Becoming a student and going to university often means leaving home for the first time. This can be daunting for anyone, especially if you’re moving into a room in student accommodation and don’t get a say into who you’re moving in with. By the end of your first year of sharing student accommodation, hopefully you’ll come away with lifelong friends you’ll want to share a house with for the rest of your time at university.
However, living with others isn’t always easy, but the tips below will help you get along with your housemates in student accommodation.
Don’t Steal Your Housemate’s Food or Borrow Things Without Permission
Stolen food or personal items borrowed without permission is probably the number one moan of shared accommodation everywhere.
Don’t steal the last bit of your housemate’s milk from the fridge (and definitely don’t put the empty bottle back in the fridge afterwards), their last tin of baked beans from their food cupboard or borrow their books, shoes or laptop charger without asking.
Keep Communal Areas Clean and Tidy
You may find yourself lucky enough to live in student accommodation that provides a cleaner for the communal areas. If so, hooray!
However, as unfair as it may seem, the cleaner’s not going to tidy up or do the washing up for you. So, to ensure a happy house, do your bit to keep the communal areas clean and tidy.
We know everyone has different levels of cleanliness and tolerance to dirt and, although you may think a couple of cups in the sink is keeping the kitchen spick and span, others will find it disgusting.
Doing the washing up after you’ve finished eating, taking your washing out of the machine when it’s done and not leaving stuff lying around will make the shared space nicer for everyone.
For weekly chores such as taking the bins out, a rota can be a good idea so the same person doesn’t end up doing it all the time.
Have House Meetings
House meetings are a great way to let any grievances out into the open. Those who have been suffering in silence will get their chance to let the other housemates know what’s been bothering them.
Agree to let people say what’s on their mind without judgement or interruption. Perhaps they keep getting woken up by others coming in late when they’ve got an early lecture in the morning or they’re fed up with the pans they’ve asked to not be used for cooking meat being used for frying bacon.
Make sure any valid grievances are rectified or a compromise reached. Perhaps you could make a rule that no guests are allowed the night before early lectures and, as for frying bacon in a vegan’s pan, just don’t do it.
The flatmates who socialise together, stay together. Or something like that. You don’t have to go everywhere together all the time but make an effort to get to know each other by having house meals, movie nights, pizza nights and nights out, etc.
Even if you are all the best of friends who constantly hang out together, everyone needs their own space at times.
Respect your housemate’s privacy. For example, if their bedroom door’s closed and you want to talk to them about something, knock first, don’t just go barging in.
Like we said at the beginning, if you’re going into your first year at university and moving into student accommodation, you won’t get a say into who you live with.
This means there’s likely to be a mixture of introverts and extroverts (if you’re not sure which you are, there’s a quiz you can take). No matter how decent people you are, there may be personality clashes. It doesn’t make you or them a bad person, it just happens and you can’t like everyone or be liked by everyone.
However, what you can be is a good housemate and the advice above should make your student accommodation sharing experience a harmonious one.