Your All-Important Guide to Living – and Surviving – with Flatmates at University

When you’re at university, it can be daunting to meet strangers and try to get along with them – or worse, get them to like you! But it’s part of life at uni, as you will constantly be faced with new people and circumstances that will force you to adapt. This is especially true if it’s your first time and you show up at your accommodation – you will have to live with a few individuals who may or may not have the same tastes, habits, and preferences as yours. So how do you live with – and survive – with flatmates at university? Here is your all-important guide.

Rules in the kitchen

Cooking is one of the things you can expect to do a lot of, especially since dining out all the time can put a serious strain on your budget. But when living with other people, a simple activity like cooking can become a complex matter. To make cooking more fun, why not try cooking as a group? For this to work, though, you need to agree on what to cook and what your budget will be. You can contribute to a general shopping budget, which can help you do away with flatmates stealing food that isn’t theirs.

You can also try to schedule turns for everyone to cook. Monday night can be your time to prepare food, whilst Tuesday night can be your flatmate’s turn. This is a great idea if you can all properly sort out your schedules.

Rules in shopping

Living with flatmates can be a disaster if you don’t collaborate in regards to shopping. If you don’t see yourself labelling the food you purchase every time, why not try shopping as an entire group? You can collect money from everyone for items you all need, which is cheaper as well. Or, as an alternative, you can shop as a group, but only for the essentials, such as dish cleaner, toilet paper rolls, and the like. Anything else you want, you can buy on your own.

Rules for washing

It’s sad, but often true – dishes tend to pile up in student accommodations. But this doesn’t have to be a problem in yours if you know how to deal with it. For instance, make it a rule that everyone ‘cleans as they go.’ You can also devise a schedule where whoever cooks for that night will do the washing up.

Rules for entertainment and privacy

If you are planning to entertain, let your flatmates know in advance. If one of them has an early morning call and you’re staying up late, keep the noise down. Additionally, many rooms have door locks, so keep your flatmates’ privacy in mind. You wouldn’t want them to come barging in and distract you whilst you’re playing online bingo, and they surely wouldn’t want you to invade their personal space before knocking first.

Image attributed to Ambro/