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Articles > Student Life December, 07, 2018

The Pros and Cons of Living with Older Housemates

Louis Jones
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I’m 19 but I look about 16 so I still get ID’d and no one believes me when I say I own a car. However, these past few months have taught me that you can learnt a lot from having older housemates.

The Pros

You learn a LOT:

I’ll be the first to admit I’m still a bit of an idiot. At my age I still think staying up till 3am every night is a good idea and my cooking knowledge extends to putting frozen chips in the oven (and even that’s gone wrong before!). But living with people older than you means you learn a lot of useful things. My 23-year-old housemate refuses to cook from the jar, which means food from scratch. I have learnt more about cooking in the past 2 months than in the past 19 years. Your diet WILL improve. I’ve also managed to learn the basics of actually being a functioning adult. Knowing things like why it’s a good idea to buy 2 packets of bread and then freeze one for later and why going out every Wednesday and Friday probably isn’t the best idea (these guys will bear the scars of many a night out gone wrong).

You can talk to them about real issues:

Life is hard and your flatmates will know all about this. They are relatable and understand what it’s like to be struggling financially or mentally. We all have those days where we don’t want to go to university or work and these guys have experienced this a million times over. I’m a very stubborn person by nature and don’t like to admit when I need help.  Since moving in however, I’ve been able to talk to them about anything and everything and they keep an eye on me which helps. My mental health has improved because they listen and give me advice. After all they’ve been on the ride and bought the t-shirt.

You’ll save money:

As I said before, they know what it’s like to struggle financially. Your older housemates will understand the meaning of money and will know what being broke is all about. They will have more life hacks and money saving tips in their arsenal than Michael Bay has explosions in his films. Your bank account will thank you. A plus is that they will always pay you back money they owe you. They haven’t failed to pay me back once.

The Cons

You’ll argue a LOT:

You’re younger than them. You might think their way of doing things is outdated or you might just have more energy than them. After all, you probably survive on a diet of Red Bull and takeaway, which to them looks weird and expensive. All this will inevitably lead to arguments from things such as money, to going on a night out. Get used to this. I still argue with my housemates and I’ve lived with them for 2 months now.

Your likes and dislikes will differ:

I like vodka, lemonade, and memes about really stupid, slightly childish stuff. They like wine, gin, and daytime TV. I’m 19 going on 10, they are 21/22 going on 21/22. You get my point, you’re going to clash on things. You probably haven’t reached the age where your tastes start to become more refined or relaxed compared to them, so you’re going to cause tension when you do something ‘weird’.

In conclusion:

It’s weird, it’s loud and it’s sometimes confusing but I wouldn’t live anywhere else or with anyone else than the people I’m with now.

I don’t regret it for a second

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