The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Ask Kitty

This week our resident lifestyle guru Kitty Treverton Jones deals with a house at breaking point over relationship issues and smelly students


I’m in my second year living in a house of five people, and two of my housemates became a couple at the end of first year. It has completely changed the dynamic of the group and recently they have started to argue loads. The girl always confides in me about their relationship problems but the guy is also one of my best friends. I constantly feel awkward in the house and I don’t know what to do!

The best piece of advice I can offer to you is to stay out of the relationship as much as possible! Try not to offer a strong opinion to either of them and leave them to sort out their own problems. They have changed the dynamic of the group by being a couple so embrace that change: focus on your friendships with your other two housemates. Make the friendship between the three of you the dominant relationship of the house, have loads of fun together and don’t let the couple’s issues control the house.


One of my course friends has really bad B.O. It was bearable when it was just in lectures but now I’ve started to see her outside of them and I’m embarrassed to introduce her to my friends. I don’t think I know her well enough to tell her, what can I do?

There really is no excuse in this day and age for body odour, but if you insist on continuing your friendship with her, here is a four day guide to make her aware of her problem:

Day One: Drop into conversation that someone you live with really smells because they don’t wash every day.

Day Two: Quote an article you have “read” and make up a statistic like “73 per cent of people unknowingly suffer from body odour.”

Day Three: In a lecture, sniff the air and ask if she can smell anything. Look puzzled for a minute, then point to the person in front of you and wrinkle your nose in disgust.

Day Four: By now she will either think you are obsessed with people’s odours or she will have cottoned on that it is her and made an extra effort to wash properly. If it hasn’t worked, try asking light heartedly if she forgot to put on deodorant this morning.

Got a problem? Unsure who to turn to? Just ask Kitty: