Trying to decide who to live with at university? Not sure whether to try and find some friends to live with or whether to just get a room in a shared flat with some randoms? Well, to help you out, here are the pros and cons of living with randoms at uni.

Pro: not having to worry about falling out with a friend

living with strangers
Source: Caxtons

When you live with friends, there’s always something they do that’ll annoy you. Whether they put the toilet roll on the holder wrong, or maybe they leave food in the sink – something they do will undoubtedly irritate you. But, because they’re your friend, you won’t want to bring it up. Until it builds and builds and suddenly you snap, and then the two of you fall out for a while.

If you live with a stranger, this isn’t something you have to worry about. You can be wary of their feelings, sure, but you won’t be losing a connection years in the making if you accidentally word something the wrong way. That makes for a much less conflicted, much less tense, household.

Con: not being comfortable around each other

If you’ve never met the people you’re living with prior to the move-in date, then you might find that you’re not particularly comfortable around them to start with. This can make hanging out in communal areas a little bit awkward, as who really wants to watch telly with a stranger – right? For anyone who suffers from anxiety or anything like that, sharing your lounge, kitchen and potentially bathroom with a stranger may make home feel uncomfortable for a while. Whilst this is something you’ll adjust to as you get to know each other, it is still something worth considering.

Pro: make new friends

living with randoms
Source: Urbannest

Whilst they might be strangers when you first move in, your roommates could well become your new best friend for life. There’s a reason all of the coming of age dramas and rom-com protagonists have college roommates, after all. You might get on like a house on fire and be inseparable forever. Likewise, they’ll have their own circle of friends who you will end up meeting eventually, and you might get on with them really well. Living with randoms at university is a great way to expand your social circle, through your flatmates, their friends, and their friends’ friends!  Remember that although most students opt to stay in student halls, you can also check out SpareRoom as there are lots of listings on there for houseshares across the UK.

Con: not getting along 

Alternatively, you might hate each other. This is a risk of living with anyone, in all fairness. You never know how good a relationship is until you try living with them, and if you’re not friends before living together, there’s less of a reason to overlook all of the irritating things they do. Whether it’s house related or not, you and your flatmates might just not gel together, and that’s okay. But it does mean that you might feel like you’re essentially living alone, which can really suck sometimes.

Pro: you’ll get time to yourself

living with strangers
Source: Panaramer

When you live with friends, sometimes it feels like you are always ‘on’, always socialising. You can’t just go and make pasta without everyone joining and it feeling like a social event. Want to watch Love Island? Tough. Now you get 2 people narrating Love Island over the sound of the show, whilst your other flatmate faffs around with trying to order everyone’s takeaway.

Living with strangers will prevent this for the most part (unless you become good friends), and you’ll definitely have more time to yourself to chill out, enjoy your flat, and cool down.

Con: no sharing stuff 

living with randoms
Source: Tenor

This is a pro and a con, depending on how you see it. A lot of the time, when you live with friends, you often get to share their things – but likewise, they get to share yours. With a stranger, this is much less likely. So you can keep your pizza utter in your draw, and your shower gel won’t run out before you’ve even had a chance to use it!

Already moved in and things aren’t going quite as smoothly as you’d have liked?

Here’s how to deal with your messy housemates.