During your three years at university you are going to have to conquer many new challenging skills. For instance; doing your own laundry for the first time, pulling together fancy dress outfits on a budget, and mastering the art of downing a dirty pint while your fellow students chant an aggressive countdown, but one of the biggest feats of all is learning to live with relative strangers. So listen carefully and we will share with you our sacred Holy Grail on how not to be the housemate that everyone can’t wait to see wheeling their suitcase out the door.
Don’t be a show off.
No one has much interest in the fact that you were a prefect at high school, or that you got your 5000m metre swimming badge, sadly no one even cares much that you spent your gap year discovering yourself in Thailand. Try to spend a little less time talking about how great you life is, and more time following social etiquette and trying to learn a little more about your new friends.
Don’t be stingy.
Use the life lessons you learnt at nursery and practise the mantra ‘Sharing is Caring’, but at university it’s no longer the sand pit, this has been replaced with milk, condiments, cooking oil and the occasional victoria sponge. However, taking your housemate’s chicken and courgette to prepare yourself a gourmet meal because you thought it was “nearing the expiry date”, and you were only trying to help reduce the amount of waste food as you’re actually an avid supporter of the Green party is never acceptable.
Don’t be noisy.
Yes, you’re at university and of course going out, getting drunk and stumbling back into your accommodation at 3am is a part of it, but after freshers you are all going to have different night time routines. Save the after parties, one night stands and the drunken banging on everyone’s door for the weekends when they don’t have 9am lectures.
Don’t be dirty.
The kitchen and bathrooms are the communal areas of student living that need to be respected. Simple rules should be followed when carrying out your daily tasks in these areas, don’t leave a mess that can later be used against you when you start asking people to clean up their stuff.
Don’t be a nag.
People have moved away from home, they are excited for a life of freedom not controlled by their parents’ every demand. Don’t be the black cloud that takes on the role of the moaner, if someone leaves their dirty bowl out; try to hold back the anger. Your motherly/fatherly nature may be cute and ironic at first but it will soon begin to grate on everyone.
*This was previously published for Buzz Magazine Student Guide.