Choosing and living with other drama students

Choosing and living with other drama students
Photo Credit: Merry via cc
If you are planning to go to drama school and thinking about living with others, then here is a low down on choosing and living with the right housemates.
If the school cannot provide you with halls of residence or you are not wealthy enough to rent your own studio apartment then you will most probably have to share a house or flat with others. But how do you choose the right group of housemates? If any of you are fans of reality shows you will see the yearly Big Brother experiment of how a large number of adults are thrown in at the deep end and just have to try and live together and get on the best they can! Big Brother is a bit far fetched from student life, but the situation is the same. You will not get on with everyone, there will be problems and arguments, there will be house issues and decisions to make and you will all have to work it out together, as a group.
By the end of your first year you will have probably adapted to student life pretty well and most probably know who your next years housemates are going to be. But in the beginning, before you start your course it can be a bit of a gamble. Everyone in the first week are going to be at their most bubbliest and friendliest. Everyone will get on with everyone, they will seem so nice and lovely. But all that will quickly fade and you will get to know what people are really like as they start to show their true colours!
Before the course begins you may meet a fun group of students down at the student bar, that you really get on with. But that doesn’t mean that they are your perfect housemates and be able to live with them. When choosing your perfect housemates you have got to start by looking at YOURSELF first and what YOU are like. What do you like doing? How do you like living? What would you like your house to be?
choosing your perfect student housemates
You are going to be spending a lot of time with your house mates and they need to fit in with your personality and living habits. For example if you like a neat, clean and tidy house but you have a house mate who doesn’t wash, leaves the dishes, leaves their stinky clothes all over the floor…then there is fuel for an argument. Or if you like to go out and party a lot but a fellow housemate on the other hand is teetotal and in bed by 10pm, then that too will not work out.
You may also wish to stick to an all boys house or an all girls set up. To be honest a mixed house is fine. Boys and girls can be messy and loud as each other. Sometimes a mixed house is a blessing, especially if you like to have a mixture of male and female friends. Both sexes can learn a lot from each other when it comes to household chores and repairs.
Here is when your drama observational and people skills will have to kick in. Who is actually similar to you? The most important thing is that you and your housemates need to get on together. Don’t forget you are going to drama school to study, it’s going to be very demanding and a disruptive house will only make things worse.
It’s usually best to wait until you have got your ‘housemate group’ before looking for a place together. If you like a house that sleeps six but there are only three of you, then taking in another three housemates quickly, and without any thought may disrupt the whole group dynamics. But if you find a larger house and you love it, again choose your extra housemates wisely. Why not pay the deposit between the three of you and then take your time to fill the other rooms up with people that you all get on with. This scenario may also happen during the year when a housemate moves out or leaves the course, make sure you fill the room with someone who will harmoniously settle in to your house. There are so many people looking for a room at one time, so don’t feel you have to rush into anything.
We mentioned earlier that finding your perfect housemates has to start with yourself. Ask yourself the following questions and see what answers you come up with. And don’t forget to be honest!
Personal Houseshare Checklist
  • How tidy are you?
  • What time do you usually or wish to got to bed?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What type of music do you like?
  • How loud do you like it?
  • Do you like nights out?
  • Do you like staying out till the early hours?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?
  • Can you cook?
  • Are you happy to share groceries?
  • Are you good at following a rota?
These may be simple questions but the answers will have a large impact if any of your other housemates answers differ. Imagine if you are the only cook and no one does their share? What do you do if a housemate’s boyfriend comes to visit every weekend and keeps peeing on the loo seat. Another housemate loves heavy metal music to study to until 11pm. A housemate smokes in their room and the smell lingers in the house. Your expensive swiss muesli keeps mysteriously getting eaten. All these questions have to be addressed and your ‘housemates to-be’ need to answer them too and then you all should compare them together.
Studying your drama course is going to be hard work and lots of fun and living with other drama students needs to be fun too. You all need to get along for it to work. So when house hunting, ask the right questions, take your time and don’t rush into it. Make sure you all share the same interests and way of living. If you do, it will be one happy household indeed. Home sweet home!