Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Getting to know your neighbours as a student

It comes as no surprise that many people are wary of having students as their neighbours. Even though we don’t all party every day, there are certain student stereotypes that have found their way into the minds of local residents who often aren’t too happy about the thought of a rowdy bunch of students moving in next door.

I have lived in Canley for two academic years so have experienced a range of neighbours, some great and some not so much. In my second year, I lived in a semi-detached house where the house was attached to another student house and I can safely say that these students lived up to the stereotype of noisy student neighbours that some people dread.

They had quite a few parties and gatherings, but this didn’t bother me too much (except for that time when it was the night before an exam). Looking back, I feel as though I should have tried harder to befriend these neighbours, perhaps we could have had joint parties.

I don’t regret not befriending these neighbours whatsoever

On the other side of the house, but separated by a little alleyway, lived a family that we couldn’t quite decipher. There seemed to be an array of people going in and out and it was hard to determine who actually lived there. I’m not sure what exactly went on there, but I don’t think it was particularly legal. One time, my housemate’s parcel was left at their house. When she went to collect it, they answered the door very cautiously and said they thought she was the police.

Towards the end of my time at this house, real police actually did start turning up to their house almost every day. At this point, I had to move out and so I never found out what actually went on there, and that is probably for the best. I don’t regret not befriending these neighbours whatsoever.

In my third year, I am staying in a terraced house and yet again on one side I have students and on the other, I don’t. The students seem to be nice, however, we have not had much of a chance to get to know each other due to covid restrictions. What I can say though is that the walls between our houses are very thin so when they do party (which is fairly regularly) I can hear the music word for word.

On the other side lives what I could only describe as your dream neighbours

I’m personally quite a relaxed person, and a deep sleeper, so this doesn’t seem to bother me too much. However, I can’t say the same for everyone in this house. There have been instances where we have had to go over and ask them to keep it down. I think this is definitely the first thing you should try if you encounter noisy neighbours as calling noise control officers straight away will likely damage any sort of relationship you had with the neighbours.

On the other side lives what I could only describe as your dream neighbours. It is an elderly couple who are so kind and friendly. Their garden is full of flowers, bird feeders and ornaments. They will always make sure to take our bins out to the road if we forget, and will offer to use theirs if we start running out of space.

You never know what you will get with neighbours

All in all, they seem like lovely people and every encounter with them leaves me with a smile on my face. They seem to not mind having students as neighbours, although this may be down to the fact that we do not live up to the partying stereotype very much.

You never know what you will get with neighbours. Some can be a dream to live next to whereas others fit the stereotype of the classic neighbours from hell. It is quite rare for one to form a meaningful bond with neighbours, but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and engage in conversation. Whether you live next to students or not, having a good relationship with your neighbours will definitely not do you any harm.

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