Halls of residence, Housemates, Renting a house

Living with Other People

Among the many changes you will have to make when you go to uni, living with other people and adapting to a new living situation will most likely be one of the biggest adjustments you’ll have to cope with. Whether you’re moving into halls with strangers, moving into a house with friends, or moving into a flat with your partner for the first time, it can be a pretty stressful process. Moving from your family home can be challenging for a number of reasons; you might miss your family, struggle to be independent, or want your own personal space.

As I discussed in my last blog post, I recently moved into a flat with my boyfriend, and  although initially stressful, we are now well settled in, however, I am not enjoying having to organise all the bills. They were handled for me in first year, and in second year we split the stressful adult tasks between everybody in the house, but now it’s up to me and my boyfriend. If you know how much you will have to pay, and you can afford to, it might be a good idea to pay the bills all in one go, which may help alleviate the stress on monthly finance budgeting, or stop you from having to chase housemates for money. For example if you don’t have a water meter you can pay all in one go. This can also be applied to shared services like TV and internet.

Being patient with others and pulling your weight are my two main tips. Everybody comes from a different background, some people are used to doing everything for themselves, while others are used to having family help clean up after them. So don’t get too angry at anybody immediately. Speak frankly with your housemates and establish some ground rules. Perhaps have a discussion about whether it’s okay to borrow each other’s stuff. It’s easier to talk about when you first move in so you can establish where everybody stands before somebody uses somebody else’s favourite mug, or somebody uses the last of somebody else’s rice the day they were planning on making a curry. Things like designating jobs or keeping a to-do list helps everyone to keep on top of tasks and make sure everyone is doing their bit.

Sorting out bills, establishing house rules, and gaining a consensus between everyone you share a house with will allow you to live together with minimum stress and conflict, letting you concentrate on important things like studying and enjoying uni life.

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