For many students moving into university accommodation, the experience will be the first time they’ve lived with others outside their family home. And, naturally, this can raise a number of challenges – foremost of which being getting along well with those you live with.
Living in shared accommodation can take some getting used to. Being thrust into a situation where you need to cohabitate with strangers, all from different backgrounds and walks of life, can be difficult for a lot of young people – but you stand a much better chance of feeling at home if you yourself are a good housemate.
And when we say, ‘good housemate’, we don’t just mean cleaning up and keeping the noise down (though those are important, too!). Living with others is about recognising boundaries, valuing people’s space and lending an ear whenever someone has a problem. Get these things right, and you’ll have a much smoother, happier experience of living in shared accommodation.
To help you be the best housemate you can be, we’ve put together this guide brimming with tips and advice on living with others. We’ve also enlisted the insight and expertise of human behaviour and relationship expert Patrick Wanis to help make sure your experience of living with others goes off without a hitch.
To start, we wanted to share a few basic tips that can help you nail being a housemate right off the bat. Simple changes and thoughtful actions are all that’s needed here, so read our tips on how to get it right:
Living in a shared house or flat is always a matter of give and take. Everyone is different and has different standards and ways of doing things, so you have to find a way to live together harmoniously – even if there are big differences.
Naturally, in such an environment, conflict can happen. But it’s how you deal with such grievances that can make all the difference. Here are a few quick tips to help you resolve conflicts with your uni roommates.
These are just a few of the issues which can arise when living in shared accommodation, and there are many ways you can deal with small problems. If, however, you’re concerned by a flatmate’s behaviour, be sure to get in touch with your accommodation welfare team.
Living with others in a shared space can be challenging, but also really rewarding. To help you get the absolute most from your experience, we invited human behaviour expert Patrick Wanis to share his tips and insights on how you can be a good roommate and get on well with those you live with. Read Patrick’s advice below.
“Living with someone else can bring out both the best and worst in everyone. The primary key to getting along is identifying what is the deal-breaker for each person, i.e. what is the one thing that neither of you are willing to accept?
“Next, seek to deeper understand your housemate: what is each person’s temperament? What are their needs? What are their routines and habits? For example, is he/she an introvert or extrovert; does he/she need more, or less time alone than you do? Do they study in quiet or with music? Do they want to become best friends or do they want to have stronger boundaries and simply live as housemates, not companions or friends? Determine the ways that they want to be treated.
“Remember, do not try to guess these things; sit down and have an open conversation to express your personality, temperament, characteristics, needs, desires, habits and routines. You could begin by drafting a simple questionnaire, ask everyone to fill it out, then have a roundtable/living room discussion about everyone’s answers. Do all of this as soon as you move in together; do not wait until after you have had your major argument and then resentment and bitterness enter and infect the household.
“Finally, if you expect perfection from everyone, including yourself, you will be deeply disappointed. Be willing to communicate when something goes wrong and be willing to give as well as ask for a second chance!”
At Nido, we do what we can to help make sure your time in shared accommodation is rewarding, fun and comfortable. For more information on our stylish and contemporary student homes, visit the homepage today.