Dealing with Housemates

When you first head off to university, there is always the worry over who you are going to end up living with. You could end up with someone who ends up being your best friend and everything runs smoothly. With any luck, that is precisely what will happen.

Or you could end up with a bunch of people who annoy you. It is hard to know how you will handle the situation until you are there. You might think you are a bit of a slob until you realise their lack of washing up is annoying you. You might believe uni is about having no worries at all…until you realise the bins haven’t been changed and the toilet hasn’t been cleaned.

It’s really quite amazing what you can learn about yourself when you leave home.

Dealing with HousematesHopefully, you will live with the right sort of people for you and everything is exactly how you imagined it would be. As that is not always the case, here are some of my tips for surviving your flat mates:

  1. My housemates and I were rubbish at it. Rather than saying what was annoying us, we let it build up until it exploded into an argument. If something is irritating you, let the person know. It could be they haven’t realised and it is an honest mistake. And if not, at least you know you tried.
  2. React fast. This is linked to the first one, but try and stop a problem before it becomes a problem. If you nip it in the bud within the first month, it’s going to make things a lot easier for the rest of your time.
  3. This might sound really picky. But if you establish some sort of routine early on that everyone agrees on, at least you know some of the jobs will get done…and not by you for once. Again, if it fails, you know you tried. It will make people aware that they have to pull their own weight.
  4. This is for the first years: don’t worry if they are not your best friends. You will meet plenty of other people and will naturally spend your time with the ones who are important to you. At the end of the day, it’s just a bed and an oven. You can avoid them if you have to. It doesn’t help, I know. But if you don’t get on with your housemates, it will not ruin uni for you.
  5. When looking for houses with your chosen group, don’t be the quiet one. You don’t want to cause problems, but if you stay quiet, you might find yourself stuck in a room you can’t live in paying the same amount of rent. It’s easier to speak up before contracts are signed. It doesn’t make you the bad guy.

Good luck! For some people, it works out. For others, it doesn’t. But as long as you stand by what you want, you’ll be okay.


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