For those who do not know, I studied my Masters Degree at the University of the West of England (UWE), in Bristol. My first year in 2008 was HORRIBLE, and that is me putting it lightly. I shared a flat, off campus, with 4 other students I have never met before, and it was just a major disaster. We had issues about everything, from cleaning and maintaining the flat, to issues of having constant parties and noise making. I will never forget that year for all the wrong reasons.
(In my room in Bristol 2008. Gosh I looked so young).
I learnt a lot from my experience, and I thought I should share some survival tips to anyone who might be thinking of sharing a student house or anyone going through the exact same issues I went through.
Here are my top 4 tips:
Share A Flat With Friends
Now this was not possible for me because I was an international student, so I didn’t really know anyone studying at Bristol, but if you have the opportunity to go to university with friends, just share a flat with them. It is a lot easier dealing with people you know than strangers. However, if you find yourself sharing a flat with people you don’t get on with, try to create a conducive atmpsohere for all by staying out of their way. Life is hard as it is already, don’t make it harder by having a row. The year does go by pretty quick, and you will be free to find some other place to rent.
Do Your Research
Do a through reasearch before you resume. My flat was in a block called The Hollies, and it was quite a distance from the main campus, which I didn’t know until I got to Bristol. It was a nightmare getting to classes on time in mornings, the buses were always late and it would have taken me hours to walk down. If I could go back in time, I would have gone for a flat closer to the main campus. Have a good look at the surrounding areas closest to your campus before you decide on where to stay.
Sort Out Cleaning Schedule
This should be one of the first things you sort out with your flat mates. Have a meeting and decide who does what and when, and have it pinned to the fridge or anywhere visible so everyone knows when it is their turn. You may have the extremely difficult and untidy people (like I had) who can’t be bothered to clean up after themselves, you could try having a word with them one on one or call a meeting and trash it as a group, or for your sanity, ignore them and clean up when you can if it bothers you that much. That was what I did, I moved out as soon as my lease was up, and moved into a flat with people of like minds, which takes us back to the first tip – Share A Flat With Friends.
There should be a free flow of communication to make any house sharing work. There should be regular meetings for general issues to be trashed out, problems can also be discussed before meetings if need be, it all depends on the rapport you have with your housemates, but it is best to discuss any concerns before it gets out of hand. Communication is vital for a peaceful student house sharing.
So there you have them, my top 4 tips for sharing a student house. Most of the issues I had with my housemates, I won’t have had them if I lived with my friends or people with like minds so I think that tip is the most important of all.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any tips to add?
*This is a collaborative post.