As you search for accommodation for next year, the size, location and condition of the house will be top priorities in your mind. But, another top priority which you should be considering carefully is the housemates that you will live with.
It’s easy to think that you can just live with your friends, or even that you housemates don’t matter if you live in a nice home. Yet, the quality of your student life relies upon a happy home life and your housemates are a large part of this continued happiness. After all, coming home from a stressful exam into a house full of people you don’t particularly get along with? Not an ideal living situation for anyone.
With that in mind, there are a few things that you should consider when choosing your housemate for next year:
Keep Your Friends Close
The age old saying of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer is good advice, but perhaps not when it comes to housing. For a harmonious living situation, we definitely suggest staying as far away from your enemies as possible. And perhaps, controversially, your friends.
Yes, Mike is a great guy to get a pint with on a Friday night. But, what you don’t know is that at home he watches TV on a throne of pizza boxes instead of the couch. Where is the couch, you may ask? Somewhere beneath Double-Stuffed Mount Doom. Unless you spend a lot of time with them at home or have a testimonial from a current housemate (parents don’t count), it’s impossible to know what kind of housemate a friend will turn into.
Worst case scenario: you cease being friends at all.
So, consider whether or not you want to lose a friend in your housemate choosing process. Obviously, you also want to be friends with your housemates, and as long as you make the effort, that should always be the case.
Sometimes, having a housemate that shares all of your hobbies and loves can be great. You will always have something to do together! Eventually, however, it may start to feel as if you are always doing the same thing…
Having a housemate with varied interests can be the breath of fresh air you need at home. They will always have something to tell you or a new experience for you to try. For example, if you have never been skiing and discover yourself living with a skier it can be the perfect excuse to go!
Also, it’s important to try and live with people that don’t do the same subject as you. More often than not, you may find yourself talking about lectures and coursework just a little too much. Sometimes you want to relax and forget about the stack of work you have looming over your head. Listen to your housemate who studies Ancient History talk about mythology until they go blue in the face, it will be a happy break from the Mathematics equation you have been stressing over all day.
No-Go on the Romance
This housemate rule is so important that it deserves capital letters: DO NOT LIVE WITH PEOPLE YOU FANCY. House romances can end in not only heartbreak but a lot of awkwardness for both of you and your other housemates. That perfect house dynamic that you loved to come home to? Ruined for the rest of the year.
Keep it simple, keep it platonic and enjoy your housemates as the friends they are!
Find a Like-Minded Budget
Money. Your best friend and the bane of your existence simultaneously; student living is based on how you spend your money and your housemate is a big aspect of this. Although you may both agree on the price of rent, there are many other things you may disagree on regarding budget that tie directly to your housing. Such as utilities, cleaning supplies or other such house-related expenditures.
You may want to keep the heating bill low, whereas your new housemate may be more comfortable running the heating 24/7. This is fine if it is their preference, but ultimately, they may expect you to pay for half of this despite you wanting the exact opposite. Leaving you spending much more money than you would ever choose.
Money doesn’t grow on trees, despite our most fervent wishes, so remember to hash out a few of the budget plans you may have. It’s at this stage you can work out if your budgeting plans align and if they are a good prospective housemate or not.