Six things not to do in your new share house or dorm

February 16, 2016
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Shared accommodation: ah, yes, a hive of poor hygiene every student has lived through. If you’ve just entered a share house or dorm for the very first time, here are six things you absolutely should avoid for your own safety, or simply out of fear of being “that guy”.

Don’t make your bedroom so smelly the door has to be shut

I’m still unsure quite how he managed it. My housemate – let’s call him ‘Oscar’ - has managed to make his room smell like a combination of stale feet, alcohol, dead cats and food. He never actually unpacked properly when the year began, so he can’t really access his floor. He’s gleefully neglected the vacuum cleaner ever since. Anyway, it’s so bad we have to keep his door shut at all times, or the stench wafts throughout the house.

Don’t be the “it wasn’t me” sort of bloke

This is so much easier to do the larger the house or flat. You’ve gaffed Ted’s milk. You’ve been doing it all year. He genuinely doesn’t know it was you. Ted gets on WhatsApp and unleashes another passive aggressive rant, strategically posted once everyone is out of the house so you can’t actually argue. “Right, which of you morons nicked my butter?”

The scramble is on. “It wasn’t me, Ted,” the whole house quickly chimes in. Someone just own up and buy poor Ted some more milk. Please.

Don’t be a drunken liability

Robbo’s had a beer. Brace yourselves, because you’re going to know about it. He wobbles home at 3am and several things happen. Firstly, he runs into everything as he makes his way towards the kitchen. He didn’t stop at McD’s and now he’s ferociously hungry, on par with Alex the Lion who started seeing the heads of his friends as giant steaks in Madagascar. Robbo grabs the first thing he can find in the fridge, probably someone else’s spaghetti bol. He stuffs his face. And then, for no reason, he insists on jumping on absolutely everyone’s beds. It’s 3.30am and obviously the entire house needs to see him. Lock your doors and lock up your daughters, folks.

Don’t leave evidence in the bathroom

Beard in the sink. Skid marks in the loo. Toothpaste everywhere. Yep, Dave’s been at it again. Buy a cloth. Clean your beard up. Buy a toilet brush. Use some air freshener. Use the bathroom as much as you want, but leave it as if you were never there. Note: also applies to the kitchen.

Don’t be that git who's always productive

Dave rolls out of bed at 11am, as per. Ted comes home. “Where you been?” Dave asks him. Dave will soon wish he’d never been born. “Well…” begins Ted. “I got up at seven, did yoga for half an hour, went and had a coffee with Tess, wrote half my essay, found a cure for AIDS, gave Bono a ring, and I’m just about to head off to my lecture on being an absolute pigeon.”

Be productive, by all means, but just don’t brag about it when poor old Dave isn’t a morning person.

Don’t be the never-present

I haven’t mentioned Jerry yet – probably because he’s never around. Jerry’s been with his girlfriend for three weeks. He used to be the life and soul of the party. No more. We just don’t see him anymore. His food cupboard is less full. His bed hasn’t been slept in. We’re not actually sure if he lives here anymore, and neither is Find My Friends. We’ve taken him off the WhatsApp. He doesn’t seem to care. 

Jack Banister

Jack is an Australian-bred English & Politics student at the University of Exeter in England. His ambition is to one day grow some above par facial hair.

Image: Rob DiCaterino, Flickr Creative Commons license