Exeter, Devon UK • Jul 18, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Comment Living with friends at University: the unspoken issues

Living with friends at University: the unspoken issues

Gracie Moore, Online Arts and Lit editor, discusses the often unaddressed issues of living with friends during her time at University.
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Image: Liza Summer via Pexels

My Dad has always told me that you only truly know what someone is like as a friend once you have lived with them. Well, Kev, you were right. Sometimes, meet your best friends at University and that’s exactly how they should stay – some friends don’t need the conversion to housemate status.

Housing drama has been known to tear friendships apart especially when your friends are messier than you hoped they’d be. Also, spending a lengthy amount of time in anyone’s company within your own home can be draining but this is increased tenfold when they are already the only people you hang out with outside of lectures and seminars. I am currently in my third year of University on my year abroad in Madrid. I am living with someone I hadn’t met before and it feels much less intense than if I was sharing with Exeter friends, also studying or working in Madrid. Last year, in my second year, I lived with three of my friends with whom I attend lectures and seminars with (we are course mates). I have lots of love for the people I lived with, we are still excellent friends now but I will not be living with them on my return to Exeter for my fourth and final year.

Housing drama has been known to tear friendships apart especially when your friends are messier than you hoped they’d be.

Tensions can rise very quickly when you live with close friends because you tend to be more scared to confront a problem as you don’t want to rock the boat. Compare this to living in halls with strangers in your first year and you feel much less intimidated to do this, you don’t know the people and there isn’t as much pressure to get on well with them as you will unlikely live with them again after the year is up.

Tensions can rise very quickly when you live with close friends because you tend to be more scared to confront a problem as you don’t want to rock the boat.

My time in halls in first year taught me more about people’s habits than living in my shrouded bubble with friends and as much as I didn’t always enjoy my time in halls, it taught me more about myself. The concept of sharing with friends and the idea of “BNOC houses” is where the housing crisis comes into play.

Houses of up to 12 rugby boys all wanting a house on Pennsylvania Road simply because “the coolest people live on Penny” means that there is high demand for this location and the surrounding streets and many people are either left disappointed when they miss out or end up paying extortionate amounts if they’re lucky enough to snap up a house. My advice would be: think very, very carefully before jumping into a tenancy agreement with your besties. I’ll reiterate that just because they’re your closest friends, does not mean that they will make good housemates.

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