Student accommodation can be amazing. You get to know new people and potentially make new friends. You get invited to so many flat parties and organize your own, and you pay a fair price for a decent sized and cozy room. There are a lot of pros about living in student accommodation but here are a few suggestions to help you settle in quicker.
- Make an effort to get to know your flat mates
Getting to know your flat mates can only turn into something positive. Especially if you are going into student accommodation during your first year, you most likely have not had the time to make friends just yet. Getting to know your flat mates is a good way to make friends with people who are most likely the same age as you and have similar interests. Remembering my first birthday in University, I was happy to have my flat mates around who threw a mini party for me, even though I had known them for one week. In addition, connecting with your flat mates means you can join them in flat parties; you don’t want to be the one left out from the team! Sharing food, cutlery, getting assistance with uni work and joining societies together becomes the norm after some time. In general, you want to make good memories during your stay there and your flat mates will for sure enrich the experience.
- Clean up after yourself
Most of us have never shared common spaces with strangers before experiencing living in student accommodation. That means that there are some new rules that we need to follow in order to make living smoother. A really important thing to make living easier between you and your flat mates is cleaning up after yourself. That means cleaning your dirty dishes, throwing away expired food, taking out the bins, cleaning the bathroom and kitchen after you’ve used it etc. By doing this, not only will you keep spaces clean after you have used them, but it will also push your flatmates to do the same (imagine if one of your flat mates was leaving the common spaces dirty; how would you feel?). It will also help you stay clear from any conflicts with your flat mates. Don’t forget that keeping the accommodation clean and organized is a team job and everyone should be involved.
- Keep your personal items in your room, cupboard or label them
It is very easy to get your items (like cutlery or food) mistaken for other students’ items. Some students will indeed use your food, without asking you, as everything is stored in one common fridge. It is up to you to keep your items stored in your assigned space if you don’t want them to be used by other people. For example, its best to dry and store your cutlery in your cupboard after you have washed them. It is also useful if you label your food; That way no one can mistake it for theirs and have no excuse to use it.
- Do laundry with your flatmates
Doing laundry means you have to pay around £3-£5 total every time you want to clean and wash your clothes. This inevitably leads to you having to gather up a fair amount of clothes before you do laundry, so you don’t spend money too often. However sometimes you might want to wash clothes that you really want to wear, without having gathered enough laundry to be done. A good idea is to do your laundry with one of your flatmates, so you can divide the cost. That way, you can pay less money and have the clothes that you really want to wear, washed asap.
- Have headphones and earplugs on hand
Sometimes you are tired from studying or have a 9AM the next day, and you’re really not feeling like joining your flatmates in yet another pre-drinks gathering. In order to ensure that you will be able to get some sleep, it is useful if you have earplugs or headphones with you. It is normal for student accommodation to get loud at times, and listening to some music, or blocking off any sounds completely, can help you feel at peace and at home again.
These are just a few suggestions for making living in accommodation easier. If you respect common spaces and make sure you try to connect with your flatmates it is guaranteed that you will survive a long (and awesome) year in student accommodation.
Text by Elpida Komianou
Picture research by Juliéy Pham; featured image by James Woodson via Getty Images.