How to be the best university housemate

When starting university, you will need to realise sooner or later that you won’t have the luxury of living on your own. You’ll have housemates, or roommates for three to four years and the majority of the time all of you will be flung together, left to your own devices and asked to just survive. Being a university housemate is hard work, you’ll have a lot of difficult people that you’ll no doubt work alongside, but you will need to know how to deal with difficult people at university, but its good practice to be the best one you can be to protect you and others from three years of grief! Read to find out how to make this achievable.

Mix and Match

First impressions and meetings create strong feelings and instincts when it comes to people, so when you meet your housemates and you think that you won’t get along with them, its probably true. The problem is, when universities allocate living space, they don’t have the opportunity or the time to set up character personality profiles to place everyone perfectly, without any clashes. There are hundreds if not thousands of students that they need to sort out and provide a place to stay and the last thing on the university’s mind is whether your neighbour enjoys Yoga as much as you do. The best thing you can do is accept that your dorm or Halls will be filled with completely different people, from different backgrounds, ages, and abilities and you will have to make the effort. These are your roommates for the next year at least?

University Etiquette

This is expected behaviour that the university or institution grants from its students, meaning good manners, cleanliness, respecting others whilst being a upholding citizen. Although, this may not be the case when you get there, and find that you are being woken up 4am because someone set of the fire alarm, and you won’t appreciate this practical joke when you decided to wear your Disney pyjamas that night. Be warned!

Roommate behaviour

What the university expects of its students, and what the students expects of its fellow students are two completely different things. Your housemates won’t bat an eyelid if you’re up until 3am on skype, gaming or watching a movie, they’ll expect you to be out taking advantage of the 2 for 1 offer at Liquid, and they’ll think you’re mad if you don’t survive on chicken burgers and cheesy chips on your weekends.

First impressions

The first time you meet your fellow housemates may not be as you imagined, sadly, there won’t be a welcoming party with nibbles, where there are subject cards and questions to fill in so you can all get to know each other. Its more of a slow and boring party that everyone seemed to get the starting time wrong. Each housemate will arrive at a different time, due to the travelling or moving process. So you might just catch someone here and there, or in the afternoon and in the morning, and lots of new students spend their first day touring the campus or saying goodbyes to family and friends – so there’s no need to feel offended or upset they don’t come to you straight away.

Personal Space

The one thing that can happen after time, is that since you are living with a lot of people, you’ll become closer with a small group of your housemates. However, this can lead to problems when you don’t want to hang around with them at times. With being neighbours they can literally just pop by, or walk into your room and you can’t pretend you’re not in! Make sure you don’t do this to your housemates either. Always knock, and try to pick up hints if the don’t fancy hanging out today. Remember, you do see them nearly every day and you are practically living together, so don’t get insulted!

Belongings

Everybody will have a cupboard or selected part in the fridge that is theirs, never, we repeat, NEVER eat or drink anybody else’s things. This will and always will end badly. There will be finger pointing, and people may suspect you even if it wasn’t. When it comes to students, who are extremely poor, you’ll find a slice of bread to be a matter of life and death, and if something was taken, you’ll literally never hear the end of it!

Alcohol related behaviour

Most students love the new sense of freedom that comes with universities, including the sleeping patterns and the alcohol consumption, you may need to get use to see bottles everywhere. Try to work out what type of ‘drunk’ you are, if you are an annoying, emotional, angry, or vomiting drunk, then this will get tiresome for your housemates, and they might not invite you out anymore. If this is the case, try not to overdo it and watch what you are drinking You don’t want to fall out with your neighbours.

Don’t be a user

If you only seem to talk to your housemates when you need  a lift to the supermarket, or want a laundry buddy but won’t give them the time of day otherwise, it won’t work out. People will catch on to how you are treating them. Try to be polite and make it work with your housemates, treat them how you’ll want to be treated. It can come in handy if you need revision buddies or people to walk to lectures with, as your classmates might not live by you.

Going from living with your parents to other young adults can be extremely hard. Its best to remember everyone is different, and that if they’re behaviour isn’t directly affecting you in anyway then don’t mention it to them or make a scene. There are plenty of questions students should ask when choosing housemates. You’re going to have to survive at least a year with this crazy lot, and you all need to come out with it with all your limbs and mental stability!