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Walton Robinson – The personalities you meet in a house share

House sharing has countless benefits; it’s more affordable, helps you to get to know people if you’re new to a city and you could end up making friends for life.

Whether you’re a student or young professional, house shares can be a great experience, but you need to prepare yourself for the personalities you meet in a house share. With the help of Newcastle lettings company Walton Robinson, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list. Don’t forget – you’ll be one of these too… Comment below if you can spot yourself.

The Clean Machine

The Clean Machine is the house hidden gem. They will keep your home tidy, leave your lost belongings in a pile on your bed and get on the backs of those not doing their chores. Make sure you live with one in order to combat any messy housemates you end up living with. If you’re a laid-back bunch, the Clean Machine is simply the person who cracks first.

Great for: Creating a pleasant living environment

Avoid them when: They have guests coming over

Most likely to be heard saying: “Whose is this?”

Most likely to be seen: Standing open-mouthed at a pile of dishes

Borrow their: Anything, they’ll be super clean

Hide your: Mess in your room if they’re on the warpath

The House Parent

Every house share needs a House Parent, someone who looks after you when you’re poorly or takes responsibility when you’re out and about. The House Parent takes care of the bills, phones the landlord when something needs fixing and will fight tooth-and-nail to get you the right internet tariff. With great power comes great responsibility.

Great for: Getting your full deposit back at the end of the tenancy

Avoid them when: You want to be irresponsible and don’t want the third degree.

Most likely to be heard saying: “What time will you be back?”

Most likely to be seen: Making a cuppa for the relationship-challenged

Borrow their: Anything you need – tissues, pens, painkillers – they’ll have it.

Hide your: Naughty habits.

The Shakespeare of Note-Writing

The Shakespeare of Note-Writing is something of a phantom: you may never see them, but you can feel their presence. The SONW has perfected the skill of passing judgement without ever saying a word. You will be able to identify if you have a SONW from the passive-aggressive notes written in public spaces, reprimanding any wrong-doer for their lack of community spirit.

Great for: When you can’t get 7 down on your crossword.

Avoid them when: SHOUTY CAPITALS are in the notes.

Most likely to be heard saying: Nothing. They communicate through the written word.

Most likely to be seen: Purchasing pens and paper to give their next round of feedback.

Borrow their: Dictionary.

Hide your: Fury at the notes. This is a tough one.

The Clean-Eating Gym-Lover

A health and fitness fiend to the core, the Clean-Eating Gym-Lover will put you to shame on a daily basis. Their diet will be perfection – so don’t expect them to be up for a Saturday night take away – and they’ll total more reps than Ibiza. If you want a training partner you’ll find no better, but don’t force yourself to keep up or you’ll be in for a wild ride!

Great for: Helping shed the Christmas weight in January.

Avoid them when: Their delivery of protein is late

Most likely to be heard saying: “Go hard or go home”.

Most likely to be seen doing: Tricep dips while watching the telly.

Borrow their: Yoga mat when they go camping.

Hide your: Big Mac.

The Other-Half of a Whole

In many house shares, you’ll feel the presence of the couple; whether you live with an in-house couple or just one half of a relationship. Either way, you’ll not see one without the other, like two bumps on a log, so make sure to get to know them both equally.

Great for: Advice on relationship dramas. Who can advise better than a loved-up couple?

Avoid them when: It’s date night.

Most likely to be heard: Finishing each other’s sentences

Most likely to be seen doing: The Lady and the Tramp spaghetti thing.

Borrow their: Picnic blanket for your next date.

Hide your: Phone, because they’ll definitely want to try your Tinder app.

The Beer Monster

The Beer Monster: every house share’s gotta have one. They’re the sociable one, with the word ‘pub’ always just moments from their lips. If you enjoy a sociable household, the Beer Monster is a must-have housemate and you’ll have a ready-made friend to hit the pub with. Problems arise if you’re an early-riser or light sleeper, because chances are you’ll hear them clattering in at 4am.

Great for: Turning a dull evening into one you’ll remember forever.

Avoid them when: The hangover starts kicking in

Most likely to be heard saying: “Does anyone fancy a pint?”

Most likely to be seen doing: Tequila on a Sunday afternoon.

Borrow their: Playing cards that they’ll inevitably have for drinking game.

Hide your: Chocolate liqueurs.

The Late-Night Internet Peruser

You can be forgiven for failing to know the nocturnal Internet Peruser is living with you at all. They’re up ‘til all hours, surfing the net, online gaming and checking out the latest online fad ages before you’d ever see it. The Internet Peruser can be really interesting and show you a lot of cool stuff, so don’t underestimate them.

Great for: Getting a glimpse of a video hours before it goes viral.

Avoid them when: The house is having bandwidth issues.

Most likely to be heard saying: “Give it here, I’ll sort it” about all types of technology.

Most likely to be seen: Pottering, laptop in hand, into the wee hours of the morning.

Borrow their: USB

Hide your: Coffee — they’ll be tempted to borrow a cup late at night.

