Like most young adults, I’ve had my own share of “co-living” or house sharing, as some would call it. I’ve done it all, from sharing a dorm with 3 others of my sex, to happily “owning” my own room, where I could retreat when my own 20 something self couldn’t bear anymore from the noise, mess or other things happening in the kitchen, bathroom or hallway. It was a good and crazy life and as proud, I am to say how well I “graduated” from it, can’t say things were always pink. And although I could easily point the finger to my former housemates, here and now I will act in a mature manner and take full responsibility for not having the best time I could have had.
Yes, unfortunately, it was like that. “If only I would have known the things I know now” is often the thought I’m having when thinking back to my times as an ordinary housemate.
LEARN TO SAY NO
Don’t get me wrong. I have good memories from that period of time. In fact, the good times helped me go through the bad ones, but it also stopped me from seeing the truth. I was bad at saying “no” and eager to have a good relationship with my housemates. It was all I was thinking of, therefore it seemed only normal to close my eyes at the things I disliked, for the sake of moving on as fast as possible.
You have the right to say NO and because I haven’t used it, not once, things got pretty intolerable. Angry and frustrated, I managed to have a sort of love and hate relationship with my housemates and no one was really happy. We all tried to fake it and never talked about our frustrations with each other. And it wasn’t so much about not getting along the way I would’ve liked, as much as it was about feeling so displeased living with the same people I had admiration and respect for. And all for thinking saying “NO” is not the right thing to do. Well, it is.
NOTHING STAYS THE SAME
In those early years, it is so easy to make friends and everyone is attuned to this goal. Life is easy breezy, in fact, it feels almost natural to befriend your housemates and they will gladly obey. I simply loved spending time together, in fact, we all did. We would find any excuse to be together in the same space, sharing little secrets that no one knew and making plans for the future.
However, future does happen and many times it has no room for past. As you will find out, life has a tendency to separate what once was thought to be inseparable. Inevitably, as much as I and my housemates (believed to be best friends) tried to keep in touch after numerous changes in our lives, it turned out to be almost an annoyance to keep it up. And in fact, we were meant to let go and move on.
Nothing stays the same. No matter how many good memories you have with your housemates, at one point you will realize that you are in a different chapter of your life, trying desperately to hold on to something that’s already ended. And it comes as a surprise because you were not expecting life to change this way.
The lesson: it is ok to make plans and have sleepless nights talking about dreams and love – and it is ok to forget about those nights and the people you shared your secrets with. Nothing stays the same and people’s lives will change. It happens no matter if you’re ready or not.
SINGLE VS. NOT SINGLE
One of the most annoying situations is to live with someone who’s always copulating while you’re still waiting for prince charming to decide that it’s time to look for you. It is no joke and it can torture your mind like you wouldn’t believe it. This is not a lesson about confidence. This is me telling you to select the people you’re going to live with -aka housemates- no matter if you’re single or not.
It is very simple. Some people are simply not meant to have sex on regular base while others are. Case closed. However, when moving in with housemates make sure they share your hobbies and relationship status. It is a just and fair thought for everyone involved. I mean, it would be unfair to ask your housemate: “hey buddy, stop having sex because I am single and I can’t take it”. If you indeed are the single type, make the extra effort -for yourself- to double check and make sure you are indeed moving in with someone who’s not going to be a risk to your mental health. Survival first.
CAN I USE YOUR STUFF?
As you’ll find out, some people are quite possessive with their possessions. And you might be one of them. Or not. Does it matter? Yes!
Some people (both men and women) are not going to be ok sharing their stuff. And when it happens (because they can’t say no) and you forget to give back or you’re overdoing it, these people will never forget or forgive. Plus, everyone will know what you did. To them.
On the other hand, some like to share. I am one. I’ve been and still am quite the sharing type, especially in the space where I live. You can go and eat my food, use my cosmetics, barrow my shoes if you want to and if it fits you. You know, just go with the flow. However, even I can get to a point where I feel uncomfortable sharing my stuff. Sometimes it becomes too much.
The lesson? Make sure you always have the things you need for cosmetic and healthy porpoise. And for any other purpose existing out there. This is the only way you’ll never have to ask and borrow things. And besides, it is a healthy behavior which will keep you safe from being gossiped around or even worse, ran away from. AND it makes you feel good about yourself.
There are other do’s and don’ts, however, not as crucial, therefore, it is safe to go out there and make your own conclusions – on your own. Just knowing the main lessons will ease your time and leave room for the fun things to happen – because it is like that. Living with housemates it’s like an adventure where you never know what will happen next. Stay strong and have fun with it!
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