Housemate survival guide

What to expect and how to deal with it

By Laren Tayyip

Living with housemates may be a new and exciting experience for some of us, and a less exciting experience for others. I certainly remember driving to Royal Holloway on the first day of second year ready to move in with my new (hopefully) best friends. This is every girl’s dream since they’re about 12 years old. The excitement was overwhelming.

A few of the perks included: one big sleepover for the rest of the year, no rules in the house, no parents to listen to, and parties every night. Even though it has been six weeks since being back at university, I am sure some of you second years are still holding out hope for these wishes to come true. Or maybe your house dynamics are perfect, in which case your twelve-year-old selves couldn’t be happier.

It’s normal, on the other hand, to experience some tension or to fall out and make up again with your housemates from time to time. Rest assured, this happens to everyone. Arguments can range from who was meant to take out the bins or replace the toilet paper, to not being able to sleep because people are being too loud before a night out. We have all been there.

Group chats on Facebook or Whatsapp quickly turn from including your besties to actually including your enemies. It’s a matter of time before Jemima plots her revenge against you for not switching the lights off after you went to bed, and therefore raking up the electricity bills for the month. Living at home with you parents and annoying brother doesn’t seem so bad after all now does it? At least back home your parents loved you unconditionally and fed and watered you.

Fear not – these are typical problems which we all experience, even if you are all the best of friends. Some say you will make friends for life and ultimately grow even closer. It’s like living with five annoying siblings who you love and want to kill at the same time.

My top five tips for survival would be:

1) Learn everyone’s personal irritations and try not to set it off.

2) Clean and tidy after yourselves, don’t fall into the trap of thinking how nice your housemates are for cleaning after you as they probably hate you right now.

3) Replace things when they are used up, there’s nothing worse than realising the toilet paper has run out and no one has ordered any more.

4) Try and keep the music down if other people in your house aren’t going out and have a 9 a.m. the next morning.

5) Finally, remember your keys on a night out. No one’s going to get up at 3 a.m. to let you in after a heavy night at the SU.

Good luck second years – and first years, you have a lot to look forward to.


Featured image courtesy Huffington Post

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