Grad Life: 4 things to know before moving in with a stranger

Getting that fancy new job and starting a new life in the big city can actually turn into a mammoth stress fest. Where are you going to live? How much will it cost? Who are you going to live with?!

This last one is a tricky problem. We all get jobs at different times after graduating, and sometimes none of your friends have room vacancies or are available for buddying-up, so you have to go solo.

But this needn’t be totally hide-behind-the-sofa terrifying. Instead it could be a great new opportunity to meet a bunch of interesting people from different backgrounds – just like uni all over again!

Here are seven things you really should know about moving in with a stranger.

1. Search, search and search some more

Looking for a place to live is a little like online dating in that you’re feeling out potential flatmates to check they’re not complete psychopaths, much like Tinder! Except that you fancy their flat, not them. Although that’s okay too!

Be prepared to spend a large proportion of the next few weeks of your life on Spare Room. It’s a massive pain, but the hours you put in vetting your new roomie’s cleaning habits will pay off big time over the coming years.

It’s also definitely worth paying the £10 fee on the site so you can reply to some of the premium ads a bit faster.

2. Act out

There’s a lot to be said in the new roommate world for faking it until you make it.

A great friendship takes time to develop, that’s why you’re still BFFs with Olivia from Year One. So don’t be downcast if it’s a little awkward, even after the first few months.

Although don’t exacerbate the problem by withdrawing into your shell and camping out in your bedroom with Netflix. Instead, make sure you’re super nice and friendly and take time to hang out in the kitchen with them (a LOT of the time). Obviously don’t overdo it (midnight slumber parties in their bedroom are a no no), but try your best to be accommodating!

3. They’ll change you

Learning from whoever you live with is a given, and a necessity. You’ll watch the TV they like, eat the food they like and maybe even move in the same friendship circles.

Whatever your relationship, you’re both going to take things from each other and add them to your personality. So, if your prospective flatmate is giving you some serious warning signs (they’re a neo-Nazi or something) maybe keep looking.

4. They will annoy you. A LOT.

This is another fact of life. Your new roommate will do something, at some time, that will send you stark raving mad. It’s unavoidable.

Everyone has something that is incredibly irritating about them, even your best mate, you just ignore it or don’t have to cope with it because you don’t live with them.

But guess what, you do it too. So don’t flip out at roommate number two just because you don’t know them very well. Keep a lid on it and eventually it won’t bother you so much.

Now what?