Skip to main content Go to Site Map
Three AUB students smiling and posing for a photo under a tree with the sun shining behind.

Cameron Campbell – Living with friends at university


  • Student Journal


Coming to university, I never thought I’d be lucky enough to surround myself with the people I call my friends today. While for some people, you find the people that click a little later on, I was one of the lucky ones and have stayed living with my housemates all the way back from first year, throughout all of our university experiences. Over our three years at AUB we have added three newcomers to the group – two in second year and another in third year, but we’ve all known each other for a long time and I’d like to share my experience with you.

When moving to university, it can feel very daunting. For me, it was the first major time that I had entered a completely new situation. While they now tell me that some of our first meetings were awkward and even some of our friendships didn’t seem fruitful at first, the time we spent together as a flat really paid off. Knowing that we were all in a similar situation definitely helped, and making friends with another flat, encouraged us to put in the effort to go out and spend quality time together. I definitely found it helpful that we went out so much in the first year together, we are all a fairly extroverted and outgoing bunch so parties and social gatherings were up our street.

In second year, we added an additional two people to the five of us that survived first year – taking us up to a house of seven. The larger living spaces meant there was more responsibility between us for upkeep, which caused a few tensions but in actuality bought us together. The garden, which we didn’t have in our flat in first year, allowed us to host barbecues as soon as the weather got warm. This became a regular event, since we were close to the university and so a bit further from the beach. Having ‘family’ meals on a semi-regular basis meant we could have a proper get together, without the effort of going out or spending a tonne on booze (although some cheap Aldi wine or cider doesn’t hurt). Splitting the food bills and having people cook and others clean meant the hassle was all in hand and we ensured that we could spend the quality time together.

Come third year, we have welcomed our third and final new house mate to the group. Third years dynamic has been unique to the other years as studying and our own personal lives have directed how we function as a group. Particularly in first term, the group felt rather divided as the jump to the increase of work volume but most importantly its vitality to our final grade, meant our focuses were driven toward that. However, since Christmas, for the most part we have been able to better manage our work-life balances. Making time to have dinner with each other, or heading down to Buffalo (the local bar) every now and again gives us a break during long weeks of work to chill out. Something I have personally been so thankful for, is going to the gym with my housemates. We encourage each other and have a good laugh and even the journey there can be a good chance to catch up. It is these common interests that we share and fulfil together that I believe help keep our friendships so strong where I feel others may struggle.

Something I can take away from this experience is that living with friends is a very different scenario to having friends you can leave at the end of the day. Neither is better than the other as both types suit different relationships. However, when living with people you must understand that you will all live by different values. I, at least, have learnt that people with potentially different backgrounds, upbringings or views to you can be a jump to get to know at first. However, as you see their positive traits and you are able to share experiences and laugh together about things, qualities you might not normally look out for become personal quirks to their characters that define them as a person, unique to you – something slightly more irregular to friends that you don’t live with, as you potentially aren’t so exposed to every part of someone’s personality or routine.

As a group, our bonds have definitely been tested with having to live with each other as effectively strangers from the start, however I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Theres always something to learn from each of them and as we head out into the professional world at the end of this academic year, I know we will all keep in contact and help each other down the line when the time comes. We have even murmured about the potential for a few of us living together again, which if possible and feasible for our future plans, I would definitely consider.

I am aware that this kind of situation is pretty rare at university, but I am so thankful for the chance to meet these people. So, for any current or potential students, I would really recommend making the extra effort to connect with your housemates. With a bit of luck and laughs, it will pay off.

Something to think about

If you liked this post you might be interested in our Undergraduate courses.

Explore Categories