Night Owls

I can distinctly remember lying there on my first night in halls unable to sleep due to the sound of trains leaving Cathays train station every 2 minutes, the loud chime of the City Hall clock and, of course, my noisy flatmates. I assumed things would get better, I mean it was fresher’s week and people just wanted to go out and have fun after all. I’m sure I’d woken up the people I lived with more than a few times with my ramblings at 3AM or sneaky midnight kitchen trips to make a sandwich. It’s not like student halls have the thickest of walls, but for a lot of students the problem with noisy flat mates or housemates is ongoing.

So how do we deal with situations like these? I am now in my second year of university, and as most second years do, I’ve moved in to a rented house with a few of my closest friends. It’s different to the whole dynamic of living in student accommodation, but unsurprisingly, for many people, the noisy housemates become noisier. No one wants to complain to a bunch of people they’ve known for barely a few weeks and have only shared a handful or drunken adventures with, but as university goes on, the essay deadlines start to pile up and the exam dates get closer, you definitely don’t want the few hours of sleep you need to function to be disturbed by your housemate arguing with her boyfriend about the girl he glanced at in the disco room at Pryzm.

The best way to resolve an issue as annoying as this is to tell them early on. Stand your ground. I’m sure many of the other people you’re living with will be in the exact same position as you and are holding themselves back from speaking to the problem person and explaining how you feel. Maybe message them privately if you can’t do it face-to-face. Explain that you need some peace because you have a busy schedule or that you can always hear them on their 1am-scheduled Facetime calls with their friends back home and it’s starting to get on your nerves a little. No one wants to have any tension between them and the person they have no choice but to live with for the next 9 months.

Confidence is key to surviving and being happy at university, especially if you aren’t exactly close to your housemates. It does get easier in second year. I’ve received many messages from my housemates asking if I could turn down the volume of the TV as they have work the next morning, and I’ve also been the sender of a few. After a while, instead of worrying about whether you’ve vexed the people you live with, you just learn to respect that everyone has different schedules and if you do happen to be a particularly loud character, you’ll have to change a little unless you want to be bombarded with sarcastically nice messages.

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