The Up-With-The-Larks Get-Up-And-Goer

Who is that in the kitchen at 7am on a Saturday? That’ll be your everyday Up-With-The-Larks Get-Up-And-Goer. A characteristic of this type of housemate is that they’re notable by their absence – filling their evenings and weekends with wholesome activities. They’re a great friend if you want to do something new on the weekends, but will make you feel a little guilty on your lazy days.

Great for: Organising fun activities to bond the housemates.

Avoid them when: You want a Saturday morning lie-in.

Most likely to be heard saying: “But you’re wasting the day!”

Most likely to be seen: Making a packed lunch for their next outdoorsy adventure

Borrow their: Umbrella, raincoat or suncream – they’re prepared for all weathers.

Hide your: Head under the pillow if you have a Saturday morning hangover.

The One Blind to their Own Mess

Failing to save the best ‘til last, we have The One Blind to their Own Mess. This person wanders around the home, leaving detritus wherever they go. Don’t blame them, for they don’t see the mess they leave – it is invisible to them. Whether it’s nail varnishes, tea cups or clothing, they don’t see it, so try not to blame them. They are kind-hearted, just a little messy.

Great for: Pointing the finger at when you haven’t done your chores.

Avoid them when: You can’t find something.

Most likely to be heard saying: “Why are you cleaning? It’s tidy!”

Most likely to be seen doing: A number of different activities in one go.

Borrow their: Every possible item that’s lying around.

Hide your: Irritation, they really don’t see it.

Things to know about sharing a home with other students

Sharing a home with other students can be fun, but it is also filled with potential conflict

Photo by CC user artinstituteofportland on Flickr

So, you have just left home for the first time, and you are about to spend your first semester at your chosen college or university. Unless you are staying in the dorms on campus, you will soon be sharing a home with other students.

Here’s what you need to know to keep things running smoothly, avoid animosity, and a build a sense of community within your new home away from home.

The kitchen

Of all the areas in the house, it is the kitchen where there is the greatest potential for conflict. The creation of dishes is the biggest issue, as it only takes the actions of one laggard to spawn resentment. Left unaddressed, this situation can lead to the refusal of others to keep up the cleanliness of this common space.

Another concern is food storage security. According to a recent survey commissioned by Data Label in the United Kingdom, anywhere between 14% and 37% of students had reported their food or leftovers had gone missing from communal fridges and food storage spaces. This study was also featured on  We Are Homes for Students.

By carefully vetting roommates before allowing them to rent in the house, and then taking a proactive approach if food goes missing, these incidents can be avoided or quickly resolved.

Divvying up chores

If you hope to have a house that is at least respectably clean, it is imperative that you establish a schedule for chores at the start of the semester.

If everyone knows who is supposed to clean the kitchen, vacuum the floors, take out the trash/recyclables, and perform other tasks on given weeks, you will have an environment that feels more like a home rather than a place to sleep.

Paying the bills

The lights, water and internet won’t keep themselves on. In order to keep all these services running smoothly, the bills will need to be paid on time. Make sure that all bills are posted on the fridge as soon as they are received, with a complete breakdown of what is owed by everybody.

Though it may be uncomfortable to chase after your fellow housemates for money, it is vital that no one falls behind in their bills without a valid excuse, as it will give others a reason to be tardy on their payments as well.

Respecting each others needs

It can be difficult to share space with other human beings, but this task is made all the more tricky when the people involved are very young adults. Everyone must make an effort to respect each others need for privacy and quiet, especially during the week and at exam time.

On the other hand, if it’s the weekend, or early on in the semester, lighten up a little and respect your other housemates need to unwind, blow off steam, and have fun. So long as everyone has an understanding of the magnitude of a planned social gathering, and when they will begin and end, there should be no issue with having friends over every once in awhile.

We Are Homes for Students?

Useful points to consider when you are planning for college

When planning for college, how do you get into places like this?

Photo by CC user Ericci8996 via Wikimedia Commons

If you are thinking about taking a college course you need to plan to make sure you make the right choices. Of course, you can change from one course to another but that is not the best options. It’s far better to settle on the right course for you initially. This way you can make sure that you concentrate all of your efforts on studying, and gaining your qualification, rather than on thinking about making changes.

It does not matter whether you are considering college for the first time, or you are looking at gaining additional qualifications so you can change career, there are some things which potential students all need to consider when planning for college.

Which college is right for you?

It’s never too early to start considering which college you should attend. Your choice could involve several factors. One of these factors will always be the availability of the course you want to take. You also need to take a look at things such as the reputation of the college, where it’s located, what its previous results look like and what wider activities are available.

For some potential students online study with providers such as Upskilled may be the best option. If you study online you have the flexibility of being able to shape your study around your life. This is especially useful if you are working and you want to study to gain an additional qualification.

How are you going to finance you study?

No matter what college option you choose you need to figure out how you are going to pay for your course of study. Do not forget that if you attend a traditional college, as opposed to studying online, you may also have to pay for accommodation and/or travel costs. This is why studying online can turn out to be the most financially viable option.

