Leaving for university is a scary time for a lot of people. Most likely, you will be moving to a city you don’t know, to live with a group of complete strangers. Uni halls are the most common option for freshers, and while you might feel apprehensive about moving into a somewhat sketchy-looking flat with 5+ people you don’t know, very often they can provide built-in best friends that will stick with you throughout uni and your life afterwards. This is not always the case, but at the very least, one guarantee is that a cluster of students living together in a confined space will generate some funny and interesting stories for you to relay to your family and home-friends by the end of the term.
Almost everybody who has lived in halls can categorise themselves and their current or ex flatmates into one (or perhaps more) of the below personalities. But if you are a fresher still anticipating moving day, hopefully after reading this list the people you are about to share a bathroom and kitchen with will feel a little less like strangers. See if you can identify which type of flatmate you will be!
Uni Halls’ Residents
The Parasite is one of the most universally found flatmates, and are famed for eating you out of house and home. Whether you are studiously taking notes at a 9am seminar – alright, let’s be honest, 11am seminar – or out at a society bar crawl, The Parasite is making their sneak-attack on your fridge and cupboards. There is nothing safe from their grasp, they could be ferreting anything from a few chocolate biscuits to an entire block of cheddar.
The truly bold ones will even thieve from you when you are home, stealing your milk from right under your nose.
Typically, The Parasite filches household items that they can pass off as their own: food, laundry powder, the occasional saucepan. However, this often extends to never repaying Uber fares while refusing to download the app, or not contributing to funds for household cleaning products.
It can take a while to work out who The Parasite(s) in the flat is – in the face of confrontation they will deny 9 times out of 10 – so consider keeping your more expensive shampoos or snacks safely in your bedroom.
This flatmate is the one who calls 3 nights of clubbing a week tame and makes it their personal mission to get the whole flat out every night (at least until they find other friends who can keep up with their partying standards). The smarter Partiers befriend the bouncers at clubs, as this is the key to getting in quickly and not getting thrown out even after puking on the dance floor.
Expect this flatmate to bring the party everywhere they go, always having portable speakers and a good (subjective) playlist at the ready.
When you walk around campus with The Partier, they seem to know every other person you run into, and they are on the fast-track to becoming a BNOC (Big Name On Campus), which means you can often tag along to the best house parties.
The downside is your own flat is often commandeered for pre-drinks, and no matter how many bangers it has, the last thing you want when you have a deadline fast-approaching is that playlist blasting through the walls as the backing track for the essay you are only halfway finished writing. Uni halls also means thin walls between flats, so be prepared for other students to coming banging on the door, either for an invite or to complain about the noise.
The Hopeless Romantic
This person is in an LDR (Long Distance Relationship) with someone from back home, and this is what most of the conversations you have with them will revolve around. They tend to spend most of the time allocated for independent study on the phone to their loved one, which they will do from the only corner of your kitchen with good signal, so you might get some dinner entertainment out of it.
The Hopeless Romantic is friendly but often struggles to forge strong bonds at uni because they’re visiting their partner or being visited by their partner on alternate weekends. Noise cancelling headphones are recommended if you are rooming next to this person.
Being in an LDR at uni is commendable, but balance is important if you want to get the most out of your time, both socially and academically.
The Ghost is the flatmate that is so absent you forget they live there. Their bedroom door is always closed, and even if they are home they likely won’t answer if you knock. It’s unclear if they are just shy or if they dislike everyone, but either way they seem more comfortable left to their own devices in their bedroom.
Hint: If someone comments that they are surprised when they catch you in the kitchen, you are probably The Ghost of the flat. Other clues include: seeing Netflix’s ‘Are You Still Watching’ message multiple times in the same day, and Vitamin D deficiency.
The Night Owl
Similar to The Ghost, other flatmates often make proclamations of shock when they encounter The Night Owl. However, this is simply because they have healthy sleeping patterns (sort of), whereas the Night Owl is nocturnal.
The Night Owl’s diet mostly consists of caffeine and napping is one of their favourite hobbies, because this is how they keep their attendance rate impressively high.
