Not to sound like a pessimist, but when you decide to live with someone there are bound to be pitfalls. Think about it, even with your own family. I’m sure you’ve argued or even fought with your parents or siblings. Especially with your siblings. It’s not rocket science that befriending someone and living with them is a world apart. When you live together each persons’ flaws become apparent, you’re in each others’ personal space, and clashes are more likely. Here are five tips to try and keep the peace with your new housemates.
Set house rules from day one
The earlier rules are set the better. The last thing you want is to go two weeks into the term and realize no one has been taking the bins out or stocking up on communal items like toilet paper. It would make things a lot easier if you agree upon broad house rules from the beginning. These can include the cleaning rota, payment of various bills, or even budget issues regarding the usage of central heating. While it is good to settle these things earlier on, it’s best not to be too calculative. You don’t want to get off on the wrong foot and there is bound to be a little bit of ‘give-and-take’.
Use an app to settle money issues
It is a no-brainer that money issues, especially amongst students on a budget, will cause tension. Owing your housemates large sums of money and not paying back on time is not a good idea. Why not use an app to help you organise this? Tilt, for instance, is a great way to collect payments from a group. You can set up a ‘tilt’ to collect money for gas and invite all your housemates to contribute. The app allows contributors to pay with a touch of a finger and will even keep track of who has paid allowing you to send reminders. Using an app like this can increase transparency and minimise arguments about who owes whom how much.
Do nice things together as a flat
Make it a point, from time to time, to go with your housemates for a nice meal or even cook together at home. Obviously, the closer you are the more you’ll hangout together. But even if you’re not super close, doing things as a flat can result in better understanding amongst you as well as a friendlier atmosphere at home. You don’t want to feel like you’re living with strangers, as a house is much more intimate than halls. Ultimately, everyone needs a support system with those they live with.
Socialise with other people as well
If you’re super close with your housemates, that’s wonderful. It makes for a great university experience. Being together 24/7, however, can make things feel a bit intense – more so if you’re all doing the same course as well. An obvious option is to get involved in societies and go to their socials in order to mix things up a bit.
Have an open and direct communication
Communication- that is the key to a healthy relationship. As its only natural for tensions to arise in the house, you should be able to openly discuss them with your flatmates rather than keep them bottled up. If you have an issue with someone, talk it out like mature adults in order to reach some sort of compromise. This would prevent the tension from escalating or relationships from going sour. Because at the end of the day, no one is inherently bad. It may just come down to misunderstanding and miscommunication.
What troubles have you had with your flatmates and how have you solved them? We would love to hear from you in the comments or on our twitter page (twitter.com/Student_Wire).