It’s the start of the semester and you’re moving into accommodation with a new bunch of housemates. You’re all going to get along like halls on fire, …for Freshers’ Week at least – but that might all change. Dun dun dunnnnnn.
Enough of the dramatics. The fact is this: you’re stuck with these people not only for that first exciting week, but for the entire year after, meaning that if after Freshers’ Week you realise that you don’t actually really like your housemates, you still need to get along with them.
1) Invite each other out.
Even if it’s just to be polite. They might be a hardcore Metallica fan and you might be more into Taylor Swift, but even if that’s the case just ask them if they want to hit the club with you. It’ll show your considerate side, and might even result in friendship.
2) Be clean.
Sorry, but you must wash yourself. This sounds like an obvious one, but you might be shocked to find that some students (not naming any names) abandon that responsibility once they realised that mom wasn’t going to tell them they stink anymore. So, wash yourself, and remove any and all hair from the plughole please and thanks.
3) Don’t be loud.
E.g. Music, voices, visitors, etc. Just use your brain with this one. Reggae/hip-hop/dance/metal/rock/whatever – any type of music is offensive to the ear after 10pm. Make sure only you can hear it! Same goes for your voice, and for the voices of your visitors. Turn ’em down!
4) Work out a joint shopping list.
It just doesn’t really make sense to be buying four lots of milk when you’re all going to use it. Unless somebody especially wants full-fat/soya/goat’s/whatever, why not decide to take it in turns? Makes things a lot easier and cheaper for everyone. Sharing is caring, and all that.
5) Share the domestic duties.
If you don’t, it’s without a doubt that you’ll end up seeing passive aggressive post-it notes stuck to the fridge/cooker/floor/window sills from the one housemate who likes to keep the place spotless. Share the duties. Clean up after yourself, but also occasionally mop the kitchen floor, or clean the bathroom, or vacuum the hallway. Unfortunately, communal jobs exist too. And remember, ‘clean’ only means that something looks clean. ‘Hygienic’ means it is clean – know the difference.
6) Binge-watch common TV shows together.
Are you all fans of Breaking Bad? Why not huddle up with some crisps and dip and watch it as a group? Find something in common while saving on electric – two birds, one stone. Boom.
7) Offer cups of tea/coffee/hot chocolate.
Daily uplifts matter. One of your housemates might have had a really bad day, so a quick knock on the door with the offer of a nice hot brew might cheer them right up.
8) Don’t smoke indoors.
To be fair, I’m not sure if this is actually allowed in any of our uni halls. In fact, I highly doubt that it is. Still, if you’re a smoker and nobody else is, do ’em a favour and go outside. The smell is atrocious, and people seem to forget that it compromises other people’s health as well as your own. It’s not good enough to puff out of an open window – go all the way outside.
9) Don’t be a douche.
In general. No offence. This is a genuine transferable skill for later in life, but for some people it’s surprisingly hard. Basically, just don’t make any douche-moves. Also, it’s an important one because at first you won’t know each other that well, and you don’t know how your douche-moves might make them feel. As the saying goes: ‘Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle’… or words to that effect.
Got any of your own to add? If so, drop us a comment.