If you’re living out of home, you may find yourself in a share house, because being a student often means you’re flat broke and can’t afford to live alone. Once thrown into the world of share houses, you quickly learn to identify the housemates who are savages, and the ones who are compatible with you. I have discovered the perfect housemate is probably a myth or a miracle reserved for those more fortunate than myself. During my time I have encountered a pick n’ mix of people, many of whom I have come to love and admire. I have also met six types of housemates you too might meet during your student years in a share house: the Slob, the Ghost, the Gamer, the Freeloader, the Nester, and the Fruitcake.
The Slob is the thing you see splayed out on the couch with its belly up, dressing gown insufficiently tightened, cheesy fingers, lying in a bed of crumbs and shame. They will raid your fridge, hoard dishes in their room, pee with the door open, and use your Netflix account when you’re not at home. The Slob is like a hybrid of a Snorlax and a stoner zombie: they sleep all the time, eat all your leftovers and wander around aimlessly, groaning from the sheer agony of still having the munchies.
The Gamer is the housemate who only emerges from their dwelling for toilet breaks and to purchase a weeks worth of energy drinks and pop tarts. Their mum pays the rent on time. Serious quests call for serious game time and serious lack of showering. It’s advised that you get air freshener.
You’re inclined to believe that your other housemate exists but only because of the reliable rent payments they’re making. You hear footsteps at random hours of the night but on rising, see nobody. The milk appears to have depleted slightly, but you can’t quite be sure. The Ghost provides inadequate company but is otherwise a model housemate.
Enter the Freeloader. Skilled in the art of being a leaching, lazy vulture, the Freeloader is usually your housemate’s boyfriend or girlfriend. They could also be a vague acquaintance that guilted you into taking them on while they looked for a new place. That said, they now refer to your house as “our house” and mail has started arriving with their name on it. The Freeloader stays at your place free of charge, eats your food and doesn’t contribute to the household chores. They may even have another place in which to live but yours seems much more appealing.
The Nester knows no bounds. They see the house as an opportunity to spread out, with each room a vast field in which to place their unnecessary crap. All surfaces are littered with unopened letters, loose change, hair products, socks, bags and other items that should be stored away neatly. Communal areas are infiltrated with their knickknacks, photos of their family and/or the menagerie of pets they own. Unlike the Slob who leaves their mess due to laziness, Nesters deliberately distribute their mess around the house in order to feel comfortable and settled.
By the time you realise that your housemate is completely batshit, it’s too late. Since the Fruitcakes of the share house world are disguised as sane, well-adjusted people, you are genuinely shocked when their peculiarities start to show one week into living together. The honeymoon period is over and they no longer feel the need to put on the facade. Whether it’s voodoo dolls, excessive cleaning or hoarding (both are bad), or just downright neuroses and paranoia, obsessive and odd behaviours a week in are a sure sign of ‘get them, or yourself, the hell out of there’.
Words by Jess Nicole
Artwork by Amber Hall