8 ways to bond with your new flatmates

Moving away from home to start your new life, on the road to your dream career, at your dream university can be an overwhelming task. Even for me, who only moved 20 miles from Leeds to Huddersfield, it was a terrifying experience. You have to learn to become completely independent – having to cook for yourself, clean up after yourself, wash your own clothes (I admit, I am a complete sloth at home) – the struggle is far too real. And just when you think they’re the worst of your troubles – you are then hit with the realisation that you’re going to be living with a group of complete strangers that you’ve never met before. Which is completely terrifying.

“What if they all hate me?” “What if we don’t get on?” “What if i have no friends all year?” are all thoughts that swam through my mind at the beginning of the year, terrifying me to the point of never wanting to leave my room ever. But there is no need to stress, and here are 8 ideas to get to know and bond with your new flatmates and become the ultimate best friends forever.my_fingers_by_zita952-d5ni3an

1 ) Don’t sit in your room all day.

After moving miles from home, all you can really think about doing is crawling into bed, wrapping yourself up in your duvet and watching your favourite show, whilst occasionally crying into your pillow. Whilst this is a completely comfortable idea, you’re never going to make new friends this way. Your flatmates will be just as nervous as you are and probably want to do the exact same thing, but if you don’t even attempt to talk at the beginning of the year, it’ll only get harder. And then you’ll just be in your room all year with only Game of Thrones from company. So pop your head out of your door and let them know of your existence.

2) Join a society together.

Societies are a fantastic way to make new friends, bonding over something you all have in common. Once you find what makes you and your new flatmates click, then finding a society where you can have a laugh over a shared passion would be perfect to get to know the strangers you have been thrown together with even further. With hundreds of societies including belly dancing, cooking, and even one solely based around the popular game series’ Assassins Creed at my university, there is something for absolutely everyone out there, also being a fantastic way to get to know new people.

3) Shop Together.

As a woman who is completely addicted to buying new clothes, taking a trip to the shops is the ideal way to bond with me. With many other people exactly the same, why not simply take a trip down to the local shopping centre with your new friends and treat yourself to a whole new wardrobe, whilst finding out your flatmates’ likes and dislikes. You may both dart for the same t – shirt, fall in love with the same pair of shoes or drool over the same handbag on sale and realise you have more in common than you thought. _64828858_topshoptrinityleeds,dusk

4) Cook a meal together.

What better way is there to bond than over the most important time of the day – dinner time. Cooking as a team is not only a great way to get to know each other but is also is a fantastic way of saving money on a budget. Buying food in bulks which you can all split eliminates wastage, saving you money in the long run. Why not make a pizza together (yes, that includes the dough) have a laugh and be delighted in the end with a wonderful meal which is much healthier than the frozen version from Iceland (even if it is 89 pence, but would you make friends that way?)

5) Do laundry together.

A romantic mate date to the laundry room is a fantastic way to bond as you laugh at the flatmate who has never used a washing machine before at the age of nineteen (ahem), complain over the extortionate fees they charge to wash your clothes and a perfect way to bond as you realise you both own the same cute shirt you bought from Topshop last summer.

(Note: this will become a rare bonding experience as you realise it is cheaper to bring your washing home each week and have your mum wash it instead.)

6) Take an interest in their course.

Taking a keen interest in your flatmates’ courses shows that you actually care about them. Yeah, Mathematical and Theoretical Physics may not be your thing, but asking about their degree and what they do in it lets them know you want to get to know them past the awkward first conversations and take a keen interest in their life. 

7) Get to know their course mates.

Again, getting to know their course mates too lets them know you’re planning to stick around. If they invite you on a night out which only includes people from their course, go regardless. You may feel like the poor soul left out at the beginning, but get involved, have a laugh and a great time bonding with the brand new group of friends you’ll have made by the end of the night. 

8) Go to the pub.

The best place to be at university, where cheap food and alcohol eliminates the awkward silences. A more social setting whilst stuffing your face with good food makes for a comfortable atmosphere where you can get massively drunk at the same time and forget about how nervous you are to make new friends. You’ll feel much more calm and open, be able to have lots of fun and get to see your flatmates in a drunken state for the first time. Thus, a new friendship will be formed. The pub solves almost everything at university, and this is the first step in realising so.

University is a scary time for everyone. Making new friends is about the most frightening thing for some people out there. But if you click with your flatmates, spend lots of time together and get to know what each other inside out , then you’ll form friends for life. And there really is no better feeling than a best friend you know will always be there for you throughout your time at university and beyond.

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Photo Credit: mac_ivan via Compfight cc

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Gaby Quine

Lover of food, cats and The Simpsons. Journalist at The University of Huddersfield

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