Having completed the daunting challenge of first year at university, the majority of students will leave halls of residence and move into private accommodation. This can be one the most exciting periods of your life, and usually the first time you become truly independent.
However, for some, the experience can be tarnished if the relationship between you and your housemates turns sour. The main reason for this is how different personalities are now forced to live in close quarters. Even petty issues can cause the breakdown of relationships.
Of course, your own behaviour will also be a factor in the success or failure of the move. To help you with this, we’ve put together a few tips so that your time sharing student accommodation runs as smoothly as possible.
Rule 1 is to always clean up after yourself – it’s no doubt that this is the main cause of friction between student housemates. Don’t be the guy who leaves unwashed pots out in the kitchen… no-one likes that guy.
Remember to stay on top of everything. A few glasses left on the side can soon snowball into a sink full of dirty plates, causing arguments over who’s responsible. A good tip here is to designate a day during the week where you all pitch in for a thorough cleaning session.
Without trying to appear too uptight or bossy, organising a few ground rules can eliminate possible conflicts in the future. For example, arrange a curfew for loud music and select a rota for taking the bins out.
If someone isn’t pulling their weight, don’t go in all guns blazing straight away. Perhaps bring up the situation in a light-hearted manner over a few drinks. This can help dampen tensions without the need for a full-blown argument.
One of the biggest skills you can develop in these formative years of your life is that of empathy. You’ll soon learn that not everyone is the same, and different personalities can be handled in different ways.
For example, the sociable ‘party animal’ from first year may actually want a lot of privacy when at home. Pick up your friend’s behavioural traits over time, learning how to respect personal boundaries and not push any buttons.
It may sound obvious but simply being a nice person will go a long way. Make an effort with your mates, stopping in for a chat if someone seems a bit down for example. Another tip is to always pay your way, especially when it comes to utility bills and getting a round of drinks in.
Organise regular nights out with each other, never excluding anyone. If you start going out with other friends or spending too much time with a partner, this can also lead to unease within the house.
Overall, your first experience living in shared accommodation is a great learning curve in life. There’ll be ups and downs, but as long as you develop a degree of empathy and pull your own weight, things should turn out fine in the end.
If you’re a student looking for a private property in the Newcastle area, take a look at some of our available student lets here.