Shared student accommodation can be one of the most exciting aspects of university. Moving into a student apartment comes with newfound independence and opportunities to make friends for a lifetime. Shared accommodation is a great living option for many students. Splitting an apartment space is an easy way to save money on rent. If you plan ahead, you can split the cost of supplies and furniture needed for everyone in the apartment to share. Additionally, if you’re travelling far from home, having flatmates can be a fun experience as you have close access to new friends who you can connect with during university.
Settling into an unfamiliar environment with new people can also seem daunting and stressful. However, if you’re starting university, housing should be the least of your worries–and it can be as long as you come prepared. Not sure what to expect?
Get to know your new housemates. It never hurts to introduce yourself, and chances are, the students you’re living with also want to get to know you–especially if you’re all starting university for the first time. Find out where they’re from, what they’re studying, and their hobbies. University provides a great opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and from around the world–you’ll be surprised who you cross paths with and what you can learn from them. Breaking the ice with your housemates will help you rid of any initial awkwardness that can come with living with people you don’t know, and it will open the lines of communication. Talking with your housemates can also help you shake off the nervousness of starting a new school year. Plus, you may just make an amazing friend!
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Get creative with ways you can bond with your flatmates. Get acquainted with your new environment together and check out some local attractions and hot spots downtown. Want to grab dinner at that takeaway restaurant across the street? Grab your housemates and go! Or, stay in and make a meal together. When the coursework picks up, you can gather your flatmates and study together. Finding simple, everyday ways you can get to know your new surroundings and flatmates will make living together comfortable and fun.
Make Your Place Feel Like Home
Decorate your apartment. Brainstorm easy, affordable ways you all can add items to your place. You can use cozy and functional items in a shared living area, such as cushions, rugs, and other furniture. This way, you can bond with your housemates while creating a cool space to hang out.
Nobody’s a mindreader! Start off the year right and discuss house rules with your flatmates. Figure out a cleaning schedule, and be specific about any preferences you might have. Don’t mind having friends over after midnight or do you need quiet hours? Willing to share all of your products or do you have any items that are off limits? Detailing the specifics now will help avoid conflicts later. Also, whenever any living issues arise, be sure to sit down and talk about it. Make sure everyone is heard. Be clear, and be polite. You’ll thank yourself later.
Consider your housemates’ point of view! You might be used to leaving your shoes at the door, but if it’s making the living area messy for someone else, they might need a new place. Pop in some headphones if you want to listen to music while your housemate is studying. Little things can build into conflict over time. Be willing to compromise, even if you don’t initially feel like it. Even when things get busy, look out for simple ways for everyone to respect each other’s preferences and space.
Have Your Own Space
Even if you become best friends with your new housemates, you need your own space. With a busy schedule, you’ll need time to relax and rest after a long day. If you have your own bedroom, decorate it with photos and other items from home to make it yours. Make yourself comfortable! If you’re in a shared bedroom and you’re looking for a getaway, explore your campus and find places outside your apartment where you can unwind.
Try to Keep the Place Clean
A neat apartment means you’ll have one less thing to worry about. While your schedule might get busy, you and your housemates can practice simple habits to avoid creating a mess. Clean after yourself, and don’t leave your stuff in common areas. Make sure you keep up with the cleaning schedule. If you can’t make time for a thorough clean, tidying up small messes is an easy fix. Washing the dishes, taking out the trash, and reorganizing any misplaced objects can make a quick but satisfying difference. Also, this will keep out any unwanted pests. A clear space will help you concentrate when you’re studying, and it will be the most comfortable environment for friends to hang out.
Lend a Helping Hand
If you have spare time, why not help a someone whose hands are full? If you like to cook, you can surprise your housemates with dinner one night. If you’re at the store, you can pick up more paper towels for the apartment. You don’t have to completely inconvenience yourself to help your new housemates, but small gestures of kindness can help set a positive tone for everyone sharing the space.
Invite a Friend Over
Missing home? You can bring home to you! If friends from home are too far away, video chat to catch up or schedule a trip to visit them. If you have a free weekend, invite a friend or a loved one to visit. Plan to show them your place, tour the university, and introduce them to your new friends. If they’re staying overnight, don’t forget to check in with your housemates beforehand!
Using these tips, you can be excited about your shared student accommodation. As you take this next step in university, you can work hard while enjoying your apartment and housemates. It’s time to settle into your new home and make incredible memories you won’t forget.
Attending University in Leeds or Bradford, check out Valor Properties student rental properties across Leeds and Bradford.