How to survive your housemates. This weekend I found my flat to be mostly empty. The majority decided to return home for a relaxing weekend, whilst one announced that she was on her way to Norway in search of snow. These quick departures left one of my female housemates and myself alone, or so we thought.

I spent Friday night, and most of Saturday convinced it was just us. However on my way to my bedroom I heard a laugh coming from the room next to mine. Stifling a scream, and waiting for my heart rate to return to normal I realized that one of the boys was also home this weekend. Upon relating my traumatic experience to the other female who had remained home I was met with the response that she already knew, and had seen him that morning, for the first time this year.

Living out of student accommodation last year I knew that it was very rare to go more than a day without seeing all of the people you were living with. However moving back into university accommodation I soon realized rarely seeing a housemate is in fact a common occurrence. In my flat at the Hollies there are four girls, and two boys. I see one of the girls everyday, without fail; our overpowering laughs and screams of disgust resonate through the flat more often than not, much to our housemates’ annoyance. I will also frequently see one of the boys, even though he goes home every weekend; and the girl who remained at home this weekend. The last two, however I can go weeks without seeing, one of whom is usually visiting her boyfriend, or on holiday. The boy next door to me however, is usually hidden away in his room and we can go days, even weeks without seeing him.

The more I have discussed this with friends and others living in student halls, the more I have realized that most people have at least one housemate that they barely know exists. It is not necessarily any of our faults; some people are just more comfortable with their own company. Some see their housemates as people that they are living with for only a year, and have no desire to become more than just housemates. If you have found yourself in this somewhat peculiar situation do not fret. Offer pleasantries when you see them, and don’t take offence if you receive little more than small talk.

Remember whilst most housemates form long term friendships, even choosing to continue living with them for more than a year, others see housemates as merely strangers they live with.