5 Top Tips for Living With Flatmates
So, you’ve got your place at university – congratulations! While you may be extremely excited about your new venture, the thought of moving away can be a daunting prospect. Not only that, but the added dread of living with four or more other flatmates may be freaking you out, especially having to share a kitchen and in some cases, a bathroom.
Don’t fret too much though. Often your flatmates become your closest pals throughout the university experience. Seeing as though you’ll be spending the majority of time with this group of people, aiming to get along from the get-go is a wise move.
Here are some tips on saving flat-share arguments and keeping the peace with your new companions :
Set Ground Rules
After first introductions, it’s a good idea to have a group meeting and set out a list of rules that all flatmates should follow. It may seem a bit formal to begin with, but it’s definitely an essential if you’re going to be living with these people for the next year or more.
You may consider aspects such as chore lists and rotas, informing each other when you’re inviting guests over and setting appropriate evenings for flat parties, should you choose to have them. Knowing what’s expected of one another from the beginning will lessen the chances of having a huge bust-up over domestic issues.
Who’s Buying What?
Due to the fact you’ll be living in a communal area, it’s a good idea to keep tabs on who’s buying what when it comes to purchasing shared items such as toilet rolls, soap and cleaning products.
Don’t always be the one to buy shared groceries for your whole flat, or expect your laid-back flatmate to add these bits and pieces to their weekly shop because they’re a bit of a pushover. Make sure there’s some sort of rota set up, so no-one can avoid doing their turn.
When purchasing groceries for your own weekly shop, remember what’s yours is yours and whats theirs is theirs. If you like the look of a can of beer in the fridge that you know for a fact belongs to one of your flatmates, don’t allow yourself to give into the temptation. Stealing other people’s groceries is bound to cause massive issues and may even make you out to look untrustworthy.
It may seem like a bit of an obvious one, but lack of hygiene is one of the first disputes flatmates find themselves arguing over. Whether it’s dirty dishes being left on the worktop, grime in the bathroom or general personal hygiene, always make time for keeping yourself and your surroundings clean. No-one wants to be living with a skunk, so don’t become the talk of the halls because you can’t keep your hygiene in check.
Accept That Halls are Noisy
Everyone likes their own space and a certain amount of quiet time, but before choosing to move into student accommodation, remember that halls are noisy the majority of the day. You’ll be dealing with other people’s sleeping patterns, habits and lifestyles, therefore you’ll probably be hearing someone’s rock music at 2 am, or chatting and laughing in the kitchen after a night out.
While it’s always good to be understanding of others, if things do get too much and you’re struggling to sleep or study on a constant basis, there are people at the university who are around to sort things out. Before finding external help, you may wish to have a chat with your flatmates first and see if you can sort out these problems amongst yourselves.
Choose Flatmates Wisely
If you’re hoping to choose a house for your second year, it’s always worth having a long, hard think over who you’ll be sharing with, as the likelihood is that you’ll be living with these people until your degree is finished.
You don’t have to share with the same people you’ve been living with during first year; you may have become more friendly with students on your course or in the flats below or above you. Consider who you got along with the most, didn’t cause you too many problems and who you think you’ll enjoy being around for the next couple of years.