Posted on Wed 23 Jan 2019 at 09:47 by Hannah King
Living in accommodations means that you will have to share your living arrangements with multiple people the same age as you, which can be new and frightening for a lot of people. However, it is also likely that this is your first instance of living away from home for an extended period, as preparation for living on your own full time. Therefore, this section will help you with sharing your accommodations with your other students in a manageable manner.
Establishing Belongings and Others
The very first thing you should do is establish everybody and everything. Introducing yourself and having a sense of honesty with your other students is essential, as you will be living together for a long period of time. It will give you an idea of the types of people who will be living with you, and in some cases, it will determine who you ultimately like and dislike. In terms of possessions, every person should have their own room, and it is fine to establish this room as your own personal space where you should keep your belongings, especially small things. The living room and most likely kitchen is a public space, for social interactions and cooking at least. Foods, mugs, lunchboxes and other kitchen necessities that belong to one individual should be labelled clearly as such, or, if you have multiple cabinets, assign one to a couple of members for everybody to remember.
Understand Your Flatmates
Sharing a home for over a year at least with others can be difficult, and sometimes people will move away after completing their year and new people will move in. Knowing these people is important and will help you to live comfortably with them. Try to be understanding of their own problems and give them space if necessary, whilst being mindful of your own needs. There can be occasions where people can get angry due to pressure or personal issues and lash out. It’s your choice whether you want to comfort them or avoid them until it calms down. Even with belongings established, it is possible for somebody else to eat your food or use one of your possessions. Whilst it is frustrating, and you have the right to say it is, getting enraged or holding a grudge will only create tension which is uncomfortable for everyone. Try to just make your point then let it be water under the bridge. It is always possible for there to be at least one person you dislike living with you. The first thing you should do is try to understand them and be open for them, but if you strongly dislike them, then simply try to avoid them when possible, in life you do have to put up with people you don’t like. If the problem is much more serious, such as your flatmates acting antagonistic towards you, apply for different living arrangements.
Setting up a Schedule
A schedule can be important for establishing a sense of balance and fairness in your shared home. This schedule should be placed somewhere noticeable like on the fridge or living room door. You can have the schedule show everybody’s lecture times, which can help as a good reminder for each other, but more importantly it should label the tasks delegated amongst each of you. These should be tasks that take care of your house, like hoovering, dusting, washing up, taking out the trash etc. By establishing a fair and balanced workload for everybody, it falls on all of you to be fair with each other, or you all fail to live cleanly. The schedule can also work to establish when people get to use any facilities the living room specifically has, such as a TV or any video game consoles. It can be annoying to not use things when you want to, but it’s better than fighting over it.
Living with others is new for many, and can be difficult, but it can be good practice in working with other people, preparing for a job. It will help you with establishing boundaries that fit around both you and your flatmates and gives you a sense of adult responsibility. Most importantly of all though, these people living with you can become some of your closest friends, so be sure to enjoy living together.
Written by Elliot Woods