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As a student, you’ll probably spend your first year in university halls. After this, you’ll most likely be heading into a student house, which will usually see you sharing with a number of people. These may be your friends, or they could be complete strangers. Moving in with your friends can often be as difficult as moving in with strangers as it is harder to tell them when they’re out of line. Living with your friends can either make or break your friendship. If you’re going to be moving in with strangers, these tips could really help when it comes to figuring out your living situation.
Meet your housemates before moving in
If you don’t know the people you’re moving in with or you only have spoken to them online, you’ll need to meet up to make sure you’re all a good fit. If you’re alone and trying to find a space in a house that is already occupied, you should try to get to know the other housemates. This helps determine how you all get on without any pressure, this can help to avoid any tension at a later date.
Share contact details and emergency information
This may seem boring, but it’s important to share your contact details and emergency contacts with your housemates. This will be useful in case of emergencies and even just in day to day situations in case you need to get in contact. Most people tend to just become friends on Facebook, however getting numbers can too be helpful.
Be courteous to each other
Partying together is great, but no one likes the person who blasts music at night when everyone else is trying to sleep. Make sure you all understand each other’s schedules and try your best to live in harmony. Having an overnight guest is generally fine but the situation can turn sour if they’re continually at your property but not contributing financially.
Talk things out
If you feel there’s tension building in the house it’s worth sitting down with your housemates and talking it out. It may be awkward at the time but it is 10x better than talking about it behind each other’s backs and it coming out later. A little tip, being passive never works either, leaving passive notes around will always cause tension.
Devise a schedule
Dishes and other chores pile up quickly when you’re busy and hosting parties can make the house even worse. Agreeing on a cleaning rota so everyone has tasks to stick to will help keep mess to a minimum and prevent arguments. From time to time, it’s ok to help your housemates out if you know they’re busy and don’t really have time to fit in their jobs.
The cooking wars
Cooking should either be done individually or as a group, which saves on costs but demands you all like the same food. A cooking rota can help but some people may want to cook individually – so it’s worth bringing this up with everyone as soon as you can. Sharing a meal once a week can be a great way to speak to each other and also enjoy something different from usual. Each week you can take it in time to host a meal.
Paying bills may be rubbish (and drain most of your student loan) but sadly it’s unavoidable. Students are no exception. Resentment can quickly grow if one of you is slacking or using lots of electricity compared to everyone else, so you’ll all need to have a discussion about how much you’re comfortable paying and stick to a budget. Bills should be paid by splitting the cost between everyone. There are even apps on the market to allow you to split these equally. Or have each person in charge of one bill each tends to keep things fair.
Honestly, living with other people can be a super fun time, after living with your family and then in the somewhat structured living of halls. This is your time to be who you want to be and do the things you won’t be able to do when you move out. Parties and all-nighters can be a great way to enjoy your time together.