All the pros and cons of living in a massive student house

One word: mess

As Christmas approaches, the mad panic to find a student house for next year is all too real for a lot of us. Especially for freshers’, cause let’s face it, nobody quite knows what they’re doing. Do you live in Portswood or Highfield? Do you stay with your squad and have a bigger house, or break up into smaller groups? This time last year, my friends and I decided to find a house for 8 of us. Most people told us we were insane, but we thought we’d give it a shot. So, here’s a lil list of the pros and cons of living in a big house, to maybe make your decision a bit easier.

Sociability

A big house is much more sociable. There is always something going on, someone is constantly going out, and there’s almost always at least one person at home. So, when you get back from your 9AM, and want to bore someone with the woes of being you, you can complain away to your heart’s content. Plus, if you’re anything like me, and go through stages of being incredibly lazy, it’s so much less effort to meet more of your friends if you just bump into them at home throughout the day. Loneliness is not really a thing in a big house. Also, pres are better. There are more people, and you know at least 7 others will turn up (they live here sooo), you don’t need to worry too much about numbers.

Cost

It can often cost less to live with more people. If the house isn’t too big, like ours, Wi-Fi or bills often end up being cheaper per person (and everyone likes cheaper). If you want to have a house meal, or a house party, splitting the costs of food and drink amongst more of you definitely works out in your favour. And if everyone brings their own cutlery and kitchen stuff, you’re less likely to run out of things to use (no matter how many glasses are smashed).

Arguments

On another note, if you happen to fall out with someone, there are plenty of others to diffuse the tension, and unless your views are as corrupt as Hitler’s, there’s usually someone you can find to back you up. But then again, the more people who get involved in an argument, the more of a big deal it becomes, which is inevitable in a bigger student house.

However, there are definitely some disadvantages of living with lots of other people.

Mess

Firstly, every student house seems to have an issue with people not washing up, but when there are 8 living together, it's magnified massively. Even if most of you do make the effort, there are still mountains of pots, pans and plates piled high, waiting to be cleaned. And if you do decide to tackle it, there is so much to get through that it takes hours. Hours. Unless you’re all neat-freaks, mess in general is likely to be an issue.

Noise

A large student house can also be noisy. Ours is all on one floor, which probably doesn’t help, but it’s not rocket science that more people talking loudly will make more noise. It is especially annoying when you’ve decided to get an early night to finish that essay tomorrow, and 6 of your flatmates arrive back from Oceana singing Mr Brightside at the top of their lungs. So yeah, noise is a thing.

Finding a house

At the beginning, finding a house to fit all of you in is harder than it seems. There are a variety of houses on offer, and most people don’t decide to live with lots of others, so there are options available, however most houses are designed for 4-6 people, so just be aware there is probably less choice.

You don't wanna end up somewhere like here…

So, there you have it, the pros and cons of living in a big student house. Generally, if you find being sociable exhausting, or don’t like a lot of noise, then it's probably not for you. However, if you like being around people, and the group seems to work well (this is kind of essential), then go for it. At the end of the day I would do it again, and if the worst comes to worst, it's only for one year after all.

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University of Southampton