So, you made it, you’re going to Utrecht!! You’re excited and ready to have a blast. But chances are you haven’t shared a house or a room with other people for a few months to a year before- especially not with people you don’t know and with backgrounds potentially vastly different to your own. Perhaps you haven’t even lived away from your family yet.

“What’s the worst that could happen?” you tell yourself optimistically. Being a decent person and employing common sense should be enough, you reassure yourself. You’re a nice person. You’ll be fine. Maybe, maybe not; we’re here to prepare you either way!

Some of the following entries relate to house sharing and some relate to room sharing. Some are things I’ve done while others are things that happened to me. Aaand there may also be some general observations about moving to a new place that snuck in there. I won’t spoil which by separating between them- think of it as a little “find the odd one out” exercise, if you will. Enjoy!

  1. While not a difficult thing to do in theory – at all – nobody will ever want to take out the trash…
  2. If you decide that you DO want to take out the trash, you’ll probably forget. Again, and again, and again. Fruit flies might end up becoming involved (you could call it an “intervention”). (No, never buying bread or fruit is not the answer, but is a laudable try.)
  3. Dishes have to soak. For hours. Days. Weeks. Dishes absolutely CANNOT be cleaned right after a meal. Especially not if they’re shared dishes.
  4. You will never agree on the “perfect” temperature. Honestly, just come prepared with an extra hoodie to wear indoors.
  5. What do you mean the laughter track from my 5th rewatch of F.R.I.E.N.D.S was too loud?! I don’t even hear it (anymore).
  6. Toilet paper doesn’t need to be bought. It magically appears in the bathroom.
  7. You will forget to close the curtains before getting (un)dressed at least once.
  8. After the third time the above happens you will endeavour to never meet the folks living across from you, forget about the curtains altogether and live happily ever after.
  9. Everybody wants to use the bathroom at the same time. Okay, that doesn’t happen that often. But it is horrible when it does.
  10. Replace “bathroom” with “washing machine” in the previous sentence.