How to prepare for living in a student house in Portswood

Buckle up

Living with all your mates in one house might sound like fun and games – and most of the time it is – but it can also drive you up the wall.

The technical issues

Power cuts or a tripped fuse happens often enough but when the lights black out and your microwave meal stops spinning it can seem quite a traumatic turn of events.

Try to salvage freezer food by moving it into your friend’s house nearby. This search & rescue operation is made easier by having a torch handy.

Luckily, Portswood has an abundance of restaurants and cafes to help you out. Roosters Piri Piri (a knock-off Nando’s) is a favourite, or a takeaway is always a safe option.

The mess

Maybe an obvious one, but there is no way to sugar-coat the grime and grot of a student house. You might be the cleanest, tidiest person you know,  but your house will still reign in filth at least 90% of the time.

Cleaning the kitchen is a daily chore and instead of washing up, your sink and dishwasher will become another storage space for your dirty pots and pans.

K’s Market will provide you with mops and buckets galore for a cheap price. When you do manage to clean up though – expect it to last less than 24 hours.

The neighbours

To what extent can you ‘love thy neighbour’ when to the left resides a lively student abode, and to the right a quiet elderly couple? Pleasing everyone just isn’t going to happen. Noise complaints are an issue but at least you know you are living the student life right.

A fierce competition will probably ensue between you and your student neighbours to see who can throw the best party. This may result in the lobbing of glass bottles and a apologetic clean-up the next morning, but hopefully not in your case.

Inviting your neighbours to the party leaves no reason for complaint, or at least leave them a friendly note.


Student halls provided you with some personal space, but in a student house there is pretty much no privacy.

If you are unlucky enough to have thin walls, investing in some ear plugs or listening to music can prove ignorance is bliss. When a housemate has brought someone home from a night out – you really do not want to hear all about it.

Living together means you become more comfortable with each other, sometimes too comfortable. Finding hairs in your razor that aren’t your own is never nice. Keeping some belongings in your room is wise if you feel like your housemates might take the mick.

Sharing is caring and communal food always goes down a treat; but when you stock up the kitchen only to find it devoured before the day is out, a sour taste is left in your mouth. Save some for yourself first or prepare to be left empty handed.

A lot of this might seem like a pain, but really it is only a fraction of what a student house is like. Mostly it’s having a giggle 24/7 with all your best pals under one roof.