• Katie Mullender

How To Be The Ultimate Halls Housemate

Disclaimer: This isn't me saying I was the ultimate housemate- but maybe you could be!

University halls.

An alternate universe where having 10 pints of milk in the fridge is perfectly normal, as are midnight fire drills, and using the mop to stage Eurovision-scale lip sync battles. It's no secret that the people you live with will make or break your halls experience, and unfortunately, it is complete pot luck who you are grouped with. It shouldn't take much more than being a nice person to get on the right side of people, but for those looking to make an extra (not glaringly obvious) effort, look no further!

1. Bring a little welcome offering.

A box of Celebrations can go a long way. One of my happiest memories from halls was having half of my flat on move-in day bursting into my room to hug me and say thank you for the chocolates I bought. Also, finding out who in the flat is the bounty-liking-weirdo might be useful later on.

2. Be socially available.

Extending the A-Level excuse of "I don't have time" to avoid going out will not fool any freshers. It's the academic year when you have the most time, more than Sixth Form, Year 11 or the rest of your degree. No-one's asking you to do 12 Tequila Slammers and end up spooning the pavement every night, and if going "out out" isn't your thing, just make an extra effort to talk to people when you're in the kitchen. It will make your future commitments, i.e. finding housemates much smoother.

3. Don't leave dirty dishes in the kitchen for days on end.

This one is pretty self explanatory. Bearing in mind most student kitchens have the surface area of an iPod shuffle, leaving washing up everywhere will make it claustrophobic very quickly. Hide them in your room. Your bathroom. Under your bed. Just not in the kitchen.

4. Every so often, give the kitchen a once over with some Dettol.

One of my flatmates particularly sticks in my mind here. I'd often find the kitchen sparkling on a Saturday morning because he'd dedicated a few minutes to wiping the worktops. We were always so grateful and returned the favour. You may not be as lucky as I was, but don't let it put you off doing a nice thing.

5. If something is harmless, and going to be hilarious, get involved.

In my second semester, I returned from by boyfriend's student house and found one of my flatmates wedged in between the fridge-freezer and the ceiling. Whether it was that, the traffic cone which became our Christmas tree, the 8ft "hiring now" banner from the dry cleaners down the road which adorned our kitchen wall...even the Romeo-and-Juliet-esque moment where 3 of them fired persil capsules through a second storey room window, I have cherished memories of my time in halls. Let your hair down while you can, and believe me when I say "I'm sorry, I'm a fresher" can excuse ANYTHING.

Share your best fresher stories below! I'd love to hear them!

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