I’m back with a new, 3-part, series for you all called University Moving! As some of you might know already, I’m currently right at the end of my second year of university and throughout my two years at university I’ve learned a lot. Of course I’ve learned plenty through my actual degree but a lot of my lessons have been focused around life in general. Moving away for university means that you have to do a lot of growing up and figuring out things for yourself so I thought I’d start a new series with a few more lessons for anyone who is just starting university or who will be in the future and needs a bit of advice (because you all know how much I love giving advice – even if I’m not as great at it as I think I am).
Anyway, this first post is all about how to choose your housemates. Even though i’m focusing on university housemates, it might be useful to anyone who’s trying to decide who they want to share accommodation with in general. Also, this is aimed at those of you going into second year or above of university because you can’t choose your own housemates if you’re staying in university accommodation – they’re chosen for you at random!
What to Consider
When you’re choosing a housemate there’s quite a lot to consider. A lot of people that I know from university chose their housemates based on their first year flatmates. Many of my friends from my degree course and societies became good friends with their flatmates within their first few weeks at university and then quickly decided that they all wanted to live together in their second year. This meant that they were all sorted and organised with their second year accommodation within the first few months of university. Now, while there isn’t anything wrong with doing this I personally wouldn’t recommend it…and here’s why.
What you have to keep in mind is that the people that you live with in halls in first year aren’t people that you decided to live with. They were assigned rooms next to yours completely at random by your university. The reason I’m pointing this out is that you didn’t choose to befriend them (this probably sounds a bit strange and blunt but it makes sense I promise!). What I’m trying to say is that although you’ve become friends with them within the first few weeks of university they probably aren’t people that you would choose to be your friends in other circumstances e.g. if you met someone through a society or at a coffee shop or something. You were put together completely at random. Now, while some of you may be lucky enough to find your best friends in your university halls, it’s pretty unlikely that that’ll happen (sorry, not sorry – I’m just being honest!).
Where to Find Housemates
I’ve mentioned the possible difficulties of living with your first year housemates in second year and you might be left thinking well where am I supposed to find housemates then?? so here are a few examples. In my personal experience I lived with one of my flatmates, a friend from the society I am involved in and another from a different flat within my university halls in my second year. All of them knew each other through me and we all got on well when it came to sorting out housing etc. I’d definitely recommend choosing someone from a society or club that you’re involved in as a housemate because not only have you chosen them to be your friend naturally (e.g. not through being put together in halls) you’ve also got a friend to go to all events within your society together. Another idea is to live with someone from your course because you can walk to and from lectures together! I personally didn’t know that many people from my course so I didn’t live with any course friends but I know a lot of people that do and love it.
Having lived with my housemates for a year, I have some tips for when it comes to choosing yourself. The first is to think about how many people you want to live with. I hated sharing with 8 people in my first year because it was just too many people! It was mostly the busyness in the kitchen that annoyed me the most (ultimate foodie problems!) so be aware of that if, like me, you’re a foodie. The next is to have a variation of personalities in your house. There’s nothing wrong with having different friends to do different activities with. For example, I have a friend that is my go-to for shopping and pampering, a drinking and going-out friend and just a generally lovely friend to hang out with within my current house. If all of your housemates were the same it’d be pretty boring. However, make sure you all get along obviously because the last thing you want is tension. My final tip is to not feel guilty about not wanting to live with your best friend. Some friendships work better when you aren’t living together and that doesn’t mean you aren’t close!
Hopefully you found this post useful if you’re looking at organising housing in university! Let me know what you thought in the comments below and what your housemates are like.