so i did it. i moved out of my family home into a house share. i recently started a new job, and decided that i didn't want to commute anymore. all my friends and bf had recently moved to the area i was now working in, and i wanted to be involved. so, i spent a week hassling landlords and monitoring spare room.co.uk, and here i am. warm, happy, in a house share.
there's a lot of things that people don't tell you about when you leave university, and house shares are one of them. i thought house shares were a uni thing. something you did for those 3 years of your life, where you were thrown together with a group of random people who turned out to be your BEST FRIENDS EVER (or biggest enemies, it happens), and you all eat noodles and watch the kardashians without guilt for three years. then, you all graduate, grow up in a week, get a perfect job, pop that cheeky deposit down on the perfect flat in london, and buy loads of shoes.
life, it turns out, doesn't work out like that.
and that's fine - i just wish i'd known a little bit more about this whole house share thing before i realised it was even an option. i've popped down a few things i wish i'd known before i found a house share, to hopefully ease some thoughts about them. i wish i'd had this, as it really helps with those fears or worries. especially when all you can find when you type in 'houseshares' into google is 'NIGHTMARE HOUSEMATES...NIGHTMARE HOUSESHARES...THE RISE OF THE LONELY TWENTY SOMETHING'. it doesn't mean you're a loser. it doesn't mean you're failing. it means you're a twenty something young professional in 2015. so enjoy.
1 - HOUSE SHARES ARE COMPLETELY NORMAL.
I was convinced that when you left university you pretty much got a flat straight away, be it with your boyfriend/ best friend/ few friends. the thought of moving in with complete strangers again didn't even cross my mind. i moved back in with my mum+dad after uni, and stayed there for a year, and i noticed a lot of my friends moving into house shares. i thought it was a bit odd, and maybe a bit scary, but i just didn't realise just how many people did it. it's for people from all walks of life: people who got jobs in completely new cities, people from other countries, people who work in a town during the week.... it doesn't mean you're a loser with no mates to get a flat with.
2 - It's not like Uni... but kind of is.
when i moved into my houseshare, i felt very nostalgic for university days. it reminded me of pottering around the house on my own, doing my own thing, then chatting all night and watching the tv whilst we all sat around on our laptops. you get the social life, the new experiences, the independence, WITHOUT HAVING TO GO TO LECTURES. although, you do have to get up to go to work, but because chances are it's close - it's not even a problem. if you get a good group of housemates (which i do!) pre drinks and parties are definitely on the cards as well.
3 - It's a new way of making friends.
I don't know about you, but i did always wonder WHERE you meet new people once you left uni. sure you had work, but where do you meet those kindred spirits that occupied your halls once upon a time? well, welcome to house shares. you meet so many people that you'd have never crossed paths with, and they become like your brand new family. everyone's different, and it's another great way of learning how to speak to new people, and also learning more about different walks of life.
4 - it's one step closer to the 'a' word
Yes, it's one step closer to being that weird thing that no one actually THINKS they are, but they are. an adult. i feel like it's a half way step between being a student, and a proper fully fledged human being. no longer are you 18 years old, revising for a post colonial exam, and talking about your a level results, but you're not quite at the stage where you are looking for mortgages, discussing the school run and getting joint bank accounts. it gives you the independence that you, quite rightfully want, but also allows you to still have that carefree attitude of a twenty something. oh, and half the time your rent includes all those nasty bills, so you don't have to worry about it.
5 - it teaches you money management.
chances are, at university you had a nice student loan to fall back on. or, your parents helped you out. in a shared house, you probably have a job, with a salary that will now need to be spent responsibly. this is something i've had trouble with, as my income just went on mac lipsticks and expensive burgers. aiming to move out forced me to save my money, put some away every month, learn to say no. it's been a good learning curve, and i feel much more responsible and aware of what's coming in and out every month. because i have rent to pay, bills to pay, and food i need to eat. i can still give myself a treat every now and again, but it feels more like a treat because i haven't been treating myself all month.
6 - lastly, it's the start of something new.
this is a new chapter in your life. this, hopefully, means you won't have to go and live back in your parents home again. this means you have the freedom to go out on a wednesday night if you want to, to have a house party at the drop of the hat, visit all your friends whenever you want. it also will be the only time in your life you can be as selfish as you want, and do everything for you - as chances are you don't have a family just yet (if you do, congratulations!). it's a change. change is always scary, but that doesn't mean it's the wrong thing to do. it means better things are still yet to come, and one day you'll reminisce about your care free days as a young professional, working hard, playing hard, living in your house share with people you'll never forget.
i'm loving my house share so far, so don't be afraid. go on spareroom.co.uk for more information, it really helped me!
until next time xo