Housemates driving you up the (very thin) wall? You ain’t seen nothing yet…
Some Freshers are blessed with legends when they move into halls. Others? Not so much.
Although there are many variations of the classic ‘bad’ housemate, here are the most typical five you have a strong chance of encountering.
The invisible (wo)man
If you thought moving in to shared housing would mean plans galore and shared laughter over communal dinners, think again. Move in with the Ghost of Universities Past and you can expect many an evening alone, like just TSR member Beccaarr:
"ALL my flatmates stay in their rooms constantly - one of them has taken to walking around with headphones in. Another has spoken to me twice since we moved in, and I can sometimes go two weeks without seeing another – I see her boyfriend more than her!"
For some, this might seem like the ideal housemate - they'll never disrupt your sleep; engage you in mind-numbing small talk or even cross your path that often. But a common trait of the invisible housemate is to leave a trail of dirty dishes and/or general filth in their wake - how else would you know whether they’re still alive or not? Beccaarr shares a fond memory:
"One of my housemates did leave me a nice present after I went back home – three inches of sick in the toilet that had been there so long it had encrusted itself to the sides."
The ‘strangely-territorial-of-shared-living-space’ type
You're probably sharing equal parts of the rent, but there's always that person who's a little more... precious about the communal space. TSR member OhNO! shares their experience:
"My horrific flatmate has taken it upon himself to create a 'personal belongings' box in the kitchen, into which he puts all our stuff that we leave in the kitchen. Every time there's a few of us in there, he announces that 'maybe we should think about taking our things out of the personal belongings box and back to our rooms'. He put a box of chocolate fingers in there today."
Not only will this type of housemate make you feel like an imposter in your own kitchen, you'll also have to get used to the passive aggressive note system they're usually very fond of. This way, they can articulately express their feelings to you all without actually having to say a word, just like brokenalien's housemate:
"My housemates leave notes such as 'don't turn off the heating!' and 'wipe down the chopping boards!', even though they never do..."
The ‘complete-lack-of-respect-for-shared-living-space’ kind
The territorial type may have seemed bad, but at the other end of the spectrum is a housemate that will leave you cowering in your room (mainly to avoid disease). TSR member SophieSmall explains:
"I had a housemate who wouldn't clean anything, including himself. He always proper stunk the house out. He'd sit in his pants and play Guitar Hero literally all day next to a pile of molding dishes and watch you clean up after him without offering to help. He trashed his room so we lost our deposits, plus he didn't pay the last two months of rent because he spent all his money on drugs, so we all lost a couple hundred quid."
This kind of housemate is typically very fond of asserting their dominance over your shared living quarters also, and they’re certainly not afraid to let you know exactly what they think, as Zandiana Jones shows:
"My housemate leaves the door off the latch all the time; I've had something stolen so I try and lock the door when I've noticed. They often have friends over and cook for them, but leave the kitchen in an absolute mess. The only time I did this, I went back into my room for five minutes, then I heard them enter the kitchen and start yelling loudly about how messy it was! Once I said to them I was thinking of flat swapping because I felt uncomfortable, and their reply was 'fair enough, I wouldn’t have liked you outside flat conditions anyway'."
The relentless noise-maker
Freshers Week is certainly not a time to catch up on your Z’s, but you’d like to think once the workload increases and the hype dies down that you’ll be able to have a few quieter nights. One can only dream...
If you find yourself living with a relentless noise maker, you better invest in some heavy-duty earplugs, or you might find yourself in a similar position to TSR member sinfonietta:
"I used to live with a girl who would blast Rihanna and vacuum at 4am. Not just once or twice. Consistently. At least once a week. She drove me nuts."
Asides from a fondness for Bad Gal Riri, these non-stop party animals will jump at the chance to put themselves in grave danger at any available opportunity, as rosieee91 explains:
"A few of my flatmates are currently running and loudly flipping onto 3 mattresses piled up in the corridor right outside my door. I just went to see what they were up to and one of them had blood pouring from his ear…"
But the relentless noise-makers aren't always drunk and disorderly. Sometimes they're just so great at cooking that even the smoke alarm can’t resist cheering them on:
"My housemates set the smoke alarm off EVERY TIME THEY COOK, no joke. I've never set it off, so it's not exactly sensitive - they are just awful cooks. They burn everything and leave the pans out for days, ruining them. I hid my wok because I fear for its safety!" – brokenalien
The downright creepy ones
Sure, everyone's different, but there’s no denying that some housemates are just plain weird... Here are the some of the best.
"I share a room with someone who doesn't speak AT ALL. He just draws all these really creepy pictures and puts them on his wall. One of them is a pig's head lying on a table with a doctor cutting into it; another is a little girl holding a blood-stained knife with the words ‘born to kill’ written under it and another is a mutilated zombie dog eating someone." – Dr Zeuss
"My flatmates broke into my room and stole all my prescription medication. They've also tried numerous times to trick me into eating drugged food…" - sinfonietta
"I hate my housemates. They throw knives at the ceiling." – Vendettagirl
Probably time to consider moving out...
Although you can't help who you end up with in first year, you can make the effort to get to know them (i.e. suss them out) before you move in. Find your 'Freshers Megathread' in your uni forum and get chatting to potential new mates at your uni or - if things have got really bad - head over to the 'Find a Flatmate forum' to make some new friends!
Need a grumble? You'll be in safe hands in the 'I Hate My Housemates' thread... or join in with the conversation below.