Unfortunately it is inevitable. It comes to us all at some stage or another during our university careers. Although the legitimacy of the whole affair may be down to sheer opinion, you too will have to go through it. No we’re not talking graduation. We’re talking student housemate arguments.
The stress of trying to secure a good grade in BSc computer science courses and homesickness is often enough to make the most mild-mannered of students touchy, so when certain elements of living with people rear their ugly head you may start to fear the outbreak of student housing war.
As this is often inevitable for most, no matter how much you got on in first year, this guide looks to illustrate seven typical student accommodation arguments and, most importantly, how to deal with them, so that you can get on with the London economics degree revision/ binge-watching of Breaking Bad in peace and harmony.
Argument #1 Heating
First up is a biggie. No one likes being cold and those that do are either liars or just plain stingy. So when it comes to winter and you can no longer feel your toes and are seeing your breath clearly underneath your 13.5 tog duvet, it may be time to have the chat.
- Solution: Heating doesn’t have to be astronomically expensive. Setting a timer for the heating to come on in short periods in the morning and evening will stop the pipes from freezing (a great argument to use against housemates who are still feeling the pinch) and, most importantly, will stop the foreseeable frostbite. For more tips take a look at the International Student Calculator and their advice on bills.
Argument #2 Rooms
When you move into your student house for the first time there are likely to be arguments about who gets the biggest/best room. Whether they argue that they deserve it because they’re doing a course that demands the space or that they found the house so obviously that means they get first dibs, don’t get into a brawl about it – it’s not worth being awkward around everyone all year.
- Solution: Flip a coin. Sometimes the simple answers are the best, this way no one can argue that it’s not fair. Unless you were particular good at probability at GCSE.
Argument #3 Other halves
They may be happy. They may be madly in love. But there is nothing, and we mean nothing, more annoying than your housemate’s boyfriend/girlfriend outstaying their welcome. Now don’t get us wrong; they seem cool, they may even share your love of banana and Nutella toasties, but no way in hell are you sharing it with them, I mean there’s a hazelnut drought on for Pete’s sake! Yet there is still no need to get angry. After all, breaking them up would just result in tears – your tears from them keeping you up with their crying ALL NIGHT.
- Solution: Here the best form of attack is normally to explain your side and level with them. If they’re taking up space or taking advantage of your bills then it may be time to start asking for a small contribution, after all, student discount only saves you so much.
Argument #4 Cleaning
Students may have a reputation for being messy, and that may be all well in good in your own room, but when it comes to being the perfect housemate, you had better have some mild form of OCD going on in the cleaning department.
- Solution: Just be clean. Wash up as you go and hoover on occasion. The best way around this, as sad as it sounds and looks at a house party, is a cleaning rota pinned to the fridge, and do NOT, under ANY circumstance start leaving passive aggressive notes – trust us, you just don’t want to be that person.
Argument #5 Bathroom time
You may have indulged in 20-minute showers and lavishly took your time brushing your teeth in the bathroom at home, but this is university; time is money, or sleep, as the case may be for most of us. So get the hell outta there!
- Solution: Sync schedules. With timetables often synced up to your Google Calendar these days, there really is no excuse to be stealing other people’s shower time. But what if you have lectures at the same time? Why not alternate and skip the ritual every now and then – what else is chewing gum and dry shampoo for?
Argument #6 Missing food/clothes/shampoo
Whether it’s a Room #3-sized bite out of your newly bought block of cheese after you know they’ve been out the night before or a disproportionate shampoo to conditioner ratio, all of us will have visited argument #6 at one point or another.
- Solution: Again – no passive aggressive notes. It’s pretty simple really, just make sure people know what’s yours, have designated spaces for your stuff and go communal on things like milk. Also bringing home treats such as cake and sweets on occasion wouldn’t go amiss, gaining brownie points with a brownie is a sure fire way of telling everyone you’re too nice to steal from.
Argument #7 Next year
Finally, perhaps the most awkward argument you can encounter is the talk about next year. Are you all going to live together again? Where are you going to go? What’s your budget?
- Solution: Talk it out. So long as everyone is open about the situation and not leaving anyone out to dry, you will find that you will all probably be thinking along the same lines anyway. Just do it early because we all know that student accommodation and rooms to rent in London go quickly. Just remember to be as diplomatic as possible and even if you are leaving a man behind, offer them a hug and make sure it’s on good terms.
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— Rachel Smith (@edu_rachel) October 7, 2014
Image Credit: Serendigity (flickr.com)
This content was written by Rachel Smith. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.