You know that saying from some song that’s like “You better check yourself before you wreck yo’self” well, as we go into a new term of uni life, it might be time that you take a long ol’ look in the mirror at yourself.

Have you seen Lucky Number Sleven? No? Go watch it immediately. It’s a great film and there’s a quote from it that’s really stuck with me:

“ The first time someone calls you a horse you punch him on the nose, the second time someone calls you a horse you call him a jerk but the third time someone calls you a horse, well then perhaps it's time to go shopping for a saddle ”
– The ghetto but kind of cute rabbi character

Basically, if a few people are feeling a certain way about you then regardless of how outrageous and unfair you feel it might be then, sorry pal, but it’s likely to be time to face it. I lived with someone in my first year who absolutely without question could not understand how DARE we suggest he didn’t clean. There was ten of us in the flat, nine of us felt he didn’t clean, yet we were the outrageous ones? Cool, yeah, alright then… 

A usually happy-go-lucky drunk, one night I was completely hammered and felt like my friends were being really unreasonable. I got really pissed off with them but when I sobered up, I realised that it was four of them feeling a certain way so even if I felt I was hard done by, I was still the one who was most likely in the wrong. It’s the logical way of looking at it.


I can’t stand it when friends of mine who annoy the entire group refuse to accept they’re in the wrong or complain they’re hard done by or picked on. You aren’t, you are just the one who keeps making the same mistakes. Blunt but true. Soz.


I reckon we know when we’re being annoying or potentially unreasonable. We all have different personality traits and some turn and face it, apologising and accepting we were wrong (even if they aren’t entirely sure or in agreement), whilst others plant their feet solidly in the mud and refuse to accept any acknowledgement for being in the wrong.

We’re never going to be able to please everyone but there are ways in which you can make your life easier for yourself and those around you. So, in the words of the ever wise Ice Cube, why not check yourself before you wreck yourself?  

DOYOU CLEAN?

I don’t mean a pathetic little wipe of the counter after you’ve cooked. I’m talking an on your knees, getting sweaty, gloves on, absolutely heroic, team playing (I’ll stop now) clean. When you’re living in a shared space with people, you’re a team. Regardless of whether you hang out much, you still have a responsibility to each other to keep the place clean. If you’re being asked or reminded to clean up after yourself, check yourself. The number one bitching subject is the one who doesn’t pull their finger out. Get down and dirty.

…when you do, do ya moan?

Do you pull a sulk or wash up in awkward silence when your house mates have asked you to get involved? Ahhhh you’re really wrecking yo’self. Man up! You are not a child.

AREYOU CONSIDERATE?

Have you been hosting pre-drinks knowing that your house mate in the next room has an exam at 9am the next day? Do you have friends over constantly whilst knowing that your other house mate had previously asked if they could use the kitchen on those nights? Might be time to check yourself.

AREYOU ORGANISED?

We all forget our keys, tickets, and whatever else it might be, occasionally, but repeatedly making these mistakes can grow irritating on the people that you live with. If this sounds like you, try aiming to be ready five minutes before leaving anywhere so that you can check you have everything before your house mates are expecting to leave. Similarly, we’re all going to have to wake each other up at some point for losing our keys but try not to make it a habit!

ARE YOU LOUD?

I get it, you have to be up for work, you couldn’t sleep, but whatever it might be, it doesn’t mean you have to wake the whole house up in the process. You don’t have to let doors slam, have the TV on full blast, or chat on the phone loudly at 2am. Sound like something you do or might do without realising? We’re all going to wake each other up at some stage whilst living together but when it’s avoidable noise, it shouldn’t be happening.

DO YOU CONSIDER SECURITY?

I once left my laptop in the room at the back of our house, with the light on, whilst there was a cross-bar in the back garden. It was as if I was saying “come on thieves, one free laptop with entry means provided!”. Luckily, nothing happened but it was a learning curve. Many student areas have a higher risk of break-ins and, therefore, you have a responsibility as a member of a shared house to do all in your power to protect it. If you sometimes forget to lock up, leave post-it notes on the doors and windows to remind yourself about locking/closing them.

who do you bring back?

One of my friends lived with someone who repeatedly brought random people back to their house. Once, that person woke up to find her jewellery and electronics had been taken after a one night stand. Not only that, they’d also taken the belongings of my friend, her housemate, whose room hadn’t been locked. In terms of what could happen when you bring a random person home, this is nothing, but it just shows you can never know someone properly after one night. In the end, they actually asked this girl to leave the house.

ARE YOU KIND?

If there’s a group of you who get on in the flat and then one who is a slight outsider, consider how you might feel if that were you. Even if you don’t want to invite them out, or feel they wouldn’t even want to come out with you, being kind, chatty, and asking them questions on a day to day basis will make their time in the flat/house much nicer, despite not being part of the group.

ARE YOU A TEAM PLAYER?

Wanna know my pet hate? It’s people who expect tickets for nights out, restaurant bookings, and taxis to be organised for them without ever helping. I swear they turn off Whatsapp when the effort of planning is taking place, chiming in at the end saying “what’s the plan then?”. We are not your personal assistants, we are housemates or friends in a team, and we should all help each other out. Try volunteering to look into something or book something, it will be noticed.

ARE YOU RELIABLE?

Lastly, do you say you’re going to pay your bills and not, bringing the rest of the house into a sticky sitch? Do you say you’re going to buy the next round of house-hold needs and forget? Forget to pick up tickets that you said you would? Make 2017 the year you change that.

So, get checkin’ yo’self.

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Written by Emily-Jo Thomas, 10 months ago