28 November 2016 | Category: Student life

At Home…

By Pranav Kulkarni

MSc Animal Science...

While browsing aimlessly on the internet, I stumbled upon a blog written by a student in The Guardian about living together, the roommate culture, which got me thinking. I thought it will be a nice idea to write about this topic as Wageningen University, like so many around the world have a student population which believes in this sharing housing. We can see many different student housing projects trying hard to get students to live, cook, eat and enjoy their time together. Many associations also encourage this house sharing in its members. There are many house owners here in Wageningen who like to rent out their places for a group of students. It’s a common thing for many of us to be sharing most of the house commodities.

Figure 1 [Source]

Living together weeds out the feeling of loneliness and helps a person feel secure and at home. There are great moments and experiences that you share with your roommates that will make you nostalgic in the future. It’s like becoming a family outside of a family. And funnily enough, it’s the family that you get to choose. It helps you to share responsibilities and burdens of the household which might be complementary to your hectic schooling schedule. “Two heads are always better than one”. You get to meet up new people who are friends with your roommates and who knows, some friendships are made for life. Crazy parties, community dinners and lots of other events that you can plan and arrange with your roommates, makes this option more interesting.

There are great moments and experiences that you share with your roommates that will make you nostalgic in the future.

But this community living also comes with a cost. Although, it’s easy on your pocket, you have to put up with whiz and whims of your fellow roommates. There is a need of compromise and adjustment. If there is any bigger problem, it is incompatibility. Ever wonder why your best friend from former life grew distant and uninteresting when you decided to share an apartment? Maybe because you got to know him/her better by being together. Small nuances in behaviour suddenly became a nuisance for you. Their irregularities or too much of regularities, their mistakes or self-righteous behaviour, their habits or certain dislikes, makes you wonder who on earth wants to live with this person? Why does he/she have to have a party when I am busy with my assignment? Why is his girlfriend/ her boyfriend always around, he/ she creeps me out. If they are here for a better half of the month why don’t he/she share the rent? And suddenly, everything is wrong with a beautiful friendship.

Figure 2 [Source]

Now I know, such is not always a case. Nothing is black and white, there is always room for grey. But nothing is unusual about these troubles. The only thing for certain is that human beings are social animals BUT they love their own private space. There is a limit to how much one can adjust to. When such rift tears apart the friendship that we share with roommates, it’s not always their fault, its also ours. For them we are on the other side of this issue. So essentially, one cannot always say what went wrong.

There is a limit to how much one can adjust to.

For this reason, some students prefer living alone, having a private apartment. It helps you concentrate in studies and gives you enough space from your social life. You can live at your will and enjoy the time. But even the loneliest of wolves get lonely. You can feel the walls creeping up on you when you stay in your room and away from humanity for too long. There are many classical examples of students succumbing to the plague of depression when they have no one to talk to. People get this very wrong; living together doesn’t mean not having friends. You can remain sane if you have a healthy and enthusiastic social life outside your four walls. If there is a perfect balance of alone time and friends time, then nothing can disrupt your life.

Whatever you choose to go with, there are always two sides to a coin. No one can decide which is right and which is wrong, all you have to do, is decide for yourself. If you are stepping out of your parent’s house for the first time, it’s advisable to live together with friends, but again, this is not a rule. If you feel that you are easily irritated by smallest of details, it’s better that you get a private apartment. If you think that being alone will get to you and you will go crazy, go find some roommates. It’s all a matter of choice. Most vital point is that you feel comfortable, at home…


By Pranav Kulkarni

MSc Animal Science

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