One of the scariest things about leaving home for university is having to move in with people who you don’t actually know very well. Depending on where you decide to stay, you could have up to five people living with you in your first year, who have never lived without their parents before.
Hopefully you will all get on, but if you end up with someone who’s constantly pushing your buttons and getting on your nerves then here’s what to do.
Lay down the law
Within the first week, you should create a list of chores that need to be done and assign everyone with a responsibility. The schedule should include cleaning the kitchen as that is a shared environment that has to be kept clean.
Gather for at least one hour during the weekend and clean up as much as you can, so that by Monday the house should be clean and comfortable to revise in.
Keep your stuff to yourself
Make a rule that everyone has to keep their belongings in their room. This creates less clutter and mess in the shared rooms so you don’t have to clear up other people’s clothes and shoes etc. It also prevents theft if your personal belongings are going missing.
Have meetings and discuss how to amend the schedule if someone feels that they have too much work to do. Allow people to swap chores if it interferes with their university work.
Talk about it
Communicate with them about issues you are having for example through a group chat where everyone can keep in contact.
If they play music too loud and don’t want to turn it down, buy earplugs and see if that helps you sleep. If they do this regularly and it disrupts your studies, go to the library or see if you can stay at your friend’s house if you know they are having a party that night.
Ask them to have pre-drinks at someone else’s house so you don’t get disturbed. Let them know if you have an important exam or need to be up early, so they don’t keep you awake.
If they are unkind or you do not get along with them, avoid being alone with them and get another flatmate to tell them how you are feeling. They might have the same problems as you and support you if you feel intimidated.
Label cupboards and food items that are yours so they do not mistakenly use your things. If you are sharing cookware, ask everyone to wash up whatever they have used.
If your flatmates argue with each other do not take anyone’s side, encourage them to resolve it and don’t get directly involved with their arguments.
Talk to the proffesionals
Speak to the landlord and ask them if they can meet with your flatmates and discuss the situation together. They might have good advice about how to re-arrange cupboards so that everyone has enough space and or arranging for a cleaner to come and help you clean.
Make the move
If there is one particular flatmate causing issues, speak to them and your landlord about whether they would be more comfortable living somewhere else and see if they will to move out.
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