Living away from home is exciting; you’ve got your independence and a new start with a house full of friends! Sadly though, we’re all human and we can’t get on all of the time, but nightmare housemates don’t have to ruin your year…
#1. The noisy ones
Almost everyone you speak to has had at least one housemate who’s been too noisy. Fortunately this is often easily resolved. Firstly, ask yourself, are they being unreasonable? If they’re being noisy past 11pm, the answer is probably yes. If it’s in the middle of the day, everyone’s allowed to be a little bit noisy. They’re probably just exercising their new found freedom and will get bored of it soon. Don’t be afraid to let them know it’s disturbing you though. The best way to go about anything is to be polite, everyone is going to have different tolerance levels. Raise the issue with them, and see how they respond. If it becomes an ongoing problem you may want to take a look at other solutions: if it’s in the day and you’re trying to work you could make use of the University library, if it’s in the evening earplugs are a good option. Don’t forget if you’re in University–owned accommodation you can report any unreasonable noise disturbance to a member of our onsite teams.
#2. The messy ones
Some people are tidy, some people aren’t. That’s life. But it can get really infuriating when you can’t do your washing up for other people’s dishes. This is a tricky one, but nine times out of ten, you’ll find most people will move their things if you ask them. Good communication is key to making any house share work, how will they know what they’re doing is bothering you if you don’t speak up? Some people just can’t see an issue with using every plate and bowl 8 times before cleaning it. In these situations it often works to suggest a ‘group clean‘. Lots of people (myself included) find cleaning or tidying much less ‘boring’ when you do it as a group. Stick some music on and crack the washing up gloves out, you’ll be surprised how quickly you get through it all when you work together, sometimes it can even be fun.
#3. The argumentative ones
Very rarely you might find yourself in the unfortunate situation of living with someone who just wants to argue about everything. Don’t get caught up in it. Our advice is to take the higher ground and rise above it, most argumentative types will get bored when they don’t receive the response they’re looking for. By continuing to argue you may just continue to fuel the fire, something which will probably make both of you more uncomfortable in the long run.
#4. The bill dodgers
Living with someone who thinks they should pay less for the bills than everyone else isn’t as uncommon as you might think. When it’s cold they’re usually the first one to demand you turn the heating on, but are then reluctant to cough up the cash when the bill comes in. There’s a really simple solution to this that almost all students overlook. You need to decide how things are going to work right at the start of the year, not when the bills arrive. Whether one of your housemates is on placement away for 4 days a week, or there’s someone that just has to have the heating on, arguments easily arise where money’s concerned. Sit down together at the start of the year and agree on how you’re going to split it all. If this is too much for you, the easiest solution is to take out your gas/electricity/internet/water from a supplier like Split the Bills, they’ll give you a set monthly quote, and take the money from each of you directly, avoiding the hassle of trying to divide it yourselves.
#5. The lazy ones
The lazy housemates are the ones who never take the bins out, don’t do the hoovering, and have never been seen near the sink. This person probably lives off take-away and microwave meals. They usually surface anywhere between 2pm and 4pm. Don’t worry yourself over it. A good way to combat the lazy house mate is through a house rota. This means no one ends up doing more than their fair share. For example, if there’s four of you living together, each week someone could be responsible for emptying the bins, cleaning the kitchen, cleaning the bathroom, and hoovering the hallways. You can then rotate this weekly. If they don’t listen? Well, everybody’s got their flaws, and no one routine or lifestyle choice is more valid than anyone else’s, don’t get yourself wound up over it. Bins will always need taking out, regardless of who takes them, and for an easier life isn’t it better to just suck it up and do it yourself/with others?
So our top tip is, don’t let nightmare housemates get you down. University isn’t about who you live with after all, it’s about the experiences you have and what you learn. Spend more time with your friends, and take advantage of the University’s Sports and Societies to minimise time spent at home if the situation gets tense. Give each other space and in a few days time it’ll all blow over!