First year at university can be an exciting time with living in student accommodation, meeting new people, having fresher nights out and exploring Leeds. However, coming up to your second year, having the responsibility of finding a house to live in, who to live with along with sorting out deposits and guarantors can be stressful. But don’t let this put you off finding the perfect house mate for your University time and beyond.
Things to Consider When choosing the Perfect Housemate:
Are your work hours different? Could your housemate possibly be spending more time at home? Maybe this could cause tension as they could be bunking up the bills by watching more television than you or using the heating a lot more than expected. Schedules are also important to consider. Do they have later finish times at university? Would you be spending most nights alone due to your housemate’s night shifts? This could make you feel lonely or on the other hand, the alone time could be used to reflect on yourself and enjoy some much needed downtime. Weigh up the pro’s and con’s of both of your schedules before signing on the dotted line.
Do you both do a different degree? Maybe your degree requires you to focus more on revising and possibly your housemates could be more coursework based? It could be beneficial to live with someone who does the same course as you as you could share revision techniques and do group activities. Yet if you live with someone who does a different course than you, you could learn something new or have a different topic of conversation? Even though you need a brilliant social life (which no doubt you will) you do need time to focus on your degree – will your housemate not distract you from this? Choose wisely.
Make sure your housemate has the same budget as you. You don’t want to end up constantly broke because you’ve overestimated how much you can pay per month; equally, you may get frustrated if you have to settle for a house just because it’s all your other housemates can afford. Are you good with bills and money? This is important as you need to budget, manage and afford your daily routine every month yet still have money to spend on things for personal use. It may be worth putting a plan into place of how much all-household outgoings cost (gas, electric, water, food, heating) and on the same day every month each housemate put that amount into the bank that the bills come out of.
Living with someone who has the opposite body clock to you, someone who refuses to tidy up after themselves, hoards objects or never pays their rent on time will have an effect on your happiness and stress levels. Do you really need these dilemmas when you have an essay due in three days? You definitely don’t. This also could be a good time to reflect on your own habits and what it would be like to live with yourself and possibly face the fact you may need to change them.
It may sound like paradise to live with your best friend – but could this cause heartbreaks and tension? What about if they blow their first wage on clothes and don’t have enough money to fund the rent? You’ll need to know before you sign anything together that you’re all open to dealing with any issues as they come up. Best friends do not always make the best housemates. Finding like minded people to live with is a clear choice to make although it can be nice to not stay rooted in your comfort zone, I have known people who have moved in as strangers and become friends for life.
All in all, choosing housemates may sound like a bit of a nightmare, but don’t let this put you off making your university life the best it possibly can be. If all fails, you could always move back with your mum and dad!