Taking up your university place and moving somewhere completely new can be daunting at the best of times. But being thrown in at the deep end and having to share with a roommate that you’ve never met before, or even know if you’ll get on with, can add extra pressure.
To make your living experience enjoyable, we’ve put together some top tips for living with a roommate, so you can make the most from your time at university:
- Be friendly
First impressions count! Treating your roommate how you would like to be treated and making an effort with them, will really help your friendship to get off on a good start.
- Get to know them
Making time to get to know your roommate will really help you bond. One of the best ways is to do something together – invite them for a night out, or take an interest in their hobbies.
It will also help you get to know what type of person they are and make living with them easier. For instance, if you find they are an introvert, they may feel uncomfortable if you invite people over without warning, knowing this will help keep you in their good books.
The best way to avoid issues later down the line, is to set some boundaries and respect each other and each other’s property. It’s best to ask if things are OK rather than just assuming. Simple things like asking if you can borrow things can help avoid tension or resentment building up. Discussing whether you want to share household items like dishcloths and washing up liquid, will mean one person doesn’t always feel the burden of having to replace everything and will help to share the cost.
- Become familiar with your roommate’s schedule
Getting to know your roommate’s schedule will help you get along better. They may have an early start, need quiet time to study before a deadline, or need to use the shower at a certain time to make it for their lecture. Knowing this means you can accommodate each other and develop a regular routine.
- Be considerate
One of the golden rules of house sharing is to be considerate of each other. Making small gestures like wearing headphones when watching a film or listening to music, so your roommate can concentrate and study will be really appreciated.
- Share responsibilities
Leaving one person to clean and tidy everything, can quickly become a pet peeve. It’s best to discuss a way forward and share responsibilities, even draw up a cleaning rota to make cleaning tasks easier for shared areas.
It can also be good to discuss whether you want to share making meals together or combine a food delivery shop.
- Keep an open mind
Having a roommate can be a great way to experience different backgrounds and different cultures; giving you a fantastic opportunity to try new things.
- Respect each other’s privacy
Although it’s great to get on really well with your roommate, you may also want to give each other some space from time to time. Going out with different people from your course can be a good way to do this.
- Resolve issues immediately
It’s to be expected that everyone will have different quirks, or habits that may become annoying. The best way to deal with any issues is to talk calmly with your roommate about it. Make sure you avoid leaving passive aggressive post-it notes at all costs, as this will only cause more friction.
- Create a workable layout
Creating a workable layout will help make living with a roommate easier. If you have an open plan layout, room dividers will create separate zones for living, studying, cooking and eating. They’re also a great way to help create extra privacy.
It’s definitely worth using storage to help keep communal areas tidy and make the most of your space, so you’re not constantly tripping over each other’s stuff, or getting in each other’s way. Fold up tables and chairs are ideal for student accommodation, as you can make the most of tight spaces and create a good environment for studying.
Now that you’re armed with our top tips, we’re sure that living with a new roommate will be a breeze!
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