Freshers' blog

6 tips for surviving shared living

After months of worrying about what your room will be like and who you’re going to be sharing a flat with, you’re probably relieved to find that your new flatmates are indeed human beings – honestly, what were you expecting!

The first few weeks are the best, in that all of your new flatmates are on their best behaviour, including you! But, sooner or later you might find certain habits start to grate on you. It’s bound to happen. The good news is that many students have gone before you and they’ve all survived. So, if you want to survive, follow our top tips.

Tip one: personal space

Some people need it more than others, and whether you’re the person who needs it or not, it’s important to respect other people’s personal space.

A few ground rules;
  • Knock before entering someone’s room. All because it’s unlocked doesn’t mean they want you to waltz in and out of their room without knocking.
  • Don’t berate someone for spending time on their own. Some ‘alone’ time is healthy. Be friendly, not pushy.
  • Take the hint. Don’t overstay your welcome. If someone drops a hint that they want you out of their room, don’t take it personally.

Tip two: be sociable

Being sociable isn’t easy for everyone, we get that, but this is one of those times where being sociable and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone really does help. So be the one to organise flat outings, try and organise a social with your new course mates and join a society which interests you.

We guarantee, the more you put in the more you will get out.


Tip three: don’t let things fester

If you have a problem don’t let it fester and don’t be tempted to leave a note or post-it with a passive-aggressive message written on it. The best thing you can do is speak about your problems with the person in question.


Tip four: avoid flat romance like the plague

It’s incredibly easy to ‘fall’ for someone, especially when there’s alcohol involved; but don’t let that blur your judgement. Flat romances rarely end happily ever after, and if you want to avoid any awkward moments in the future you’d better hold off until next year to make your move.

I love you

Tip five: be considerate

It’s okay to listen to music at 3.00am in the morning – just make sure you put your headphones on or keep it low so that you’re not disturbing the person in the next room or the flat below.

It’s common courtesy, you wouldn’t like to be woken up at 3.00am in the morning if you need to be up for 7.00am, so don’t do it to others. Simple.
Same goes for musicians and movie-buffs.

Noisy Musicians

Tip six: cleanliness

Sure, you have a cleaner but that doesn’t mean you should live like a slob. Try and clean up after yourself and create a nice environment for everyone you’re sharing with. Otherwise, you might find that it can cause friction.

Next year, you’ll get to encounter the delights of kitchen disputes and cleaning rotas, so for now, enjoy the relatively stress-free joys of first year.

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