Going on last minute holiday slightly disturbed my already poor flow of writing (more about this in the next note), but I’m back on track and ready to tell you all about my experiences of living in a shared student house.
They say that you never really know a person until you live with them. And you know what? It’s true. Last year I decided to move in with two people from my course. One of them lived on the same floor as me in halls, we used to hang out quite a bit, so it’s fair to say we kind of knew each other; the other I had only just met. My biggest fear back then was that we would not get along. I guess that’s the risk everybody has to take at some point during university. Luckily, despite all our differences in personalities and opinions, and a few little arguments, we are still getting along well and decided to stay together for our final year. Luckily, because I know a number of people who have been living with different people each year because of the differences between them that they could not overcome.
But yes, when you already have housemates, there are other things that need to be considered. For all those lucky ones who had en-suite rooms in halls it might be a little difficult to share the bathroom with other people, some of whom might be total strangers! What comes with that is actually making sure you leave the place clean for the other people to use. Same goes for the kitchen, and living room (for those who have them). Oh, and the cleaning rotas! This has never really worked in our house, we try to clean as we go, whenever we can, whenever there is a need.
And of course, the bills. Halls rent included everything, so one did not have to worry about other payments, but living in a shared house takes away this convenience. This time you actually have to decide what gets paid (do we get TV licence? Extra TV package?), and who pays what. For me, the hardest thing was overtaking the already existing bills, as this required ringing the company, and as I have previously mentioned, I don’t like phone conversations… But once that’s done, the only thing you have to worry about is that everyone pays up when the time comes.
If you asked me now, I would say that I prefer the shared house over Uni halls, but that’s mainly due to the fact that I matured mentally over the past couple of years and am on a straight road to a proper adult life, with full time job and real-life commitments. Besides, living in a house feels more homely and natural to me, whereas halls seemed very “part-time”.
So, all prospective students! Choosing where you are going to live at university is a very tough decision, so make sure you give it enough thought, and that your choice fits with your preferences and your lifestyle. I’m sure you’re going to enjoy your time here wherever you end up!