Finding housemates online and in person can feel daunting. You may not know each other very well and may have not met before. Take your time with getting to know each other and don’t feel pressured into signing for a house if you’re unsure. To get to know each other a bit you could ask questions like:
- Are you looking to enjoy the party scene this year or do you prefer more of a night in?
- Do you have a part time job and work late nights?
- Do you enjoy cooking as a group or individually?
- Do you often have friends or partners staying round?
- Do you enjoy sharing cleaning jobs or would you prefer to clean up your own individual areas?
- What is your budget for rent and bills?
- Do you like to play music out loud or do you use headphones?
Asking questions like this early on could help you to understand how each other likes to live. Even though you may be great friends at university, you may have very different living styles. It is okay to set your own boundaries and stick to these. Sometimes the best housemates may not be your course mates at university.
Once you have moved in together it is important to keep these boundaries. Communicate your needs to your housemate, help them to learn more about you and what makes you feel comfortable in your living space. If something is getting you down, then communicate this to your housemate before it becomes a problem. This also has to work both ways, be mindful of others and how they like to use their space, even if this is very different to your ideas.
Here’s a few of our top tips on how to avoid miss communication with house mates:
- Sharing: Be clear about the things that you don’t mind sharing and the things you’d rather keep for your own personal use. Although your housemate may be very giving and is happy to share their things, this may not be the case for everything so always double check with them.
- Communal Living Space: Be mindful of the communal space which you may take up. This could be spending a lot of time watching your TV programmes in the lounge, leaving your washing in the washing machine for extended periods, leaving your washing up drying in communal spaces, putting your bathroom products all over the bathroom, taking up space in the fridge with your food or leaving your washing up out on the side. Organize your time effectively to ensure you are not taking up too much space, be respectful of shared spaces and of other’s needs.
- Relationships: Be mindful of each other’s personal space. It’s great to say hello and chat to each other about how your day has been, but sometimes people require more quiet time than others. This is the same for inviting friends over, you and your friends may be in a really chatty and sociable mood one evening but your housemate may want a quiet space to study and relax. Could you go out to a local coffee shop or pub to catch up with your friends instead?
- Be Honest: Don’t say yes when you mean no. You may want to be friendly and not cause any problems by saying yes to doing a favour for a housemate, but it’s just as important to be honest. Ignoring your own needs can turn into resentment and even arguments later down the line.
- Communication is Key: It’s easy to misunderstand each other sometimes, especially in a world of group chats and DMs. Sometimes it’s best to take things off social media and have a chat in person. Think about how you facilitate this conversation, will that person feel comfortable in that space? Will they feel ganged up on if a group of you is talking to them at once? Be clear with your words but be kind. It can be frustrating living with people, but being kind and understanding about a situation can lead to a more positive outcome.
Start communicating early on with your housemates and always be kind. Remember, university is a tricky time for everyone, you’re all away from home and experiencing new things, stressful things, and a lot of change. This can feel even more isolating when you don’t get on with your house mates. So be kind to each other and make your living situation as comfortable as possible for each other.
For more information on Student Housing, check out our Housing Guide here.
To find student houses available in the surrounding local areas go to the AUB Student Pad: aubstudentpad.co.uk
For further advice on accomodation and student housing head over to Student Services on campus or pop them an email: email@example.com