If you went into halls of residence for your first year at university, you wouldn’t have got a say in who you lived with.
However, from the second year onwards, you’re left to find your own accommodation, which begs the question: how to choose your university housemates?
Finding somewhere to live and choosing who to live with shouldn’t be rushed into. In fact, you should start thinking about it in your second term of the first year before all the best places (and people) get snapped up.
Where you live and with whom is an important decision and will impact everything about university life, so here’s how to choose your university housemates.
People you already live with
If you’re happy with the housemates in your student accommodation in Southampton, then why fix what isn’t broken?
You’ll know what your current housemates are like to live with and if you’re compatible in your levels of untidiness, noise and cleanliness.
Your course mates
A word of warning here. You may think you know your course mates well. After all, you sit with them for hours in seminars and you’ve probably become close enough with some of them to go out clubbing with.
This doesn’t mean you know what they’d be like to live with though. That course mate you love doing shots with at 2am at the weekend may not be ideal to live with if they don’t actually know when to stop partying when you’re trying to get an early night.
The degree you’re studying could have some bearing on who you choose as housemates. For example, if you’re studying an intense subject that requires a lot of concentration such as law or medicine, someone who’s studying a subject that requires them to make noise, such as a performing arts degree, might not suit you.
You love your friends and the thought of living with them makes you love them even more. What a fabulous time you’ll all have.
Wait a minute though! You’ll need to think this through carefully, as there’s a good chance you’ll fall out with your friends if they don’t pay their bills on time, neglect to do their share of the cleaning or constantly have their partner staying who hikes up the electricity and water bills.
On the other hand, if you’ve been friends for a long time, you’ll have a good idea of how they live. Is their current place clean and tidy? Do they budget well or are they always skint, making you wonder if they’ll be able to stump up their share of the rent and bills on time?
What goes on in the kitchen may not seem like an important factor to take into consideration when choosing housemates but it is. If you’re a healthy clean-eater, could you bear to come home to piles of takeaway boxes in the kitchen at night? If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, will you mind sharing your kitchen with people who cook and eat meat?
You may not think other people’s dietary preferences matter to you but when you actually have to live with it, it can be another story.
How to choose your university housemates
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when choosing who to live with after your first year at university. You may think it’s a no-brainer and you’ll just live with the people you like the best, but best friends don’t always make the best housemates.
Note: this is a guest post.