Sharing a house with other students is an inevitable part of the University experience. While you may have visions of living in a grandiose mansion, the reality is something very, very different.
During your stay in a student house, it is highly likely that you will become involved in various conflicts. We take a look at 17 such examples.
1. Deciding Who Gets What Room
Day One, you and your housemates move in, and of course, there is a conflict right away. Who gets which room? No one wants to have the room on the top floor. But equally, no one wants the room by the front door. It may be a case of first come first served, rock, paper, scissors, drawing straws – something will need to be done! Whatever the outcome, not everyone will be happy.
2. Choosing an Internet Provider
After the ease of halls – where everything was arranged for you – you are suddenly thrusted into adulthood upon entering a house. One of the first challenges is to set up an internet provider – so that you can live in the 21st century. But there are many to choose from, and there is likely to be some lively debate on which is best.
3. Conflict With the “Mob” next door
It is highly likely that you’ll live in a student area – normally characterised by a long terrace of houses. As such, you’ll often be able to hear the folks next door. Something closely resembling a rivalry will likely develop as the months go by. This will lead to the house being in unison, as you look to rule the roost.
4. The Dirty Dishes
There are few conflicts like the one that will arise when dishes begin to be stacked up. This battle between good and bad, tidiness versus laziness, will be iconic. We’re going to side with the clean side – it gets a bit excessive when the surfaces normally used for food preparation are actually taken up by dirty dishes.
5. The Heating
Student house and freezing are two terms synonymous with one another. Some will want to put the heating on, but others will be wary of the cost of such an action. Getting the right balance is likely to cause some tension.
6. Who Takes out the bins?
Another classic of student housing – taking out the trash. Even the most unhygienic individual will draw the line at when bin bags are stacked six high. But who will be the unfortunate fellow that takes the bins from the kitchen to the external bin? It is another of those things that no one wants to do.
7. Movie Night
Hopefully at some point the entire house will club together and enjoy a film night. But while this sounds good in practice, it does pose a rather difficult conundrum. What film? Which genre? Who is buying the popcorn? What sort of sanctions will the person who doesn’t stop taking throughout the film face? All of these are important questions that need answering, but are sure to result in disagreements.
8. Whose turn to clean?
Cleaning was another great luxury that life in halls provided. Yet once you are in a house you are all alone – and suddenly that house party doesn’t seem such a good idea. At some, innocent time, you may have had an idea of a rota being drawn up. Fast-forward a few months and it’ll be a free-for-all. Whose turn is it? “But I cleaned the toilet last week”, says one disgruntled member of the house. Chaos.
9. Whose turn to buy the milk
Similar to the above – anything that is communally shared will cause drama. Milk is often one of those things. No one wants to go and get it, and the usual claims of purchasing it last week will come to the fore. The same can be said for washing up liquid. Sometimes you’ve just got to fend for yourself.
10. The Issue of noise
While halls generally have thick walls – resulting in whatever happens in a room staying in a room – student houses typically don’t. Watching Netflix can enrage other house members, as can supposed poor tastes in music.
11. When someone forgets a key… who comes back?
Another inevitable part of shared living is that it just so happens the one time that the entire house is out, that the first person to return will have forgotten their key. Out of respect for the fallen soldier, one must return. But who? Conveniently, someone has gone into town, another is the other end of the town, and there is silence between the others.
12. The Group Chat
The house group chat is a chat like no other. Memes, bill reminders, passive-aggressive notes on cleanliness, more memes and plenty of arguments will take place in the confines of a house group chat. While face-to-face quarrelling is fun, sometimes a verbal battle on the group chat brings more satisfaction. And if you aren’t involved… then sit back and enjoy the show.
13. The Thief
Around that time when everyone is dealing with assignments, suddenly one housemate decides to forget all decency and scavenge for a living. They might take an egg here, a biscuit there. Trying to figure out who the thief is without turning into a paranoid wreck brings up some challenges.
14. Dealing with Mice and Rats
As previously mentioned, student houses are rarely bastions of cleanliness. Unfortunately, one such consequence of dirtiness is that rats and mice are attracted. When rats do arrive on the scene, it is likely to cause problems. Who deals with it and how, what methods can be used and an ethical debate on the morality of killing can all be expected.
15. Who calls the Landlord
Rats aren’t the only problem that requires landlord assistance. When something breaks or just anything in general goes wrong, it will be time to contact the landlord. But this causes further problems. Who calls him/her? “I sort the bills” says one, “Out all day soz”, says another. Don’t expect the landlord to send anyone out straight away, though.
16. Queuing for the Oven
In halls, bills were included, meaning the oven can be used hours on end. While not environmentally friendly, it was convenient. But in a house, energy preservation is key. Therefore, coordinating cooking times, queuing and debates on whether or not something is cooked properly are all commonplace.
17. Moving out day… who owns what?
But eventually, you will survive all of these pitfalls and make it to moving out day, probably without your deposit back, and ready to leave for a well-deserved summer. The final conflict happens on moving out day – where everyone, mindful of the lack of need to ever contact one another again, starts laying claim to certain items. Who owns what? Who brought what to the house? One final conflict to navigate.
While these conflicts will inevitably arrive at some point, they tend to have a way of strengthening relationships in the long-term.
One day, the time will arrive where it will be time to leave the house, and you will look back on your time and wonder – where did the time go?