The next student year is upon us and as I and my house mates are only approaching my second year of University this is our first time dealing with getting a shared house and all the issues that come with that. So it is important that we take all the steps necessary in order to make our house a home.
The first hurdle is obviously to choose the house for you. This may seem simple but without sounding too stern, choose wisely. Don’t rush. You may walk into a house and think that it is what you have been looking for all your life but take time to look at other houses and compare and see which one suits every ones individual needs. Now personally I thought we had found our dream house. Everything was brand new, the décor was homely and warm and there was so much space I just wanted to roll around through the hallways. But, there was only one small thing that we overlooked during our euphoria – the single bed. In a house full of doubles there was one single bed and we all postponed any discussion of that room until after we signed the contract. What should have happened is that we should have discussed who would be happy in that room because as it transpired no one was. At the time it would have been sensible to say: ‘Let’s not sign the contract until someone agrees to take the room’.
To resolve the situation we picked names out of a hat. My hat. To add insult to injury I was betrayed by my own novelty police hat and banished to the single room of the house. And as I spent my first night there after my boyfriend helped me to move into the house in that single bed with my face pressed against the wall and my knee down the side of the bed frame trying to sleep through the snore he had decided to suddenly develop I became furious. I would have to do this whenever I had any one to visit throughout the year with a house mate sprawled out alone in the double bed above me and another sprawled out alone below me and I could only describe this as a sandwich of injustice.
When it comes to a new house I think it’s important to keep your house as fair as possible. Make sure everyone has a room they can use to its full potential that suits the person who will have to live in it for a year. Ensure that every body’s needs are met as much as possible as it is their house too and compromise is a part of living together especially if you are supposed to be friends. Even think about practical things like how many toilets will you want between you. Every one of you should take on a task for the new house on behalf of everyone if you care about the house and living together. One member of the house can research broadband deals and arrange that for when you are moved in, someone can phone the utility companies, someone can send out the council tax forms and someone can even find a rug for the living room. As long as you are all individually contributing to the wellbeing and the atmosphere of the house together you will all feel a part of it and appreciate everyone’s special role.
A new house can be a lot of fun if you let it and you can all build memories that you will look back on and treasure. It’s yet another step at University that allows you to gain independence and have new experiences and it should be positive for everyone. There will be nothing better than coming home to a group of friends, talking to each other and having fun together. People should want to spend as much time as possible there. Living with friends can teach you more about them and hopefully you will learn how invaluable they are. You can’t always foresee problems but you can do your best to reduce them in order to attempt to live happily ever after. If not, better luck next year.
Written by Kemi Olivia