Flat-mares, it’s like nightmares but unfortunately, you don’t wake up from them. Choosing who you want to live with in second year and beyond could be make or break for your friendship and your happiness. If you go flatting you can choose everyone, but beware that if you are at Carlaw you will be living with at least one person who you don’t know. Sometimes people turn out to be different than what they were like when you were only neighbours in a hall. However here are some things you should think about before choosing your flat mates in order to avoid a flat-mare.
Noise and Social Life
Noise and social life is quite a big one. If your friends like to yell down the end of your hallway at your hall after 10pm, but you like to be in bed by 10pm, this isn’t a good sign that they will be quiet when you live together. If you all go to bed late and you are out there yelling with them, this won’t be a problem. Some people also like to host parties and others go to parties, these parties could be every week or more sporadic. This is quite a big clash point for a lot of flats due to everyone having different schedules. Just make sure when you do choose your flat mates, they are willing to make compromises if they want to party and you have 4 essays due, you would hope they would go somewhere else that night. Also be willing to compromise yourself, don’t be that person who says no to every single party for no good reason. If you all act within reason, there should be little to no conflict within this area.
Some people are very messy as can be evident by their rooms. Often if they let their room turn into a huge mess, it’s not looking too promising for the rest of the flat. However, some people can actually have a messy room, but can maintain communal spaces to a clean and acceptable level. If you are someone who hates mess, make sure the people you choose to live with are the same or at least willing to try and keep the flat clean. Cleaning rosters are also a good suggestion to ensure everything is kept to a clean standard. Each week we have a different area, (bins, kitchen, bathroom and lounge), and we clean that. It goes well if everyone is willing to contribute and helps stop arguments on whose turn it is to do something.
Although it may sound like the greatest thing imaginable, sometimes living with your best friends may prove damaging to your friendship. I chose to live with one of my closest friends Cameron at Carlaw as I knew we are similar in ways that would work when flatting. My other friends haven’t been as lucky and have lost friendships from it. You want to live with people who you feel comfortable bringing up issues with, letting them see into your life 24/7 and have trust that your friendship wasn’t just for convenience in first year.
Sometimes I think it would be easier to live on my own, however, when my flat mates aren’t home for a day or two I begin to get lonely and I realize having other people around is good for you. Although there can be challenges, if you are smart about who you chose to live with and willing to compromise and discuss tricky situations, everything will work out!