As students get settled into their new accommodation, we are offering our top tips for house-sharing and being happy in your new home. It might be your first time living away from home and sharing a place with people you’ve never met before, so here is our advice for this new experience:
Get to know each other
Whether you’re in university halls or sharing in private housing, most people are happy to get to know their flatmates. Many students living in London are away from home and as Strategic Fashion Management student Noah Paulus puts it: ‘Everyone arrives alone and wants to make new friends. Just go and introduce yourself.’
Hattie Davis moved into university halls in her first year and she is now living in a house with other students: ‘It’s very much like a home away from home.’
Communicate but don’t overdo it
Communication is key when living together. It’s important to respect each other at all times. First-year Creative Direction student Geo explained to us how her flat tried to avoid raising issues via social media because it could sometimes be misinterpreted. It’s always better to wait until you’re home to discuss any issues.
Keep the communal space tidy
Respecting each other also means keeping the communal space tidy. It’s important for everyone to feel at home in their new flat, and to be able to sit down on the sofa or cook a meal at any time without having to remove everyone’s belongings from the communal areas.
Research shows that a messy home can lead to higher levels of stress, while people who keep their home clean and tidy tend to be happier.
Share the essentials
Saving money on essential items can be straightforward. If you are all happy to share dishwashing products, paper towel, toilet rolls, etc., it can be practical to either create a rota to buy them in turns or shop in bulk every few months and split the bill.
Bumps in the road happen
If you hit bumps, it doesn’t have be permanent. Don’t be afraid to discuss issues with your flatmates. First-year Creative Direction student Geo told us about her experience:
‘We had flat meetings and allowed each other to say what we thought needed to be changed (behaviour/actions) in order to make it a nicer living area for all of us. We also tried to avoid using social media (group chats) to raise issues because it comes across differently to how you would discuss it in person.’
What happens when you move out?
At the end of the year, you may want to move to private accommodation with your friends. We recommend you to have your contracts looked over by the Accommodation Services before signing.