So you’ve managed to survive your first term at university with complete strangers. Now you have the luxury of having a choice of who you’re going to live with next year. As exciting as it sounds, choosing who you want to live with next year can be a bit of a headache, particularly when deciding whether or not to live with certain friends.
It might feel like it’s too early to start looking for student accommodation, but if you’re not prepared or proactive about searching for somewhere to live, you could miss out on the best student properties. But, before you start thinking about securing a student home for next year, you’ll need to decide who you’re going to live with.
We’ve put together a guide of the good, the bad, and the ugly, to help you make the right decisions and get you one step closer to picking your future housemates.
Choose your housemates carefully
Perhaps the most important issue when choosing your housemates is whether or not they’re compatible with you and your lifestyle. If you find out they’re messy, moody or selfish when you move in together, it might be too late and you’ll probably be stuck with them for the whole university year. It may sound like an obvious one, but just because you’re good friends with them, doesn’t mean they’ll be the best person to live with.
Attractive traits in a friend don’t always translate into attractive traits in a housemate; you might love the party animal who rocks in at 5AM on a Tuesday morning, but how are you going to cope with a knock on your bedroom door night after night?
Living with friends
Living with friends can sometimes strain the relationship. Often the smallest of things can turn into a huge problem quite quickly.
You’re going to be living in close proximity to each other, so you’ve got to decide whether it’s a good idea to live with close friends. You’ll need to decide before you sign any tenancy agreements that you’re open to dealing with any issues if they come up face-to-face, rather than putting up ongoing passive aggressive notes on the fridge through the year!
Don’t rush into making a choice
You’ll hear it time and time again, but the best advice you can be given is to not rush into making decisions for student housing. Sure, you need to get in quick and book student accommodation as early as possible to find the perfect place to live, but you need to make sure that you’re not making rash decisions on who you’d like to live with.
Typically, the busiest time for booking student properties is in January, so you’ve got a bit of time to actually get to know the people around you, and figure out whether you want to live with them or not.
Remember: The first couple of weeks of university aren’t going to reveal everything you need to know about the people in your flat, so be cautious, relax and give it a bit of time.
Choose housemates who have a similar budget to you, and then stick to it when you go student house-hunting. You don’t want to end up constantly struggling for money because you’ve overestimated how much you can afford per month. The same goes for household expenses when you live together - can you afford to keep the heating one all day, and how much are you willing to spend on the internet?
Do you really need a huge group?
Have a think about what kind of house you would like to live in. Sure, living in a huge house with all of your friends might sound right up your street, but you might sacrifice independence and privacy.
Obviously, it would be great to live with every single one of your friends, but finding a house which suits all your needs could be quite difficult. It could be easier to split your group in two and find separate smaller houses which suit all of your needs independently.
Sometimes, you’ve just got to be brutal
Ultimately you’ve got to do what you think is right for you. If you don’t want to live with someone you’ve got to tell them. Try to be as nice as possible, but at the end of the day, it’s not worth living in a house where you’re not comfortable.
This is the only chance in your life that you’ll get to live with friends at university, so make the most of it, enjoy it and choose your student housemates wisely!
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