How To Avoid Falling Out With Your Flatmates
University may well be the first time you've lived with someone who hasn't been your Mum, Dad or siblings. It's a big change but an exciting one. Sometimes, it can be hard to be the perfect flatmate, but everyone wants to have a homely, happy place to live. Follow our tips to avoid any flatmate tension and have a zen(-ish) home away from home.
Choose the right people to live with
Of course, this tip is hard when you're living in halls and are thrown together with a bunch of randoms. We get it. However, if you are living in a shared flat or house later, really take some time to think about who would make a good flatmate. Dean who is out every night probably isn't going to be great at taking out the bins. Heather who stays up till 3AM finishing essays might not pay her rent on time. Choose flatmates who share your values and that's half the battle. Remember though, at some point everyone will forget to take the bins out and be up to 3AM finishing an essay – guaranteed.
Split responsibilities early on
When setting up internet, gas or electricity accounts or even just organising a cleaning or bin rota make sure all the tasks are fairly and evenly split so everyone is doing their share. Why not make a big rota for the kitchen? Have a rotation system? Let everyone choose the task they want? If you're a couple of months in and someone isn't pulling their weight approach the situation calmly. Passive aggressive post-its are not the way to go.
Bills, bills, bills
A good idea is to have someone handling each account. A person for internet, one for electricity/gas, maybe someone else for water. Make sure you let everyone know what they owe well in advance. A good idea is to set up a flat Whatsapp or Facebook group so you can communicate about this easily. Or, perhaps you could consider a shared bank account where your direct debits come out of but where you all put in money every month.
Take time for each other
Everyone has busy lives at university but remember sometimes it's nice to just come home and hang out with your flatmates. Offer to cook shared meals once a week, have a Netflix or film night or decide you'll all go out for pizza. Make time to keep those relationships strong. Getting to live with friends at university is not something you want to take for granted.
Accept that everyone is different
Whether you didn't choose your flatmates or you've all been friends for years, you won't get on with everyone 100% of the time. You'll be spending more time with your housemates than anyone else so try to accept and learn to love each other's differences. Sure, someone's dishes might linger for a day longer than necessary but they make an amazing roast dinner. Someone else might take too long in the shower but you know you'll still be friends in 20 years. People accept your flaws, so do the same for them.
Learning to stay calm, compromise and act maturely are some of the most important skills you'll learn in a house share. Take on board our tips and you and your flatmates are sure to have the time of your life.