ELLIE PITHERS on the friends you want to live with and those to avoid like the out-of-date milk they left in the fridge.
You can’t choose your family, but you can definitely choose your friends.
Sure, you’re sitting smug in your Cambridge College accommodation, safe in the knowledge that you won’t be house-hunting around Leamington or some other godforsaken town 20 miles away from your Warwick University campus, because you are guaranteed three cushy years of College housing. No employment of feminine wiles/sexual favours/sweeties is needed to bribe your estate agent into securing you your house for next year, unlike all your friends in Loughborough/Durham/Warwick, who are now seriously considering giving blow-jobs in order to get to the top of the pile at Gibbs Gillespie.
But once this initial glee subsides, you realise you’re still in the shit. Because you now have to decide who will be inhabiting your college-owned house of dreams next Michelmas. And this is the single most important decision you will make in 2010. Choosing your friends carefully is paramount to your future happiness – we all know that nights can be ruined by messy mates needing your help in getting home from Fez at 10.30pm, and breakfasts botched by greedy ones who have stolen the bacon you bought as a special treat for a Friday morning.
So here’s a quick strategy highlighting those priceless amigos you need to nab before they get snapped up, and other house-mates from hell that you should be leaving by the wayside.
Top of the Pile:
The Person With All The Stuff
You know the one. That guy with the Xbox, the funky playlist, the best selection of post-lash Port. He provides the place, the time, and the lubrication. Always happy to host the Kung-Fu Panda session regardless of whether or not he has an essay due, and equally pleased to provide the tea and the Jaffa cakes that form an essential partner to this Monday afternoon activity.
Mate rating: 9/10. This man will become a father-like figure to the entire house, probably earning the title of ‘Big Daddy’ as the term progresses.
The Domestic Goddess
She cooks a roast for everyone on Sunday evenings (she makes a mean Yorkshire Pudding) and cleans the skid-marks off the toilet basin (the ones you’ve all been denying were your creation for roughly twelve days). Washing-up in the sink? Done. Flowers in a jam-jar on the kitchen table? That would be her. Any lingering medical issues? She’s got the cream/drugs/plasters to sort it out. She’s like your mum, but you can legitimately marry her.
Mate rating: 10/10. This girl is dreamy.
There’s always something going on in the world of the social butterfly. You can tag along any time you want, and avoid having to make any real plans yourself. Live next door to this house-mate, and you can even achieve a state of perfection in which you can avoid having to make any real friends yourself, since this social whore has already separated out the wheat from the chaff. Everyone knows that it’s her friends who are the ones worth having.
Mate rating: 7/10. (Because all this socialising comes with a hefty pricetag.)
Surround yourself with those beauties and you’re away. But get lumbered with these fuckers and you will be forced to get a girlfriend/boyfriend, if only to avoid having to spend time at home.
They will drink all your milk, eat all your (really expensive) parmesan, and take all your tonic water. She/He will adopt a routine position on your bed wearing last night’s vomit-stained outfit, and refuse to leave, ignoring all your attempts at ejection, including your overly enthusiastic hints about how much you feel like having a wank. Just like a reduced-price tub of Sainsbury’s Basics Coleslaw, this house-mate will have passed their sell-by date by the end of Day 2 in the House.
Mate rating: 3/10. Occasional conversational banter cannot replace the joys of your cheese selection.
The Self-Righteous Bitch
Disapproving looks when you boast about that blonde you bedded last night; mutterings about ‘eternal damnation’ when you voice your hangover blues; Promise Ring brochures popping up on your bed-side table when you least expect it – the self-righteous bitch is out to guilt-trip you about any of your baser desires, and you harbour irrational suspicions that it’s her who is sneakily filling your Absolut vodka bottle up with water. Name a cause and she’ll be its greatest activist. Recycling is de rigeur, and you now have two bins instead of one, in order to separate the plastic from the organic waste. You’re next on the rota for cleaning out the fridge, and you know she’ll be watching which bin you’re flinging that mouldy ham into.
Mate Rating: 2/10. This girl makes you feel like a complete and utter animal. And not in a good way.
You know exactly how she wants it, because she fucking screams it every night. Sometimes it’s even in the middle of the day, when you’ve finally managed to resign yourself to the fact that your essay is not going to write itself. She’s having a lot of sex in that cesspit she demurely terms, ‘her boudoir’, and the only dick you’ve got in your life comes after the word ‘Moby’. FML. Literally.
Mate rating: 1/10. A constant reminder of the anti-climax that is your life.
But before you start making mental notes to cull the weak and proposition the strong, take a minute to identify the BEST HOUSE MATE EVER.
It’s that old chestnut, the Man That Wasn’t There. This house-mate is so super busy that you only catch brief glimpses of him on the stairs as he’s stuffing a piece of burnt toast into his mouth, on his way to lectures after having been at a JCR meeting after having been at rowing. It’s a blissful relationship, as you can take a shit whenever you want, and not worry about the smell that will put a name to the poo. Poo is the most polarising of accommodation issues – having the full rights to the Liberty of Shitting whenever your heart desires? Priceless.