Should You Go Abroad With Your Housemates This Summer?
Should You Go Abroad With Your Housemates This Summer? By Simon Thompson
So, exam season is finally over. The weather has its fleeting moments of looking gorgeous and you canít wait for summer to get into full swing. One of the things that got you through exams was the thought of a holiday away somewhere sunny with your uni housemates, but is this the right decision? Itís not as straightforward a choice as you might expect. Hereís a handy quiz to help you make this important decision, and to help you make sure that your trip abroad doesnít go all ĎInbetweenersí.
1.) Do you all want to go to the same place?
Although this sounds really obvious, itís important to check that youíre all keen to go to the same kind of country and have the same type of holiday. Thereís a big difference in both activity-level and expense between wanting a beach holiday in Spain, and a cultural holiday in Morocco. The last thing you want to do is end up going somewhere that none of you particularly wanted to go to as a compromise.
2.) Do you all want the same kind of holiday?
This is a mistake Iíve seen lots of students make. Itíll be a miserable holiday if you want to go and do waterskiing and banana boating, and none of your companions make it off the beach. Similarly, many students go abroad with the expectation of enjoying the local nightlife. If youíre fancying early morning museum visits, that might be worth checking with your housemates. The easiest solution for this is definitely planning; if you make sure you all know whatís available to do in the area youíre travelling to, you wonít end up bored or frustrated with each other.
3.) Can you all afford it?
I mean actually afford it, and not having someone ending up going abroad instead of buying something important like, well, food. Most students I know are in completely different financial situations, and it could well turn out that someone in your house just canít feasibly afford it, but feels uncomfortable mentioning it for fear of annoying the group. Booking flights and accommodation well in advance is the obvious solution to avoiding any financial hiccups. There are plenty of Ďstaycationí options in the UK (check back next week for a handy list of some great choices) which are far cheaper than going abroad, so that might be a suitable alternative.
4.) Finally, do you actually like each other enough?
This is probably going to be the most important question. Youíve been living together for at least a year, and Iím sure youíve got some amazing and hilarious memories together, but make sure youíre not going to squabble when youíre abroad like you did over the milk-buying situation last month. Holidays can be very stressful times, and itís important to think about whether your house dynamic might allow some tension to develop. Iíve known people to go abroad with only some of their housemates because of these tensions, but that could easily lead to some really awkward and uncomfortable situations. Plenty of people feel closer to their coursemates than to their housemates, and if thatís the case for you, it might be worth considering going abroad with other people.
So, you might have made your decision now. If you do end up going abroad, have an amazing time; youíve earned it. People underestimate how much work a university degree can be, and youíve made it to the end of the year in one piece. Oh, and if your holiday does end up going a bit haywire, then at least you can laugh about it later!
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