June 13, 2017, by Andrew

The definitive guide to picking good housemates

I once lived with a guy who left a tray of lasagne on the kitchen work top for 6 weeks. I once lived with someone who would sleep all day and then play Xbox at full volume all night. Whether you’re a first year or you’re finishing your PhD, there’s no way you’ve avoided having at least one nightmare housemate. I’ve certainly had my fair share of them, but here’s a few tips on how to ensure your next roomies are friends for life, not partners in grime.

First up is the obvious one – observe how they live now, and the luxury/squalor that they’re living in. If you see a sink blocked up with half-eaten currys and you’re all about the all-in-one, clean as you go, pasta-dish-dream, then maybe they’re not the one.

Go on a night out with them. If they show no remorse as they lay bare their half-digested dinner in the back of the Uber like a proud mother penguin feeding her offspring, then you’d best believe they’ll do the same in your bathroom sink. And your shower. And your bin. And your soul.

Check out their bog roll. Are they an Andrex two ply, or a tesco value single ply kinda person? If you’re used to the soft touch of a premium tissue then you’ll be dismayed at the unholy sight (and feel) of the feeble, yet chaffing, single ply. If you’re content with the budget friendly latter option, then prepare to be pursuaded to fork out a whopping fiver for some fancy TP, just to appease his/her Royal Highness’ derrière.

Open up to them and go full on DMC. If you can’t discuss the intricacies of your looming existential crisis, or debate the relative merit of living in a libertarian, authoritarian, or egalitarian society, on a long walk home from the pub, then what’s even the point of living together?

Lastly, ignore all of the above and go with your gut instinct. There’s no way to know if you’ll love living with someone until you try it, but if you think you’ve got the most marvellous group of friends, or just a strong selection of people willing to bury a body for you, then find your digs, sign that agreement and enjoy living with some of the weirdest, most infuriating, yet wonderful people you’ll ever live with. Be willing to compromise, but make sure you all make each other laugh.

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