3 Transferable Skills You Learn From House-Sharing

1) Compromise

That’s right, it’s like you are five years old again and you need to learn to give other people a turn on the see-saw.

However, this skill could also be called ‘pick your battles’.

Picture the scene: Your housemate is energetically tidying their room to their soundtrack of ‘Deep House Tunes’, played on a speaker that is the size of a small washing machine. You could knock on their door and let them know you are trying to get the last of your course work done.

Or, you could be clever, and save it till later.

Pretend their tunes are brightening up your day, because you are super fun and easy going. Then, when their rugby friends come over for pre-drinks that night, you pounce.

You wait for them to start chanting profanities loud enough to shake the spiders off your ceiling, and then send a passive aggressive ‘would you mind keeping it down, I have a 9am seminar :)’ text.

This is really an art, and you will have perfected it by the end of your tenancy.


2) Conflict resolution

Every uni house must encounter more drama than a Shakespeare tragedy at some point or another.

And when the time comes you’ll be in for a crash course in reconciliation, persuasion and problem-solving.

For example: Housemate A is in tears because Housemate B has broken her Nutri Bullet and has let her boyfriend eat all of Housemate A’s microwave popcorn.

Fear not, Oprah is here. You will skilfully arrange a house meeting using the group chat. During which you will stare blankly at a mould patch on the ceiling, as housemate A declares she never wanted to live with any of you anyway, and she only signed the contract because the house she was getting with her History friends fell through.

Then when it’s all over you will efficiently create a new WhatsApp group, without housemate A, you will label all your food in the fridge and start sleeping with your bedroom door locked.

Safe in knowledge that you can navigate conflict as well as a millennial can use Tinder.


3) Networking

Thanks to shared housing, you will become as smooth as a Carphone Warehouse sales person.

When you have housemates, not every guest is your guest.

So: You’ve just got up, haven’t brushed your teeth or even uttered your first word of the day?

Hello, housemate’s home friend who is visiting for the weekend and making pancakes in your kitchen. Drinking tea from your favourite mug.

Or perhaps you have just got in from an evening at the library, and come through the door intending to make yourself a quick jacket potato and watch some Big Bang Theory on E4.

Instead, you are greeted by Hugo, Harold, Freddie and Bertie, your housemates fellow Cheese and Wine society friends, sprawled across the sofa, TV fully in use to play COD.

It doesn’t take long until you make conversation with whoever you cross on the stairs.

‘Hello drunk person who I will probably never meet again, where are you from, what course do you do and how are you enjoying my cranberry juice?’.

You will learn to trill at every person you meet in the queue for the kettle.


You’ll also have communication, leadership, and teamwork to add to your CV by graduation. But let’s save those till Third Year!


Kaya is a University of Nottingham of Graduate, who writes a personal food blog. Find her on LinkedIn

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