Choosing Your Future Housemates

After an amazing first month of University, Christmas is around the corner and soon you will have to begin to think about a second year house. This experience can quickly […]


After an amazing first month of University, Christmas is around the corner and soon you will have to begin to think about a second year house. This experience can quickly turn into a whirlwind of stress, as you find yourself having to take into consideration other people’s opinions about future housemates. So read on for some honest advice on how to choose your future housemates!

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Challenge accepted.

Firstly, don’t panic! YOU WILL NOT BE HOMELESS! Southampton is NOT going to run out of houses. Panicking about second year housing leads to rushed decisions and compromises that you needn’t have made.

Think carefully about who you want to live with: finding a group is your starting point. I can tell you from first hand experience that most of you will think the sun shines out of your flatmates’ bums in freshers week. Everyone has been on their best behaviour and will have shown the good sides of themselves because they want to make friends!  BUT please remember that the first month or so is very much like the HONEYMOON PERIOD. After 8-12 weeks people’s true colours will come out as they’re less bothered about impressing people and so my main tip for choosing housemates is: Ask yourself whether you can live with these people at their worst as well as their best.

You’ve gotta be careful not to rush into living with people, who, in actual fact, you barely see for the rest of freshers and so barely know them when you move in. Beware of people who are constantly with their boyfriends / girlfriends too ‘cos the likelihood is that their partners will pretty much end up as non-paying residents in the house you’re paying for. The worst thing is when it’s an all-girl house and one has a boyf who is ALWAYS there and leaves the toilet seat up, OMG that makes me so angry!”
– Anon. Third Year Student

Whilst thinking about your friends’ personalities, think also about their living and spending habits. I will not lie to you. The second year housing situation will more than likely instigate a few awkward conversations that you will have to confront, particularly when people become aware of whether you want to live with them or not. Try and approach the subject in a mature and fair way and try to put yourself in that person’s shoes. Sometimes you can’t help personal differences, and you do have to consider that you will be living with these people for an ENTIRE YEAR, so don’t agree to live with someone out of pity if you don’t get on with them usually. Sorting out house bills, rent and cleaning can be very difficult if people aren’t reliable and don’t pull their weight, and can put a huge strain on a friendship. You may think that crazy Bernard from Monte 2 is awesome for buying a round on every night out, but when he can’t pay his rent you’ll be the one that’s in the poo.

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The number of people you choose to live with may also have an impact on how easy it is to find a house. One third year student describes her struggles:

Well…my house was a dive. Because we were a seven we felt like we should get a house ASAP and we shouldn’t have. Also, talk to your landlord properly and find out what he’s like, or you’ll end up with a dingy house with nothing working! Our bad.
– Robyn Fryer, Third Year Archaeology Student

Remember to really consider who you want to live with, got some advice of your own? Comment below! Also, look out for the Soton Tab’s housing special soon – all to help you freshers not get mugged off.