housemate on your part too. I do not mean to put a downer on the joy of having your first flat or house with your friends; it is a great way to save living costs.
However, you have to pick your housemates wisely. How well do you know these people that you are willing to spend the next two to three years with? And going out clubbing every night in your first year does not necessary mean you get to know the true character of people. Someone’s drunken character and their sober one are completely opposites.
Do not get me wrong, I am all for living with friends and having that student life. You create some unforgettable memories and you become a family but you want your experience to be mostly good and try to avoid the housemates from hell.
First of all, know your own character well, I mean really analyse it. There are a few questions you have to ask yourself and what you are willing to tolerate and what you will not stand for. Regular house meetings in a shared house are a great idea, to put any irritation that you may be holding towards a housemate on the table. You do not want to hold it in, to the point where you start despising each other. It is as easy as that, have great communication skills.
Like any relationship to ensure that, make sure you form great foundations of friendships because as they say friends you meet in University are friends for life. As cheesy as that sounds it is true, so instead of losing your mind at your half empty bottle of milk and that messy bathroom, remember you are a Uni student; you do not want to sound like their mother or yours for that matter. Friends are likely to know your sense of humour and tolerate your messiness than someone that does not know you on a personally level. Arrange a house movie night, a games night, cook for your house mates, have a party etc.
Here are my top tips on having a successfully shared house:
- Be a family- In most cases you are away from your family for months, learn to lean on each other
- Have respect for one another
- Have respect for the house or flat you are living in
- Remember it’s their house as much as it’s yours
- Do your bit around the house – No one likes a bum
- Be considerate
- Be a friend – remember this will be your most carefree time of your life; you do not want to be living a war zone.
- Lighten up
Pick a group that will get along like a house on fire and not try to light the house on fire.