Your Guide to the Different Types of Housemate
If you don’t recognise one of these students, it’s you
Oh, the joys of shared living. For the more social among us, moving into student accommodation with a bunch of similarly aged strangers is a truly exciting prospect. It’s an opportunity to start a new family, free from the authoritarian rule of Mum and Dad. For the more reclusive, it presents a minefield of awkward kettle-side small talk and guerrilla warfare over the washing up.
Most of us fall somewhere in the middle, so it cannot be stressed enough the need to find the right balance.
Fear not, I have compiled a list of student stereotypes that you may encounter as you shuffle your way through the tumultuous years of university.
Whether you are in halls deciding, like a football manager, upon your preferred line-up of second-year housemates or desperately hoping to jump ship, always keep in mind that great friends don’t necessarily make great housemates.
It will be a miracle if you manage to make it three years living in student accommodation without encountering a few grimy characters along the way.
This person seems quite content to live a life of squalor, complete with mouldering pizza crusts, overflowing bins and unchanged bed sheets. They are happy hoarding cups in bedrooms and using every available flat surface to precariously balance dirty crockery. If you like to run a tight ship, then prepare to grit your teeth or get ready for confrontation.
If the slob is outnumbered by more civilised individuals, their unsavoury habits can be kept in check with a bit of old-fashioned peer pressure. But if they have allies… then you can kiss goodbye to a clean kitchen.
The Clean Freak
Equally as annoying as the slob is its polar opposite.
This person will enforce the cleaning rota with an iron fist and is likely to snap at anyone who lays a finger on their favourite Winnie the Pooh mug. Even the loveliest of people can become tyrannical when it comes to cleanliness.
So, if you don’t pull your weight tidying the house after inviting all those people round for pre-drinks, then you can expect, at the bare minimum, some passive aggression to be fired your way.
Careful mediation will be required to prevent this person from throttling the resident slob.
Meeting new people is what university life is all about right?
At least, that’s what you tell yourself as you welcome hordes of unfamiliar faces trampling mud into your living room carpet.
The socialite will turn your house, for better or worse, into the social hub for the local student population. With a standing invite to the badminton squad to come over for pre’s, they will fill every Thursday evening with the soothing sounds of drum & bass.
For those that treasure their beauty sleep, it would be advisable to invest in some ear plugs or prepare to be woken at five in the morning to the sound of shrill giggling and the stomping footsteps of unruly guests. If that lifestyle is for you, then there will never be a dull moment. If not, then try to secure a room on the top floor.
With Mum and Dad potentially hundreds of miles away, things can descend into savagery quicker than you might imagine. Luckily, most student houses can rely on their very own resident parents to step in and restore a vague degree of order. This person’s ability to order you about without you even realising and their (relative) level of responsibility qualifies them for this role.
They’ll naturally assume responsibility for important decisions and mediate conflicts between fellow housemates. When they leave for the weekend any semblance of civilised living will rapidly collapse.
The ghost’s lasting impression is likely to be their gaping absence from the comings and goings of your house.
Whether it’s an unfortunate international student not quite ready to throw themselves into the raucousness of British student life, a gamer hell-bent on reaching 10th prestige on Call of Duty or someone who generally keeps themselves to themselves, this person will spend most of the year in their room.
Sightings of the ghost, like a rare bird, are few and far between. When they do occur, conversations can range from the surprisingly pleasant to the excruciatingly awkward. In any case, try to be respectful and include them when you can. It is their house too.
With these archetypes in mind, it is important to find the right balance of different personalities to ensure that your year runs as smoothly as possible. After all, if you don’t end the year trying to murder each other, there’s next year to look forward to.