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Mandy Kloppers

Flat-Sharing SOS: Top Tips on Living With Uni Housemates

Living with housemates during your university years can be a wonderful experience, as you’ll get to learn all about the facets of flat-sharing and make friends for life.

In fact, 17% of Brits say they met their best pals at uni, whether in their student accommodation, library, or lecture theatre. You never know – you might just find the perfect away from home!

However, there’s no denying that – with so many different personalities under one roof – challenges can arise from time to time, especially when sharing kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms.

So, what can you do to be in harmony with your housemates all year round? Abodus Student Living, a leading provider of homely student flats across the UK, shares a few tips on how to bond well with your fellow tenants at university.

Get chatting and be yourself

First things first, don’t shy away from getting to know your flatmates. Yes, meeting lots of new people at once can be nerve-wracking, but remember that you’re all in the same boat. Your new housemates are likely to be just as apprehensive!

Aaron Kirkwood, Head of Sales and Marketing at Abodus Student Living, said: “One of the best things to do to create a solid bond with your flatmates from the off is to get to know them and discover what makes them tick.  Why not keep your bedroom door open from time to time so that your new friends can drop by for a quick heart-to-heart?

“You may want to set up a group chat on social media where you can keep in touch, organise night-outs, or even arrange to go for dinner or down to the laundry room together. Even the smaller things can help you form a positive relationship and strengthen your connection.

“Remember to always be yourself. You’re bound to meet people with multiple interests and hobbies in your students lets in Leeds, Bristol, or elsewhere in the country, but don’t feel you need to fake your true nature to fit in. There is a good chance your flatmates will appreciate you more for who you really are – and if they are not as keen on baking or gaming as you are, you can always join a society!”

Be tolerant and open-minded

As you get to meet your new pals, try to be as open-minded as possible. Has one of your flatmates invited you to watch a cricket game? Even if you think it’s like watching paint dry, consider joining them all the same. It can make a true difference to your relationship!

Also, it is important to be tolerant and mindful, as everyone has their habits, lifestyles, and cultural backgrounds. If someone is used to eating late in the evening but you’d rather turn off the lights and binge-watch a TV series in the living room, don’t shoo them away or make them feel uncomfortable.

With flat-sharing, it’s all about compromising and being flexible. This way, everyone can enjoy each other’s company while going about their routine.

Establish and respect boundaries

Although it’s great to share fun, precious moments together, it’s important for everyone to have some much-needed me-time to unplug and relax every so often.

As a flat unit, you may want to set specific boundaries so that everyone agrees on what areas are communal and which are private. For example, if your bedroom door is shut, it might mean that you may want some personal space to snooze, unwind, or revise for your exam.

So, don’t be afraid to tell your friends what your boundaries are while ensuring you respect their own private spaces, too.

Communicate openly

Communication is key in all situations, especially in a shared living environment. Being honest and respectful when talking to your flatmates is a crucial first step in preserving a healthy atmosphere within the house.

If something is bothering you, don’t be afraid to raise it. Actually, the sooner you address a specific issue, the better! In fact, avoiding things can quickly lead to larger problems, deteriorating the mood and sense of harmony within the flat.

Even if you need to have a tricky conversation, don’t be worried about the potential outcome. If you talk with your flatmates in a polite, respectful way, you’re bound to find a solution to the problem and get things back on track.

Set ground rules and cleaning routines

Living in a dirty flat is very unpleasant and can cause serious (although avoidable) frictions. In fact, 71% of roommates admit arguing with fellow tenants over cleaning routines and keeping communal areas in presentable conditions.

So, to nip the problem in the bud, it’s always wise to have those cleaning conversations almost from day one. Once you’ve met and got to know each other, think about getting together and sorting out some general house rules. You may even want to create a cleaning rota so everyone knows who’s doing what and when.

What’s more, you may also want to discuss some ground rules or guidelines for living together. For example, you may want to have a ‘quiet hours’ rule in place, especially during exam period. Even if you fancy a night out with your coursemates, don’t ignore the fact that some of your flatmates may have a busy studying schedule and need an all-important good night’s sleep. So, as you come back from your disco-dancing session, try to keep the noise down to a minimum.

With agreed cleaning routines and ground rules, you can prevent unnecessary conflicts and ensure everyone’s needs are considered all year round.

Sharing a flat with people from all walks of life is an exciting prospect and no doubt you’ll have a great time all together. However, remember to always be respectful, tolerant, and open-minded – these are the special ingredients to a happy, friendly accommodation.

 

Sources

https://yougov.co.uk/society/articles/38493-yougov-friendship-study-part-1-close-friends-and-b?redirect_from=%2Ftopics%2Flifestyle%2Farticles-reports%2F2021%2F12%2F16%2Fyougov-friendship-study-part-1-close-friends-and-b

https://www.cleanlink.com/news/article/Survey-Do-College-Students-Make-the-Grade-on-Cleaning–28767#:~:text=In%20fact%2C%20according%20to%20new,significant%20other’s%20room%20was%20messy.

 

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