How to spot a friend-squatter
They don’t actually live with you, but may as well
It’s time to add a new term to uni lingo: the friend-squatter. The friend-squatter is essentially a mate who doesn’t live in your house but treats it as if it’s their own anyway. Whether by invitation or not, you’re sure to see them almost 24/7. Here’s some common signs of having a friend-squatter:
The girlfriend / boyfriend
Seemingly obvious to spot, but a housemate’s girlfriend or boyfriend can become a friend-squatter before you know it. Innocent as first, it might start off as the odd night here and there, but as the relationship gets more serious you can expect to see them cooking dinner together everyday – wave goodbye to extra fridge space.
Let it be known that a truly calculating friend-squatter will take any opportunity to stop by and collect the belongings they’ve ”accidentally” left at yours, particularly jackets and coats. Be particularly wary of hosting pre’s – they will leave their coat at yours in order to ”pick it up” the next day (which inevitably leads to them staying all afternoon and reminiscing about the night before). Don’t be soft just because it’s 2 degrees outside, they brought that jacket for a reason, pal.
The designated sofa spot
If you get to the point where your friend-squatter has a spot on the sofa or an armchair they jokingly refer to as ‘theirs’, you’re in deep. Although they may say it in a joking manner, the severity of the situation is not to be missed – sofa space is invaluable in a 4-bed house.
The post-night-out crash
You’ve had a heavy one and scramble for a taxi outside the club. When the taxi driver asks where you’re going your mate gives him the directions for your house, ‘I’ll walk to mine from there’, they might meekly add. No one here should be fooled. Before you know it, your mate’s passed out in their favourite spot – and they still leave their jacket at yours to get back another time.
The course mate
Armed with the excuse of ‘studying together’, a housemate’s course mate will seem an innocent friend squatter at first. Don’t be fooled however, study sessions soon lead to them binge-watching TV and even making food. The guise of being a hard-worker may seem convincing at first, but this is just another case of friend-squatting.
The group chat add
Only the most cunning and vigilant friend-squatters will make it to the shrine that is The Group Chat. Once in, they can find out everything there is to know about the daily runnings of ”their house”. At this stage, denial of your friend-squatter problem is out of the question, you may as well accept they’re in for the long haul. Also, it’s a tricky and awkward business removing someone from a group chat.
Naturally, the severity of a friend-squatter situation depends on how much they actually get along with your house; you might even have two or three on the go at once. If unsure, you can just liken them to being the house pet.