They are rarely seen around the flat during the day, but you can bond with them on a night out. They can rival even the most dedicated of The Partiers when it comes to staying at the club ‘til closing.
Despite their permanent sleep deprivation and apparent lack of organisation, they never bag below a good 2:1, but the mystery of their good grades remains as shrouded in the darkness as their person.
This is the rare student that has their life together. There is only a handful in each uni halls of residence. The Lunch-Prepper never misses a 9am, and (as the name suggests) preps their lunches for the week in advance so they can spend their days working in the library. Every day is scheduled to the hour in their planner.
Their coursework is always submitted several days in advance, and they shudder at the thought of a late penalty.
The Lunch-Prepper’s bedroom will always be scrupulously tidy, and they will probably be the first to send a slightly passive-aggressive message on the group chat about someone leaving their dishes in the sink.
Although a bit uptight, and first to leave on a night out, they are a good friend to have. They are never late to a coffee date, keep you focused during a revision sesh, and will even loan you their colour-coded notes.
This flatmate is committed to at least one sports team at university and likely ducked out of a few freshers’ events to be ready for try-outs. The Jock can be found at the gym on their days off, because three practices a week just isn’t enough apparently.
With a work hard, play hard mentality, this person makes all the best club nights, knows every drinking game, and will never back down from a challenge.
The rep of being an athlete means you will run into their bed-mates in the kitchen with some degree of frequency, and their rigorous schedule will leave them little time to clean up after themselves, but their presence will almost always bring high spirits to the flat.
This person brings the best stories and the oddest souvenirs to uni halls. A key sign you are living with The Liability is if they decorate your kitchen with traffic cones and pub glasses they mysteriously acquired on nights out, but fail to bring home their keys or ID.
You both anticipate and dread a club night with The Liability. Although you are guaranteed a hilarious night and enough goss to regale your friends from home with for a week, there is also a high possibility of losing The Liability, and you know they are not the kind of trustworthy drunk you could leave to get home of their own accord.
This flatmate is the human manifestation of Instagram: their makeup is always on fleek, their nails always sharp, and you will never catch them slipping. They have a higher social media following than anyone else you know, and their posts usually are promoting health or lifestyle brands.
If you catch someone vlogging the moving in experience, you can rest assured you have identified The Influencer.
While you might not want to share snacks with this person on movie night, they are probably loaded with beauty tips, and they make the best flat photographer because they will never settle for sub-par selfie.
The OAP (Old Age Pensioner)
Generally, most people living in uni halls are around the same age, in which case if someone is just one or two years older, they may be relegated the OAP title. However, sometimes mature students or post-grads get allocated a flat with freshers, and for these poor souls you can only pray they have a close friend or partner whose house they can hide at.
The OAP hates clubbing and all loud noise in general, preferring instead to spend their nights off unwinding with Bake Off or Come Dine With Me.
They aren’t there to mess about and take their studies seriously; they will not be amused by a late-night drunken rendition of My Heart Will Go On. However, they give the best advice and make the best food, so it’s best to stay on their good side.
By choice or by obligation, they will likely become the unofficial grandparent of the flat, offering around biscuits to the flatmates they like, and lectures to the rowdier ones.
Getting Ready for Uni Halls
Having read the above list of characters you might encounter at uni halls, hopefully, you feel more prepared to move in. If you identified yourself or your friends on here, find out if they agree with you; some people might have a completely different take! If you didn’t relate to one of these categories, it might take asking your friends to see what they think, or perhaps you are just a unique personality which will make you stand out at uni.
Although not all of the personalities listed above may appeal to you upon first glance, any of them could wind up your best mate. Everyone you come across is going to have good and bad traits, and whoever you wind up sharing a flat with, you will adjust.
A certain measure of anxiety is natural when making such a big change, but try not to get overwhelmed. Everyone is going to be in the same boat, and will be trying to make friends. It may take some time to find a good match, or maybe you will click with a group right away. Either way, you’ll find your tribe.
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