While your university will look after your accommodation in the first year of education, the second or subsequent years are generally not guaranteed, which is why most students start looking for accommodation near the end of the first year. Since renting a property solo can be boring, not to mention expensive, nearly all students look to share accommodation with their friends and classmates.

Living with your friends has a lot of benefits, not only do you get to split the bills and divide the chores (which means you save money) but also have a lot of fun in your free time. However, when it comes to choosing your future flat/house mates from your circle of friends, there are a lot of important things you need to keep in mind. Spending a couple of hours with a group of friends maybe fun, but living with the same people may not turn out to be as pleasant as you expected.

Firstly, you need to consider housework and daily chores. You might be able to look after yourself, but are your prospective flat/house mates as responsible as you? You don’t want to end up having to clean up after someone else, especially when you could be spending all that time finishing your own work. Moreover, if your flat/house mates are responsible, you can divide the house chores and alternate between them over the week, making sure everyone contributes equally.

Furthermore, some students sleep early and wake up early, while others sleep late and wake up late – You don’t want to be sharing a flat or a house with people who may stay up late night and disturb you. You cannot pick and choose flat/house mates according to their sleeping habits, but you can make sure everyone has a mutual understanding before all of you begin renting together.

Bad habits also need to be taken into consideration. It is okay for people to smoke or be careless about hygiene as long as you don’t live with them. However, if you are going to be sharing living space with such friends, you will definitely run into issues in the future.

Another major consideration should be your flat/house mates’ social circles. If you will not be comfortable with your flat/house mates inviting their friends over for late night study sessions or even a fun evening, you should be very particular about the people you rent with.

Finally, you should ideally select friends who share the same interests as yourself. This will mean all of you can take part in group activities and have more fun, as opposed to each individual going about his or her own business.

All these are important factors for you to consider since you will be spending at least one complete year with the flat/house mates you select. While, it can be difficult to put down friends you don’t want to live with, it is certainly better than splitting ways altogether after spending a whole year in regret and frustration.

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