Why housemates are shit

The five worst things about house-sharing

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It’s reaching the end of term, the frantic house hunt is on, and unless you’re the hermit child of an oil tycoon, you won’t be living alone. If not for companionship, you need housemates to at least pay for Dominos, film you vomit, and stop you getting locked out or arrested. But it won’t all be fun and games. Here are 5 things it’s hard to love about house-sharing:

You live with strangers

This applies mostly to first-years. You’ll be living with people you don’t know and didn’t choose to live with, which can make for a strange near-but-far relationship. This restricts your freedom – eating Corn Flakes in your pants, singing in the shower, and openly farting have to be put on the back-burner. It can also be difficult to trust them, but you won’t make friends by locking your food cupboard. Things can get awkward if someone is a knob all the time, but a passive-aggressive text with a smiley face is often all that’s needed. Face-to-face confrontation is so 90s.

Try to keep it down

Try to keep it down

They’re not your mum

Your housemates aren’t forced to love you, and it’s a dog-eat-dog world. If you go to bed planning to have the last two slices of bacon for breakfast, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment – someone else has made the same plan. They probably also won’t bring your washing in if it rains, give you lifts home from the pub, or cook for you when you’re sick. This is the real world, and the sun shines out of someone else’s arse.

Life is unfair

If your housemates are skint or stingy, you might end up paying more than your fair share. If you find yourself buying 10 toilet rolls a week and washing powder that is gone after three loads, make sure you use (but never buy) something of equal value – everything will even out, probably. Try not to choose housemates so bad that they eat all your food and you pay all the bills – it doesn’t matter if you’re ‘hardly there’, skimping on water is a no-no.

EACH?

EACH?

It’s not ‘your’ house

When you start ‘sharing’ you surrender control. Sometimes your housemates will go out without you, come home, wake you up at an ungodly hour, leave the front door open and pass out on the stairs covered in mayonnaise. Sometimes they’ll bring strangers into the house – most will be cool, but some will be in their pants, some will be on a lot of drugs, and some won’t be sure how or why they’re there. And sometimes you’ll be forced to watch Geordie Shore and listen to Venga Boys. Your best bet is usually to pop some earplugs in and suck it up.

We’re all fucking gross

This is the big one – student houses and filth are synonymous because cleaning is boring and time-consuming. This means dirty dishes, food in the sink, food in the carpet, overflowing bins, food on the floor, empty wrappers and bottles everywhere, food on the counter, and a weird smell coming from the fridge. That’s before you get to the bathroom, a dank cupboard full of mildew, cardboard tubes, empty shampoo bottles, leftover chunks of soap. There will probably be hair stuck to the sink, shower, toilet, floor and walls – some curly, some not.

It was there when I got here

It was there when I got here

The bird feeder

The bird feeder

Ideally, you should paint a face on a volleyball and move in with that. But if you must live with people, make sure you’re all on the same page and willing to pull your weight, and most importantly, keep your cool. Don’t start smashing plates when someone leaves the lid off the milk or pisses on the seat, because you do it too.

The ideal housemate

The ideal housemate