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How to choose the right housemates in your second year at university

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20th Jul 2018 at 3:07 pm

When you first move into shared accommodation as a fresher, it’s very much a roll of the dice as to who you will end up living with and how you’ll all get along. That’s why a lot of students move in with a partially or completely different group in their second year of university.

This doesn’t mean everyone dislikes or doesn’t get along with their first-year housemates, just that they often find other people they are more compatible with.

Alternatively, this could be your first time sharing a house and you’re wondering how to pick who to live under the same roof with. Well, this choice is likely to hugely affect your enjoyment of your university experience, so it’s important to choose wisely. With that in mind, here’s what you’ll want to keep in mind when picking housemates for your second year.

1. Don’t just base it on friendship

Obviously, you want to live with people you are friends with, however, that shouldn’t be the sole basis behind your decision making. Just because you get along well with someone in a social setting, that doesn’t mean it will translate into compatibility in a house share scenario. Really ask yourself what your friend would be like to live with, not just hang out with, to form the basis of your decision.

2. Consider contrasting lifestyles

Similarly, if you’re someone who goes out once a week, but you know your friend likes to hit the town much more frequently, then this could potentially cause huge problems when it comes to living together.

While you don’t need to live the same life, you do need each other’s lifestyles to complement one another reasonably well, so that things such as mess and noise don’t become a big issue between you. Remember, turning someone down from living with you isn’t harming a friendship: it’s saving it.

3. Take relationships into account

One issue that is often overlooked before a house share is arranged is the relationship statuses of the people involved. For example, if you have a friend in a long-term relationship that is going to be living with you, then you might not just be signing up to live with them but their partner as well. If you’re the person in the relationship and you know that your partner stays over a lot, bring this up in advance to ensure there’s no surprises on either end.

4. Get the money question out of the way

First off, if you know that somebody is not trustworthy with money, do not live with them. The rent has to be paid one way or another and this is where a living situation can become very nasty indeed. However, it’s much more likely that you won’t really know how the people you are going to be living with are like when it comes to money because you’ve never had much in the way of financial dealings with them.

This makes judging their character in this regard quite tricky, so the best way of dealing with this is to have a serious group discussion about how everything will be paid in advance. You can hopefully get some indication of how comfortable people are committing themselves to their share, as well as getting your finances organised.

5. Consider their annoying/bad habits

Most people have some things they do that others find irritating: they might not even be aware of it. Our tolerance for these annoyances vary. Something you may be able to ignore when you see each other a few hours a week can become intolerable when you are living together and dealing with each other all the time.

Ask yourself how much their quirks or flaws bother you, and could you realistically put up with them all the time, because it’s very unlikely you’ll get them to change.

6. Do not move in with someone because you are attracted to them

This is a very bad idea. Ok, there might be a possibility that things could work out, but that’s also the case if you didn’t live together. The alternatives, which is a very awkward situation if feelings aren’t reciprocated and a downright unpleasant one if you get together and then break up, should be avoided at all costs.

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