You may end up being best friends with your new roommates at university, or you may wish to avoid them. Here is everything you need to know about having the best year together in your student accommodation…
1. Buy Your Own Mugs
Living With Strangers – mugs
Having your own distinguishable mug is essential to avoid all tea or coffee-related confrontation with your new housemates. The more unusual the design the better (just to avoid any confusion)!
2. No-One Will Be As Tidy As You
Living With Strangers – cleaning
Whether you are a neat-freak or a messy dweller, there will always be someone who is more unorganized or tidier than you. If you don’t like things too orderly, keep your belongings in your room at least, so they don’t start to annoy your housemates.
3. Getting The Shower Schedule Right Is KEY
Living With Strangers – shower
If you are sharing bathroom facilities, learn when everyone likes to shower early on! If you don’t, you could be faced with brushing your teeth over the kitchen sink when you find your housemate has sneaked in the shower before you.
4. Let People Know If You Are Inviting Guests Round
Living With Strangers – meal
In most cases, the majority of housemates will be welcoming towards any guests. But it’s always nice to ask in advance if the timing and number of people is ok, just in case someone has a deadline the next day. No harm in inviting them to join your party either – they might be happier to agree to the soirée if they can take part!
5. Ask Before Using People’s Food (And Replace If You Do)
Living With Strangers – cooking
There is nothing worse than going to the fridge to eat that slice of cake you had been saving, only to find it’s missing. Always ask permission before sneaking food from your housemate’s cupboard. Chances are they will be more than fine with this if you ask, especially if you replace it promptly.
6. Save House Parties For After Exam Time
Living With Strangers – guests
You may be a superhuman who doesn’t need to spend every hour revising before exam time, but not everyone is as lucky. Be respectful of your housemates’ exam schedules and try to keep disruption to a minimum during this time – there will be plenty of time to celebrate after you have all finished.
7. Be Like Switzerland
Living With Strangers – communication
Living with strangers can prove both tricky and rewarding. And no matter how close your friendship, there will always be matters you don’t see eye to eye with. Instead of letting any frustration build up, be as neutral as possible and talk things out early on. Don’t let it get to the post-it note on the fridge stage!
8. Reserve A Night A Week For House Fun
Living With Strangers – popcorn
Keep house morale high by suggesting a weekly activity such as a movie night, group meal or night out. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy or expensive, but just something to help keep your house a fun place to be.
9. It’s Ok To Not Be Best Friends…
Living With Strangers – feet
You may instantly click with your flatmates, or you may find you get on better with other people you meet, such as classmates. Either way, it is beneficial to stay on good terms with your housemates as you can’t avoid them on a day-to-day basis.
10…But You Could End Up Being Friends For Life
Living With Strangers – group
No one quite knows you like your housemates will (if you let them). And going through university experiences in a group can bring you very close together. So try and enjoy every moment together – it’ll go faster than you think.
by Becky Pemberton