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Dear Sallie: It's-Brutal-Out-Here

Updated: Feb 22

All your life’s questions answered by Sallie, The Saint’s delightfully mysterious Agony Aunt. Submit your questions anonymously to Sallie on our Instagram or our website!

Dear Sallie,

I already hate one of the people I've signed a lease to live with next year... we were super close in Fresher's Week but I've now realised that we don't get on beyond surface level small talk. They do the tiniest things that annoy me, and I don't think I can last the year living with them.



Dear It’s-Brutal-Out-Here,

It is yet again the time of year where the St Andrews housing market rears its ugly head. Freshers everywhere are running wildly through town and the Badlands alike, desperately looking for lodging. Its brutality is a sacred St Andrean tradition. This desperation always (always) leads to situations like yours. So while you might be discovering scary truths about your future flatmates and thinking “you betrayed me with your appearance of normality”, you know they’ll never be sorry. So, you’ve got to ask yourself, do you really not get on in a flatmates way, or just in a friendship way.

As many of us honours students can attest to, sometimes someone you get along with really well as a friend can turn out to be a nightmare as a roommate, and, vice versa, someone whom you don’t love accompanying you on a night-out, could end up being a neat-freak and always do their washing up. Try looking into their room for messes, or think about how often they go out every week and what hours they normally return at. Look out for their living habits because if they’re clean and not too much of a party animal, chances are the living situation won’t be a problem. Many people end up living with people they barely know, small-talk is the only social-rite you’ll need to perform with a flatmate. The rest of the stuff: organising the utility bill, wifi payment, and general house rules is the much more difficult part of sharing a living space. If that all looks to be in order, you can just try to avoid this person you hate within the flat. If you do not also hate the other person/people you’re living with, hang out with them instead, or go to another friend’s flat for movie night. It’s not as convenient, sure, as being best friends with your flatmates, but it’s a reality many students face and overcome.

If it’s so bad that you cannot, under any circumstances, be around them, then you can look into moving into University single housing, or for a one-bedroom flat, or for someone advertising an extra room. This can feel daunting after the rush to the letting agencies of this semester, but never fear, there are rooms in the inn, nobody is going to have to sleep in the stables.

All my love,


Illustration: Kate Lau

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