I'm quite introverted, and am thinking that living with others may help me open up. On the other hand it could also shut me up completely, because my home is now my sanctuary, where I leave all problems outside. I'm worried i may not get the same comfort when people are moving about in the house, makes me anxious (social anxiety much?)
Arghhh my ideal living situation would be like in FRIENDS or Sienfeld. A place for myself but across the hall from my best buddies in the whole wide world :D
I split up with my husband in Feb and spent about six months living with other people. The first two months was basically during fieldwork and that was awful. Then the rest of the summer I lived with undergrads -- they were lovely, but it's hard to retain patience when people start banging on your door at 4am drunk because they've lost their phone and need to borrow yours. They also don't understand the need to occasionally work 16 hour days.
I've lived alone for about 2 and a half months now -- yes, my flat is expensive. Not only is it expensive, but it's the cheapest flat I could get -- meaning that there is no central heating, single glazed windows and quite grim carpets. But I LOVE it. It's my own space and, yeah, I am becoming very hermit-like (I no longer understand how to even MEET other people) and occasionally feel a bit lonely but it's my space and is convenient for Uni and I can do what I want there. I can even invite people over for dinner, something which has never occurred to me to do before and certainly wouldn't have been possible if I'd been living with other students.
I do look at my rent (exactly 1/3 of my studentship) and my bills, especially the electricity bill, and start to feel a bit faint. I'm making sacrifices on things like clothes and holidays. I too wonder if I'd have more fun sharing with other professionals... but it's such a gamble and for the short term at least I'm really enjoying my freedom and independence. What is most important to you?
Can you do something to make your house feel more of your "own"? Like put up some pictures or buy a new rug? Seems trivial but even just rearranging the furniture in my flat really helped to make me feel like it was "mine" for the time I'm renting it.
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I have during my PhD lived with another postgraduate, lived with a 'normal' working person, and lived on my own.
By far the final option is the best and I regret not doing it sooner. Lving with another person can be difficult . If it is another postgraduate, it can get a bit intense as both of you can be highly strung up with your phds. Living with a working person is easier in that respect, but you end up feeling isolated as they never understand why you have to work till early hours, why you don't spend the weekend getting drunk, why you have no time with watch TV or do anything that is not work related, and that can cause other tensions.
Yes its expensive, and yes you risk turning into a hermit, but its worth it. Your time is your own, making it much easier to manage. During a Phd you need peace and space. I managed to avoid being completely hermitian by, thankfully, living in an area that had lots of people i knew living locally and good pubs around so I was never more than 5 mins away from a natter with friends over a beer.
I am actually thinking how I want and can live during my PhD (which will start later this year). I have lived in a shared housing during undergraduate studies but also, later on, had my own space (which was tiny but it was all mine). I currently live with housemates since I moved to another country and the university did not help out with housing so I took the first thing I found I could afford. I must say I don't like it. My housemates are not very social and like to leave a mess every now and then. This experience taught me I really need to find my own place for PhD studies. I am 25 years old and don't want to put up with other people's shit. Obviously one housemate is not the other, and perhaps, since my PhD will be in yet another country, I might share in the beginning just to have something but I can't wait to have my own place which I can decorate the way I want, I can run around naked, cook at 4 am without bothering anyone with it and have peace and quiet.
I can see how I could turn into a hermit as some people here have mentioned. I think it's important to get out there, share a coffee or meal with friends (which are not colleagues) and get out of the circle that is house-lab/uni.
I would like to know if anyone can tell me something about housing in the UK. If anyone needs advice on housing in the Netherlands, please contact me.
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