Living together is always a tricky business. You’ll all have equal responsibility and you may not know the people you’re living with very well, if at all.
So what do you do if you get to November and realise you hate living with them? Unfortunately, the answer is – not much. But there are ways you can try and alleviate the stress of living with them, all whilst looking forward to the day you only have to see them outside of the house.
Bills and finances
One of the major problems that you could encounter is the lack of hierarchy. In a family household, your mum and dad pay the bills, so they call the shots. But when you’re all contributing equally, what can you do? There’s always going to be that one housemate who doesn’t respond well to authority. Try to reason with them if you’re responsible for collecting rent, and if they still won’t budge, talk to the landlord and explain the problem. In some cases, the contracts are individual so his refusal to co-operate might not have any adverse effects on you!
Cleaning can be a major problem as well – in my house, we had someone who thought a single pan constituted the greatest mess ever. But we also had someone who would probably have happily lived in a dump. I wasn’t the greatest fan of either of them. Your best bet here is a house meeting. As ridiculous as that sounds, it means everyone can try and agree on a standard rather than adhering to several separately. Make it clear that once you’ve laid this down, it’s non-negotiable – no one can leave pans for days, but no one can expect everything to be cleaned instantly either! A cleaning rota won’t hurt either.
And if you just think they aren’t very nice? Well buckle up, cos you’re stuck with them. Honestly, the only thing you can do here is decide how much you care about their opinion and go from there. If you don’t, get involved with societies and find excuses to not be there. You might become the elusive “ghost” housemate, but ultimately you’ll both appreciate it.
It’s a sad truth that most people end up living with hall friends in second year, and you might not cope together with shared rent and bills and no cleaning service. That’s not to say you should avoid hall friends – they’ll be the first people to see you at your worst and might end up becoming your best friends! Just keep an eye on how everyone acts and try not make your decision for at least a month and a half. You won’t regret it!
Do you have any advice on what you would do if you hate your housemates? Tell us in the comments below.
Photo: Anita Ritenour / Flickr