Moving to a new city or country is difficult, and living with complete strangers can make it even tougher. It may feel intimidating at first but getting along with your flatmates is easier than you think.
Here’s my advice for settling into your new home with ease.
This may sound like common sense but it’s good to make a friendly first impression when you move in. Introduce yourself early on and take part in the fun things that your flatmates may be up to.
Try to smile, even if you’re nervous on the inside.
Living in a vibrant university environment isn’t all fun and games. Unfortunately, you do have to address the more boring aspects of it too - such as housekeeping. It is important to keep on top of your cleaning because a communal flat (especially the kitchen) can get cluttered quite quickly.
When I was living in shared accommodation, my flatmates and I had a sheet posted on the wall so we could record who did what and when. The grid was separated into different categories that included tasks such as hoovering, mopping, cleaning the counters, and taking out the rubbish.
It was a very effective way of monitoring our progress because it was impossible to lie – it would be clear if someone didn’t actually do what he or she claimed to have done.
Helping your flatmates and making them feel better is always a good idea, and what’s more likely to cheer up a student than a hearty meal?
In my flat, we would take turns to cook a meal for the whole flat once a month. We had a budget of £10 to spend on the ingredients and the rest of the flat took care of the dishes after dinner.
It was always a fun evening where we got to show off our culinary talents and national dishes.
Having friends or course mates over is never a bad idea, but you shouldn’t neglect your neighbours. I have found that spending time with my flatmates, even doing something as trivial as watching a movie or playing a board game, has helped to strengthen my friendships with them.
Being in a good relationship with them makes my time at university so much more enjoyable.
Most importantly, be yourself and treat your flatmates the way you would want to be treated. There’s no point making each other’s lives difficult when you could all get along together and be the best flat on the block.