This important decision will really impact your uni experience, in one way or another… and it’s not one to be rushed into! We can’t say exactly who you should live with – there are just too many variables for that: this article is designed to get you to think about what’s important to you and how who you choose could complement you.
Here are some points to consider when choosing your future housemates.
Uni, of course, has a brilliant social side – whether it’s nights out, clubs and societies or get-togethers with people from your course. Would you prefer to live with people from your course, or do you want to branch out and live with others? Perhaps you got on really well with some of the people you’ve been living with in halls? Who have you really bonded with in your first year? This is a good place to start.
Consider what your daily schedule looks like and whether it can fit in with other people’s (and vice versa). For example, does your course have a lot of contact hours, meaning you’ll be out of the house for long stints at a time? Would there be tension over bills with someone who is at home an awful lot more with the heating on and watching TV all day?
This is important, as it’s great to pick housemates because they are really sociable and like to party, however there will come a time when you need to put your degree first. Are you able to study in that house? Do your prospective housemates have the same values as you and want to work hard as well as play hard? Or is your will of steel strong enough to tear yourself away to the library even when something fun is going on?
Choose housemates who have a similar budget to you, and then stick to it when you go house-hunting. You don’t want to end up constantly poor because you’ve overestimated how much you can pay per month; equally, you may get frustrated if you have to settle for a house just because it’s all your other housemates can afford. Are you good with bills and money? That’s a valuable trait that at least one person living in your house needs to have (or if it’s you, then you will be an asset wherever you live!).
Do you want housemates who enhance your uni experience? Or do you have a close circle of friends on your course who do that and perhaps you are just looking for people to literally share the rent and tidy up after themselves? Perhaps you’re looking for housemates to widen your horizons, introduce you to a new circle of people or learn something new? In which case, why not opt to live with people who aren’t on your course, or people from a club you’re a member of?
Living with someone who has the opposite body clock to you, someone who relentlessly refuses to tidy up after themselves, hoards all the crockery in their room or never pays their rent on time will have an effect on your happiness and stress levels. Do you really need that when you have an essay due in two days? Trust yourself enough to know what would be your absolute deal-breakers, and what you could learn to live with. This could also be a good time to reflect on your own habits and what you’d be like to live with!
If you’ve still not recovered from Freshers’ flu, you’ll know better than anyone that life at uni can take its toll on your health. You’ll need a house where you know you will get the sleep you need (night owls and party animals take heed…), be able to eat properly (not easy when everything’s dirty and piled high in the sink) and get some good stress-busting exercise under your belt. Although saying that, we’re not sure that making you go to the gym is something you can demand from the people you live with!
How close are you/do you want to be with your housemates? Is it a good idea to live with really close friends – or would the tension be too much if there ever was a clash? You’ll need to know before you sign anything together that you’re all open to dealing with any issues as they come up, rather than resorting to leaving passive aggressive notes on the fridge then never speaking to one another again. Best friends do not always make the best housemates.
Hopefully this should give you a good starting point when considering your future housemates – sometimes opposites do attract. To a certain extent, there’s always a bit of risk when it comes to who you live with, but if something awful happens, remember it’s only for a year!
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