There are times where we may find ourselves in a situation where we live with strangers, which may be daunting, but there are some great things about house sharing with strangers. My first year of University would not have been half as much fun if wasn’t for the four strangers who were in my flat. If ever in any doubt, here are some reasons to consider house sharing with strangers and how great it can be!
1. IT’S EXCITING
Quoting his mother, Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” The same is true of house sharing with strangers. When moving into my flat, I was the first to arrive. I will never forget the cocktail of fear, nerves and excitement I felt when I heard the key click in the door when the first of my 4 new flatmates walked in for the first time. Little did I know just how much my life would change with the clicking of that lock, when one of my future best friends walked in through the door.
2. YOU START FROM SCRATCH
No matter how much you love your friends, there are times where you think “I could never live with this person.” When you are thrown into a situation where you are living with strangers, you don’t know any of their quirks or habits. As you get to know each other, you get to know each other warts and all. Those things which could well have annoyed you just become part of home, much like family life.
3. YOU LEARN TO BE TOLERANT
Following on from my previous point, a great thing about sharing with strangers is that you learn to accept people for who they are, not who you’d like them to be. Perhaps your new house mate is loud? Messy? Lazy? Whereas these traits may annoy you about a friend, seeing as you learn these things about your new roomie at the same time as all the positives, it’s likely that you will look beyond these annoyances, especially if you wish for them to look past yours!
4. FAMILY BOND
You know how you can bitch about your siblings as much as you like, but may God help anyone else who dares badmouth them? The same becomes true about your housemates. They may drive you up the wall at times, but you will soon find yourself rushing to their defence when someone outside the household unit tries to badmouth them – essentially, they become your siblings.
There are times where we all find ourselves red in the face in the presence of our friends, be it due to embarrassing bodily functions, someone walking in on the other naked and so on. When you live together, the odds are you share a bathroom and these little moments of shame become a part of day to day life – and once you get used to it you quickly become more confident. This confidence only strengthens the bond between you as you can really relax – which is what you need at home.
6. IT’S FUN!
Getting to know people is fun, and even if you’re shy, it’s only a matter of time that you get to know each other when you live in close quarters. Much to the horror of those responsible for the flat, many a night of mischief took place there when we were getting to know other – and it being university, most were under the influence of alcohol (note to US readers, I live in the UK where we can legally drink at 18). Such getting to know you activities included: movie nights, sleep overs, drinking games and 3 a.m. water fights…
7. YOU LEARN A LOT ABOUT YOURSELF
Nothing teaches you more about yourself and your pros and your cons, quite like living with strangers. You didn’t start off as friends, so you learn to be more honest with each other. This leads to being able to tell each other when a foot is being put wrong and so on, which despite some hurt feelings, you do become more self-aware.
Of course, living with strangers can and will be difficult, there will be teething problems and times of frustration even if you become the best of friends, but more often than not it’s worth it. And, if you find yourself unable to connect or warm to these new people in your life, you will learn that you can appease difficult situations and tolerate people for longer than you thought possible! Either way, be it a few blooming friendships or a realization of your own tolerance – it’s a great experience to have. What’s your take on house sharing with strangers?