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Housing in StA: How to move in with friends

Moving in with friends can be tough, and often it can lead to different experiences than you may expect. Whether that means the move in goes smoothly, or maybe you come to realise that whilst they make great friends they may not make great housemates and vice versa, moving in with someone can hold many unexpected twists and turns. 

Housing in St. Andrews produces the most stress I think I’ve ever experienced as a collective; people start searching for their next house almost immediately when entering the new academic year, and often they are still left waiting months to find a place to live. A basic and fundamental human right of shelter is often left hanging in the balance due to the way housing is organised in our tiny town. 

Living with friends, or ‘re-moving in’ with them, is a different ball game than anyone is usually prepared for. It’s never the same story, and it’s not as simple as just sharing a house. You’ve got bills, and shopping, and cleaning, and visitors, and boundaries. It’s a whole new experience to navigate, with communication being key and bringing about a peaceful living situation. 

Whether you move in with them and find their quirks lead to an even stronger bond, or maybe they drive you crazy instead, there are many pros and cons to moving with friends. All of which are worth weighing up. 

Many of the advantages of moving with friends are:

  • The shared familiarity: Both of you will already have a pretty good idea about each other's good and bad personality traits, and can understand how it may affect your living situation.

  •  There is already a shared relationship there, with an understanding of each other and as such may be more likely to understand when you need space or maybe when you need company too.

  • Having a friendship there already may make it easier to have discussion that you would not be able to have with people who you don’t share that close relationship with.

  • You may share common interests and as such can enjoy developing hobbies together. 

  • There is a sense of trust and honesty between the two of you.

  • Living with friends can make each day that extra bit more fun. 

  • You will immediately feel comfortable and safe living with someone you know so well.

And these are just a few of the benefits of living with friends and setting yourself up for a year together. 

On the other side there are a few disadvantages that should be considered as well:

  • Your friends may be more inclined to take liberties, like not doing their chores or missing bill payments.

  • It may be more awkward to have uncomfortable conversations with your friend when something annoys you.

  • You may automatically think that living with your friends will be great and fail to take notice of those red flags that would make you steer clear of a housemate who was a stranger.

  • Spending too much time with your friends may ruin the friendship and may hinder you making new friends.

  • It will be more difficult to have alone time especially if your friend has boundary issues.

So whilst they don't make or break, these things can deeply affect a long standing friendship and should be considered when thinking about who to live with next year. 

Some tips and tricks on moving in with friends are as follows:

  1. Learn what it means to be a good housemate - whether that means developing a chore rota, being respectful of your housemates sleep or work schedules, having open discussions regarding house issues, and how to handle bills and rent. 

  2. Give each other space - realising that just because you live together that doesn’t mean you have to spend all your time together. Sometimes the healthiest way to maintain a friendship is to give each other space and prioritise quality time over quantity time. 

  3. Communication is important in every aspect of your friendship. Both when communicating about the household and communicating about your friendship. Remaining open and honest enables you to address any issues if and when they arrive. 

  4. Make living together fun. Whether that’s shopping together and making a trip out of it, or binge watching a show together, making living together fun makes your outlook on the living environment much more positive. 

Housing situations should be fun, stress free, and healthy, and so should your friendships. Go into each situation with an open line of communication and an open mind and your next year of living together will run much more smoothly. 

Good luck house hunting, and don’t forget that your health and well being should always be a priority including in your living situation.

By Teigan A (she/her)

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1 Comment

Jan 22

The real hardest part is finding friends to move in with in the first place. 😔

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