How to avoid becoming the black sheep of your flat

You are amazing. We know this. You know this. Make sure you housemates know this by following our guide to *not* becoming the black sheep of the flat.

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The exchange of flatmate horror stories is very common at university because let’s face it, teenagers living alone for the first time isn’t always going to run smoothly.

By sticking to these guidelines, we can ensure that you will not become the flatmate that everyone else thinks has been raised by monkeys.

1. Know the bathroom code

You might be the nicest person going but if you commit any of the main bathroom crimes, your lovely personality counts for zilch I’m afraid.

This includes using a questionable amount of toilet roll and never replacing it and hogging the bathroom for unreasonable amounts of time before a night out, only for the next person to find everything tinted a dark shade of orange.

Clumps of hair in the drain and dirty towels lying around everywhere are generally undesired, so try to make an effort to clean up after yourself and there should be, as Neil from The Inbetweeners might say, no problemo.

2. Know what’s yours

We all know students are lacking in the dollar department but this does not mean you need to become the Winona Ryder of your flat and start stealing food when backs are turned.

First of all, most students are tight enough to realise that in fact they are 20ml down on milk and secondly, food (after alcohol) is a student’s most prized possession.

Therefore stealing it is bound to put you in the bad books, to what extent depends on the stolen goods in questions. Everyday items like bread are easily forgiven, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, however, well... you may as well start looking for a new house.

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3. Ditch the dubstep

Blaring music at stupid o’ clock in the morning is never going to win you friends, especially if it sounds like a robot stuck in a tumble dryer. So you either need to change your taste in music (hint: call me maybe is bound to bring everyone running to your door) or maybe invest in some quality headphones to avoid any noise related confrontation.

4. Socialise

Most students have experienced at least one flatmate who leaves their room only to fetch food, some have never seen the specimen that lives behind the permanently locked door. If you want to get on with your housemates, you need to make some kind of effort.

Sitting in your room all day is not going to win you friends and if you’re busy with sports clubs etc. all the time, try to make time for ‘family’ dinners or doing some sort of activity together on a regular basis.

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5. Kitchen code

Probably the most difficult task of all for young adults living together is having to share kitchen space. Washing up piles higher than Everest, vegetables developing strange growths and general cooking ignorance/stupidity are some of the most common annoyances.

So if washing up is an activity you tend to avoid, I can only suggest doing a massive kitchen spruce up every now and then to surprise your flatmates and provide a small saving grace that might let you off the hook.

Learn which materials can and can’t go in a microwave, don’t attempt anything too far beyond your culinary capabilities, and try not to fall asleep after drunkenly throwing a pizza into the over - follow these tules and you should be alright.

6. Hold back on invitations

A word of warning if you’ve already flung out the invitations here there and everywhere for people to come and visit you at uni - it’s not always appreciated by other housemates having a kitchen full of randomers.

Constantly coming home to awkward situations with unknown guests can be a bit tiresome, so if you are having friends over, it’s probably best to let people know in advance when their space is about to be taken over by rowdy youths.

7. Leave disgusting habits at home

Cutting your toe nails at the kitchen table is just not acceptable. End of.


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