It’s getting to be that time of the year when students at University start to think about who they’re going to want to live with after their first year in halls is up. That monumentally big step when you try to decide who you hate the least and who’s messes you can deal with enough to share a home for a year with.
My halls became like this giant game of kick ball, minus the playing part, we basically picked what we believed would be our winning team and prayed that we made the right decision.
The truth is you’ll never know whether you made the right decision until it’s too late and you’ve already moved in to what you’ll call home for a year.
My personal story with this is just the nightmare scenario. There was only really one other person in my halls who I felt I shared a special enough connection to that I considered living with. I have always been a particularly picky person, I have certain ways I like to live, a level of cleanliness and calmness I liked to be in and despite my Uni best friend being the opposite, I felt like she was the only one who understood my seriousness about wanting to be clean. So imagine my surprise when after my week off, I came back to find out she had already joined forces with another group to find the ultimate house. I was well and truly hurt and wasn’t really sure what other choice I had except to find another group I could kind of learn to put up with. Eventually I did find another group, again it was because my second Uni best friend invited me and she and I were close so I figured it couldn’t be that bad.
The thing is I like so many other girls out there do not tend to get along with big groups of girls. I’ve always been able to form better friendships with guys, mainly because I well and truly hate girls and the drama they bring with them. Like, whilst other’s like to fight with their flings, and try to make them jealous, I just like to drink. I liked to party and have a good time and not spend my time being dramatic over a guy. I once was so done with a guy being dramatic that I left him in my bedroom and went off to play xbox with my guy friends. I was gone several hours before he realized I wasn’t coming back and I watched him eventually leave in the cold of the night. I was a bitch; please note I am not that way now.
Literally a few days after deciding to live with the girls, I had a realization that I could not and would not live with them either. One of the girls decided to have a bitch fit when I had planned a dinner with a guy she liked, and when I insisted she came along she took it like an insult and got mad at me. Now the back story is me and this guy were friends, she knew that, I knew that, he knew that. I treated him like a little brother and our friendship was not in the least bit romantic, in fact I found him quite repulsive but he was hilarious. I was angry that she was unreasonably angry at me so I decided to pull eject in our house hunt together. In the end my housing solution seemed like it was right in front of me all along.
Whilst smoking weed in Billy’s (housemate 1) room and with Sam (housemate 2) warning us of the dangers of smoking, we got around to talking about what we were doing the following year. Both guys admitted that they hadn’t thought about living arrangements yet and I had told them the dramatic stories of what had happened. One thing lead to another and we decided to move in together. Our little University family was formed and we were all so happy with our decision (my parent’s were obviously not happy with their daughter living with two guys but that’s a whole ‘nother story).
One day in talking with other people about their living arrangements, I discovered that sweet, dependable, nerdy Craig had not been asked by anyone, if he could live with them. Things with my group were moving slow, the guys and I had decided to live together weeks ago but we hadn’t really put out any feelers at any houses yet. During dinner one night I broached the subject about adding one other person to our house. The guys didn’t seem too bothered, and agreed that we could invite him to our household. Isn’t that so easy? Like with the girls, you’d probably have to put in a written statement and pitch them with a presentation on why we should invite Craig. So the next day we invited Craig and he was so happy.
So the four of us, me, the girl. Billy, the party guy, Sam, the childish gaming guy, and Craig the smart nerdy guy, each of us bringing something different to our household, went off to find the ultimate house. In our journey to find the perfect house, we all actually grew closer and was excited to finally have our own place. We had some truly awful house viewings and saw the scariest places Stoke-on-Trent had to offer. But then we saw a place with a really nice living room and we all fell in love. It was like we could all imagine ourselves chilling in the living room in the evenings, bonding over our mutual love of each other. You just know it didn’t work out that way.
Of all the things to happen to our friendship group / household, it was not the worst compared to others, we were doing just fine.
One group of guys, had their house infested with rats. Most of the girls in both house groups had a falling out with each other, with some basically moving out. With mine, well, things between myself and Billy had pretty much come to it’s tipping point. If you’ve read my love letter to him you’ll understand. We fought about something we weren’t really fighting about and this escalated. Eventually I found out that Sam was putting us against each other, and honestly I know it didn’t come from a malicious place. Unfortunately for Sam, he had no evil bone in his body, he was just, dumb. He had no social etiquette and he pretty much didn’t realize what he was doing was ruining a friendship between two people. Mine and Billy’s relationship pretty much ended only a few days after living together, thanks to the meddling of Sam and poor Craig had to play the peace police in the house. At this point I was basically living in my Boyfriend’s house, who’s housemate had something really wrong with him. Norbert, my boyfriend, was very lucky and shared a 2 bedroom house with his coursemate. Each of them had their own bathroom, bedroom and living room. The only thing shared between them was the kitchen, but still his housemate found things wrong with everything he did, and me being the outsider, he found wrong in everything I did. His girlfriend was practically living with him too and despite this, he found my presence in the house unbearable. He didn’t think it was fair that I was not paying rent. So we alternated between living in Norbert’s house and mine.
When we were at mine, we would only ever really stay in my room. The kitchen was a mess all the time, we had a cleaning schedule and despite my not living there, they insisted that still clean. For a while I did, but when the mess got to be unbearable, I decided I just couldn’t do it anymore and stopped. This created more friction between us and made me stay out of the house more. I was grateful when second year drew to a close and I requested to move out early, luckily my landlord was amazing and didn’t even charge me for the early move out. I got to move into the two bedroom house with my partner as his housemate had graduated and moved too. Things were great, and then I realized why living with my boyfriend did not make him an ideal housemate either.
In my inexperience with living independently away from authority (parents, housing police at University) I never really considered the important things to think about when choosing housemates. I figured my friends would make ideal candidates because we were similar but also our differences made things interesting in the house. I never thought about how unreliable Billy was, how messy Sam was and for Craig, I never really had a problem with him…he was the best guy to live with, reliable, dependable, friendly, respectful of others, but my god had it just been him and I, we would have been bored out of our minds. Because, he was fun in the right company, but it wasn’t great just having his company. See how hard it is?
Here are 10 things to consider before moving in with someone;
- Do they share your level of cleanliness and hygiene?
- Do they share your level of safety?
- Are they reliable?
- Are they trustworthy?
- Do you have fun hanging out with them?
- Do they clean up after themselves?
- Do you share similar interests?
- Are they considerate to others?
- Are the people they bring home considerate to other people in the household?
- Do you even want to live with them?
Hopefully by considering all these questions it will help you think twice about whether living with your messy and psychotic best friend is the best idea and save you from signing a 6 to 12 month tenancy agreement.
Do something to make your parents proud today, your kids proud someday but most importantly, you proud every day!
Peace and Love