Student Rebecca shares her top tips on making the most of living with others
Living in halls/shared accommodation is a fantastic part of the university experience, firstly because as you move in on your first day people in the same situation instantly surround you.
My number 1 tip to a happy flat is to build friendships with your flatmates and people outside of your flat. Not relying on those friendships will be beneficial to both you and your friends. Diversifying your friendship groups will prevent loading too much pressure on your new friendships, especially as you will naturally be spending a lot of time together in the flat.
Secondly – recognise the differences between living with your parents and living with friends. Firstly you are responsible for yourself, and your mum is not there to tidy up after you! So take control of your living space, tidy up after yourself, respect others and think about the impact your actions have on those around you.
One of the most comforting things to do before moving into halls is to get to find your future flatmates on facebook. Getting to know who you will be living with – even if its just their names, will alleviate some of the pressure and awkwardness on the first day. This also helped me mentally prepare for living with other people, and also built the excitement for moving in day.
Finally – bring a doorstop and keep your bedroom door open when you are free and happy to socialise. This will invite people in and will help build friendships during welcome week. But don’t stop at welcome week – continue to keep your door open as the term starts, to maintain those friendships. If there is a flat member who hasn’t spent a lot of time with the rest of the flat – knock on their door and invite them to spend time with you, they may be feeling lonely/home sick, and it will help them feel comfortable in the flat too.