It’s okay if you aren’t best friends with your housemates

How to make it through university when your housemates are just not ‘it’

As if your first year at university wasn’t scary enough, the ‘uni gods’ throw you into a tiny flat with a bunch of total strangers. I was not particularly lucky when it came to my flatmates in my first year, whilst they were ‘decent’ human beings, they were probably some of the most gross and lazy people that I have ever had the displeasure of being around.

Unsurprisngly, I did not become friends with the strangers I was paired with in my small Broadgate flat, however, I can safely say that I have had a brilliant university experience and am particularly happy with my social circle.

Having no common interests with your flatmates isn’t the end of the world

Whilst a lot of people find their friendship soul mates within their flats, some of us get paired with people who are quite simply, on entirely different wavelengths. For example, in my first year, I found myself with flatmates whose personality traits consisted of football, being wealthy, drinking, and being lazy which was not my cup of tea.

Living with such low calibre people can get you down but, it really shouldn’t have to because there are always social things going on which can help anyone make friends beyond their flat. When your building is having a themed night, whether it be cooking, pizza, movie or game night, go.

Personally, I also found that joining my course society led me to my friends. Notts has a ridiculously massive range of societies to choose from and they are a foolproof road to friendships with people that you actually share interests with.

Petty arguments about the flat are aways going to happen 

Arguments are always likely to arise based on the way that different people treat communal spaces within any university home and there will always be one person who has to nag the others by reminding them how to use soap and water – I was that person.

I lived with students whose somewhat privileged backgrounds meant that they were not used to looking after themselves, one had never even used an oven before.

After six months, I grew tired of my weekly deep cleaning sessions of our shared kitchen, put all of their mouldy unwashed dishes into bin bags, sent an angry message to our group chat and our friendships were over.

This may all sound completely dramatic but, at the end of the day, it really is okay to not be friends with the people you live with; being away from home 24/7 brings out people’s true colours. For some, that means being a messy, lazy nuisance and for others, it means being a total clean freak in the kitchen.

Just in case any readers didn’t believe that I lost my cool with my flatmates, I scrolled back through my group chat with them and found this absolute gem:

Lectures and seminars are a great way to meet new people 

Whilst this may be a completely hypocritical thing for me to be suggesting as I can probably count the number of lectures that I attended in my first and second years combined, on one hand, it is still incredibly important.

The best friends that I have been able to make at uni have been the people that I was grouped with way back in September of 2019. In my first week, I was put into a group of people that the architecture department decided to label as a “Den” for some reason unknown to mankind. However, this small group of six has been the best thing that has happened to me during uni.

Our mismatched friendship group of Southerners, Northerners, Romanians, and French has lasted through to our final year, through all the ups, downs, and struggles of university life, our group chat has remained alive even when we have not been able to see each other.

The moral of the story is: yes, your lectures and seminars are for learning but they are also the perfect opportunity to meet new people and hopefully make some friends.

Image of my Architecture “den” in Paris

Maybe you’ve learned that you’re just not a people person?

Whether you are in your first year and are living with strangers or, you’re in a house full of people you have chosen to live with, you may come to the conclusion that you are just no longer a people person.

The hype around going to Crisis every week and rubbing shoulders with sweaty strangers may have just worn off as you have realised that spending your evenings in bed, by yourself, watching Euphoria is far superior to spending time with other people.

If you can relate to this then, you are quite simply one of my favourite kinds of people. Once you have realised that you prefer your own company, the world is your oyster.

Nottingham is a beautiful city and there are so many places to take yourself on solo dates rather than letting your life revolve around the same five to six clubs like every other student. If you’re not enjoying being around your housemates then that is absolutely fine and completely normal, stay in your room and have some alone time or, go on solo adventures around the city.

It really is okay to not be best friends with your housemates because there are so many other people out there who you will be able to click with and it is totally okay to spend time in your own company because, at the end of the day, you are the only person that you have to spend the rest of your life with.

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