The perks of living with my matesNovember 18, 2016

Living with my besties was my decision, which I thought long and hard about it. Living far from my family was another one, which I thought would be difficult. I couldn't speak for the other students, as having flatmates have its pros and cons. Familiarity would breed contempt, and soured friendship could affect one's focus on the coursework. On the other hand, a lone wolf could get lonely as well.

When I thought of living near the university, I figured out that I must make a compromise. It would be expected that I must live with other students, and it won't be smooth sailing at times. I would be generous by nature, so sharing things wouldn't be an issue. I also found out a bit too late that no one could ignore beef once it would be seen (or smelled) in the flat. Allan, who was studying mathematics, was a clean freak. I wondered if he had autistic habits until I glimpsed his cabinet. (His clothes were disorderly on the leftmost corner.) Thomas, a History major student, wanted a carpet in the flat. And he wanted it to be visible to everyone. Allan didn't fancy it, while I wouldn't mind it. (I was open to new experiences.) A middle ground was reached.

The hardest part of keeping a good relation with my flatmates would be the presence of their mates. Allan was polite whenever they were around, but he would respect their privacy. I had the urge to join them (whenever they were around), but something would hold me back. I was an introvert, and my flatmates taught me to initiate a conversation. (It happened on three occasions.) I would still feel a bit uncomfortable about talking about myself especially my insecurities. I believe the time would come that I could shrug it off, if not risk a negative response. (I could shrug it too.) Here are the other things I learned from this set-up:

A party is never good for flatmate relations. Allan, Thomas, and I agreed on respecting someone's privacy whenever there would be an examination. It would mean not hosting a party, even if the venue won't be far away.

Habits can be overbearing. It didn't take weeks before I noticed the distinctive traits of my flatmates. They may be aware of it, they may not. It was hard to tell if they figured out that I breathed too heavily. (I might have to catch their unguarded moments.) This won't lead to overfamiliarity, which might affect our relationship. It was a matter of being mindful on my habits and theirs. It also helped that I have a perceptive nature.

Living alone has its perks as well. There's no need to negotiate (or argue) over trivial matters, such as taking out the trash. Furthermore, solitude can force anyone to value their existing relationship with their families or mates. On the other hand, this kind of friendship has long-term benefits. There's no substitute to it. I'm not being emotional about it, but look at both sides. I didn't regret my decision.

Nothing beats good company. This is rather hard to explain, as I feel assured and motivated whenever I see my flatmates whenever I do my assignments (or study for an examination). I can count on them whenever there's a problem, but neither Allan nor Thomas fancy Victorian literature. (Allan is interested in graphic novels while Thomas is hooked to Historical fiction.)

Money will play a part. I couldn't afford to live on my own, yet. My flatmates would feel the same.

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