So, at university you get submerged into living conditions that are probably very different to anything you have ever experienced before. Halls, shared housing, even shared rooms are all common types of accommodation, and more often than not, you will meet at least one housemate who really grinds your gears. So how do you deal with that? Well, here are a few typical housemates you will come across and how to survive living with them:

Filthy Bathroom User

There’s always one who wees on the seat or leaves their hairs in the plug, and that’s not even the worst thing that I’ve experienced… So is there a way to deal with it (apart from going on a rant and arguing with the culprit)? It’s hard to maintain the balance without being insulting, but let’s be honest they’ve insulted you by being disgusting. So start off subtle, leave a note or send them a mildly polite Facebook message. If this gets ignored then speak to them face-to-face, after all, you’ve all got to live together and it’s going to be a long year if you don’t address the situation (believe me, I’m speaking from experience).

The Chatterbox

It’s fab having a housemate who loves to talk. When you’re new to university and making new friends, the Chatterbox makes everything easier and less awkward. But sometimes, just sometimes, their stories get boring, and sometimes you just really want to go to sleep and not talk until 5 in the morning about nothing. What to do? Don’t ask questions and encourage conversation, perhaps they will be talking so much they won’t even notice
when you stop replying and quietly leave the room…

The Lazy Kitchen Abuser

Cooking in a flat of 10 is hard enough on the best of days, but it is always made that little bit more tough when you have a housemate who can’t be bothered to actually put their teabag in the bin, WHICH IS ONE METRE FROM WHERE THEY ARE STANDING. Or you know, opens a tin, empties it and then leaves it on the work surface. Or eats their cereal and then leaves the milky, sludgy remains in the bowl on the dinner table for days on end. One time, someone I lived with left cooked chicken in a lidded dish for so long that it grew maggots.
Yep, it can get real tough. If I’m honest, quite often I would do the washing-up just to get it done and bring back some order to the kitchen. However, a rota is really worth a try. Get everyone washing dishes, hoovering, cleaning the work surfaces on a weekly basis. There’s no I in team, guys.

The Obsessive Compulsive

After the dirty kitchen culprits, surely the OCD housemate will seem a welcome breath of fresh air? Sometimes, yes, they absolutely are. But when that housemate has to have every plate stacked in order of size and colour, and needs to know exactly what time you will be leaving and returning from a lecture in the morning, or must use a certain amount of milk per day, you start to feel a little frazzled to say the least. With this housemate, I feel like it’s just best to go about your business and let them do what they wanna do. At least they aren’t grubby!

The Prankster

Living in halls is a hub for pranks and you need to get clever. Leave your room unlocked and don’t be surprised if you come back to your bed being in the kitchen and the kitchen table in your room. My advice? Just watch your back…

Words : Siobhan Maguire