There are options available for you to potentially gain financial assistance with the cost of your study. If you receive a loan to help with your study then you obviously need to factor in what this is going to mean for you, when it comes to paying it back.

What does the future hold?

Planning your college career is not just about planning for those years when you will actually be studying; you also have to take into account the years following college. This is why it’s generally a good idea to know what sort of career you want to have, so that you can shape your study around gaining the qualifications you need. You do not want to choose a field of study simply because it sounds like fun and then find out that you do not have access to the career options you want with that qualification. You should always choose your college course with an eye on the future.

Deciding on your options for college study is very important and we have taken you through just three of the important aspects that need to feature. One of the most important things to remember is that you should never rush the decision; always give yourself plenty of time.

How to Write Killer Essays!

Writing killer essays

Writing killer essays

It is usual to hear huge audible sighs of exasperation in any classroom when instructions are given to “Write an essay about ….” and those are the most familiar words any student would hear as long as they are still in school, college, or university. There are sites available on line that can help with college papers such as essay writing, other school project papers or any other document requirements.  Referring to such sites can be a big help and also free your time to study or deal with other school matters that are just as important. However, for those who prefer to attempt writing their own killer essays, these are some points to consider if you want to know about writing killer essays.

Essays are a way of telling stories with facts

An essay can be any topic in a school curriculum and though some of them may seem dull and mundane, the composer of the essay may have some points of interest that they would like to highlight. Facts are the core of an essay and presenting them in the most interesting way is what makes the difference between a mediocre essay and an essay that tops the score. Successful killer essays captivate their readers that makes them read line after line, without a thought that it is long or tedious to read. The best essays are the ones that tell a good story which contains facts, relevant arguments and a conclusion to the subject.

Turn thoughts into simple sentences

An essay has a plot with an introduction, a beginning, a body and a conclusion. Start by arranging the r facts in simple point forms, rearranging them into the order that it should flow and gather momentum for the reader’s attention. Don’t be too concerned about how it sounds at this point, as it still requires polishing and several read through before it has a good reading flow. Important point to note here is the flow of the facts, they should make sense and be in proper sequence.

Drafting the story line

This is where the fun begins. Once all the facts are on paper in a rough draft, it is time to craft a plot to the entire story. Essays are not just limited to words alone, make clever use of pictures that may that helps emphasise on the facts. Keep the language simple, bombastic words can turn a reader off. The best use are good descriptive verbs combined with great graphics and a good story flow. Graphics also makes an essay look more interesting and helps the reader relate the facts to the entire essay paper without losing track of the story flow. It makes the essay look and feel more cohesive and breaks the monotony of just having words describing paragraphs of texts.

Keep track of a good conclusion

Nothing spoils a great killer essay than a lame conclusion so be sure to watch the concluding lines of the essay. Does it sound interesting or is there a twist? Education essays can also have great plot twists, dramatic end results and a memorable end that will leave the reader an impression that is hard to forget. This means that the subject of the essay has to be well researched. Writing an essay is not much different from writing a story so spend more time on research and look for examples of great endings to an essay. Style plays an important role to a great killer essay so develop a style that makes the essay outstanding!

Student panic over possible Brexit

Students are worried about a possible Brexit

Photo by CC user jeffdjevdet on Flickr

A current hot topic in the UK is the EU Referendum vote, there are two campaigns the ‘In’ campaign which obviously wants the UK to remain in the EU and the ‘Out’ campaign which wants the UK to leave the EU. Both sides have been working hard to persuade the UK electorate to get out and vote, whether it’s to remain in or go out. However one group feel like their concerns and questions have not been answered by either campaign nor do they feel like both sides are giving a lot of miss information.

University students are feeling maligned by the EU referendum, research conducted by My Voucher Codes shows that 64% worry about what will happen if we leave the EU, whether it will be harder to travel and work around Europe and what effect it will have on jobs in the UK. Students also felt that there has not been enough information from either campaign on key issues, nor has either campaign shown any thought out arguments and most importantly students felt that neither campaign cares about the views of the younger generation nor engage with them. You can read the full results from the survey of students here.

The students spoke of their concerns:

Both campaigns seem inherently biased and it’s difficult to access impartial views”

There has been a lot of scaremongering however there has been no clear statistics as to what will happen with both sides using ambiguous stats to support their own argument”

Mudslinging campaigns that feel designed to discredit the other rather than reinforce their own argument although the in campaign feels more credible”

As the cost of attending university and forging ahead with further education increases, it’s understandable that students are worried about the effects if we left the EU, there would be loss of funding from EU grants that universities receive, also collaborations between UK and EU universities could also be complicated or stopped. In addition foreign students studying here in the UK could also suffer as well as British students studying abroad who could easily see higher fees.

Looking after university students were also worried about job prospects and workers’ rights. Currently worker’s right protection laws in the UK have come from EU ruling such as the working time directive and holiday, maternity and sickness rights, however the out party have not said whether these will be kept or if the government will pander to big business and scrap worker protection. Prospects for jobs in the UK isn’t easy either whether you hold a degree or not and with mounting debts leavers will not want to see a loss of jobs if we leave the EU.

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