For almost 9 years now I’ve lived in shared apartments. The first year wasn’t really in a shared apartment, I did one year of mandatory military service and lived in barracks with my platoon. After that I lived in Grimstad for three years with Hallvard and Terje, which was great. After we graduated from college Terje moved to Oslo to start his career in Accenture while me and Hallvard decided that easy living was suited us better. We moved to Trondheim, rented an apartment with Tor-Erik – who we studied with in Grimstad – and enrolled at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology for two years. Now I’m living in Oslo where I’ve lived in three different shared apartments. There is a very good chance that this will be the last one, next time I move I’ll probably move into my own place.
For those of you who haven’t really shared an apartment with someone other than your significant other(s), I hereby bring you the pros and cons of living in a shared apartment:
- Do some research and you’ll get a great place at a reasonable price. Right now I live in a 180 square meters apartment. The rent is NOK 18000 a month (aprox. $2,744, which is way out of my league. But, since I share the place with 5 other people, I only pay 1/6 of the rent, a very good price in this neighbourhood.
- Being social is easy. Since we’re six people living here, there is always someone at home. With a rubberduck or a shared apartment, you’re never alone.
- Being unsocial is also easy. I’ve got my own room with my own door, if I want to be alone, I simply close the door. Excellent.
- People dye your clothes for free. If you lend someone a towel for instance, they’ll dye it blue for you. For free.
- Easy access to groceries. If you need a little milk and someone you live with has some, you can take a little.
- People steal your groceries. If people need a little bit of milk and you have some, they’ll take a little.
- The constant lack of domestic utensil. In our case; toilet paper. Even if we’re six people where I live now, only two of us actually buy toilet paper. This way your learn small tricks, like keeping your own private stash in case of a toilet paper emergency.
- All those little things that just annoy you. Like that some people are virtually incapable of turning of the lights when they leave the apartment. We’re sharing the electrical bill, too. Hello!
- The people you live with might repeatedly try to burn down the apartment building. Twice so far this year.
- The total lack of sound insulation in the walls. Have you ever woken up at seven in the morning to the sound of someone having an orgasm in the room next door?
So, as you can see, there are both good and bad sides to living in a shared apartment. But I think the time is up for me soon, a couple of things just have to fall in place before I can start looking for my own place.