Whether you’re living with friends or complete strangers, sharing a flat is not always a walk in the park. In my experience, flat-sharing has its downs as well as its ups, so it’s important to know how to tackle the tough bits.
Naturally, you want to feel comfortable wherever you’re living and student accommodation is no different. Living away from home can be one of the best parts of the university experience (after classes of course), but how do you make the most of it?
Here are a few things you can do to make living with others a breeze.
After the initial few weeks, the honeymoon ends. If you haven’t gotten into good habits, you may notice the communal areas begin to look a bit untidy.
Try to stay on top of things with your flatmates and create a rota to divide the weekly chores fairly. It can be frustrating when people don’t pull their weight, but if everyone has a responsibility, it is more likely to get done!
Make sure everyone in the flat has the opportunity to speak about any issues and concerns they’re having. Consider having an informal, weekly flat meeting.
You could do it before you put a film on. Just make sure everybody’s views are listened to and respected, and focus on finding ways to make people happier rather than playing the blame game.
If everyone knows the situation, it is easier for things to get resolved.
If you’ve tried to sort out an issue with your flatmates but it hasn’t worked, speak to a Unite Students staff member.
From experience, staff are more than happy to mediate and help you find a solution together. They have your best interests at heart and want you all to have a good experience!
No matter how frustrating it can be when things are not going smoothly, try to keep calm. If you feel yourself filling with anger, now’s not the time to deal with the issue. Go for a walk to cool off, and speak to the person when you feel calmer. Think about what you want to happen, rather than accusing or blaming.
As they say, ‘Don’t promise when you’re happy. Don’t reply when you’re angry. And don’t decide when you’re sad.’
From my time sharing a flat, it’s been good overall. I’ve met new friends and I’m gaining independence and confidence with how to approach certain situations.
It is only natural that there are hiccups along the way when living with others. But it should not dampen your time away from home and remember, a little respectful conversation goes a long way.