The thought of leaving home and moving into shared accommodation at university can undoubtedly be a scary one. Nevertheless, it is a huge part of the university experience and has taught me a lot over the years.
Though it has gifted me some great friends, living in shared accommodation with other students does have its challenges at times.
My advice for dealing with the challenges of shared living comes in the form of the three Cs: consideration, cooperation and compromise.
University is a wonderful place that brings different kinds of people, from different places, together in one place. Though this is great for meeting new people, it does mean you will all be used to different ways of life. For instance, you may be a total night owl who loves listening to drum and bass music every night, but what about your other flatmates? As much as we hate them, 9am lectures and exams do exist and your flatmates may all be on different schedules so, consider this before playing that loud music. Consideration of others is key to a harmonious living situation, it demonstrates respect and keeps everyone happy.
Shared accommodation means shared responsibilities. Yes, you will have to carry out adult tasks such as cleaning the kitchen and taking the bins out, it’s not always pretty but it’s necessary. It isn’t fair to leave these chores down to one, or the same few people and can potentially lead to bad feelings. This is where cooperation meets consideration. Help each other out, ask if whoever is cleaning would like help, work together to share the responsibilities and lighten the load.
As I have mentioned previously, it is highly likely you and your flatmates will all be on different schedules and therefore your plans may not always suit everybody else. If your plans for using the communal space clash for instance, or people want to sleep when you want to socialise, it is only fair you try to compromise and consider everyone’s needs. Discuss with your flatmates and try to find a happy medium, that way you can still enjoy your plans without disrupting anyone else.