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 normally something very, very different. During your stay in a student house, it is highly likely that there will be many conflicts you will encounter. In this article we take a look at these conflicts, which many a student will be able to relate to. For something a bit more serious, consider reading our advice article on surviving student house shares. Otherwise, proceed!
1. Deciding Who Gets What Room
Day One, and your house moves in, and a conflict is inevitable from the get-go – who gets what room. There is always that tiny room, normally at the back of the house, but then no one wants to be the one right by the door either. It is unlikely that there will be a clear consensus of who wants what. At least you start the year in the manner of which you will likely continue.
2. Choosing an Internet Provider
After the ease of halls – where everything was done for you – suddenly you are thrust into adulthood when you get a house. And one of the first challenges is to set up an Internet provider – so that you can live in the 21st century. Yet there are so many to choose from, and everyone has their own opinion of which one is best.
3. Conflict with the ‘Mob’ Next Door
It is highly likely that you’ll live in a student area – which is usually a set of terraced houses. Often, you’ll be able to hear the folks next door, which can be annoying. Something closely resembling a rivalry will develop as the months go by, which is the one time your entire house will be 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 is the ultimate battle – the slob versus the clean one. We’re going to have to side with the clean one – it gets a bit excessive when the surfaces that should be used for preparation are actually being taken up by dishes stacked upon one another.
Student house – freezing. These two terms are synonymous with one another. Some will want to put the heating on, but the cautious individuals who are wary of the bills – will urge everyone to go cold. It is likely this will cause some conflict – with both sides determined to come out on top in this battle for the ages.
6. Who Takes Out The Bins
Ah, another classic of student housing – taking out the trash. Even the most unhygienic individual will draw the line when bin bags are stacked six-high. But who the unfortunate fellow is that takes the bins from the kitchen to the external bin is another cause for conflict. No one wants to do it – but someone has to. Some form of bargaining could be the solution…
7. Movie Night
On that very rare occasion, everyone will put their social lives to one side to enjoy a squad film night – like the old days. But while this sounds good in practice, again, conflict will follow. What film is picked? What genre? Who is buying the popcorn? What sort of sanctions will the person who won’t stop talking face? All of these need factors need to be settled before any successful film night can be implemented.
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. When you were planning on moving in together, you all agreed a rota would be a positive idea. But fast-forward six months and the whole house looks a mess. 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 normally one of these things – and no one wants to go and get it. Or, everyone claims they ‘bought it last week’. The same can be said for washing up liquid. Moral of the story, just fend for yourself.
10. The Issue of Noise
Returning to the halls vs. house argument – halls generally have thick walls which mean what happens in any given room stays in any given room. Yet student houses are characterised by thin walls – meaning what happens in one room is heard throughout. And this of course leads to a bust-up. When someone is catching up on Netflix, yet another housemate is trying to study, battle will ensue.
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 are out, that the first person to return will have forgotten their key. Out of respect for your fellow housemate, someone must return. But who is challenged with the poisoned chalice. There’s only one medium used to work out this conflict… the group chat.
12. The Group Chat
The house group chat is a chat like no other. Memes, bill reminders, clean your dishes, 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 is better. 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. But who is the individual who steals the milk? Or took the last egg without thinking of the ramifications of such a move? Getting to the bottom of who this is will inevitably end in conflict.
14. Dealing with Mice and Rats
Returning to the dirty dishes – student houses are renowned for being labelled a ‘dump’. Unfortunately, one of the things this attracts are rats. And no, we aren’t talking about that housemate you secretly dislike. Instead, when rats arrive, how to deal with it, who deals with it, and what method to use are all likely to cause an argument.
15. Who Calls the Landlord
Rats are not the only problem that need landlord assistance. When something breaks or just anything in general goes wrong, it’ll be time to contact the landlord. But then this is another issue – who calls him/her? ‘I do the bills’ says one, ‘I’m out all day soz’ says another. But it doesn’t really matter, because after waiting a day to call, you’ll have to wait endless days to get the problem sorted. Great.
16. Queuing for the Oven
Whereas in halls the bills were included – suddenly in a student house energy preservation is key. In halls the oven would be on hours on end, but you are anxious in a student house. Yet the size of the oven is also smaller, which in any case leads to increased queuing times. ‘How long does it take to cook that?’ Prepare to hear this a lot.
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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 with enough house experience to start your own portfolio. The final conflict happens on moving out day – where everyone lays claim to popular items, and other items get neglected. Who owns what? Who brought what to the house? And what was provided? The year will fly by. There we have it – seventeen conflicts that you will encounter in a student house!