The Iglu Guide | Blog

How to be the perfect student housemate

This might be the very first time you’ve ever had to share some personal space – it might also be the very first time you’ve had to cook a meal for yourself, let alone clean up afterwards… But that’s all about to change. Student life brings along many fantastic new experiences, but the prospect of heading into student accommodation with a bunch of other students you’ve never met before can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. The good news is – it really doesn’t have to be. These simple tips and tricks will not only help you be the perfect student housemate, they just might make you some lifelong friends along the way.

It’s good to talk

Communication is key to any harmonious shared living experience, and it’s something that’s always best done in person. Creating an open and honest environment from the get-go will make a real difference to household relations going forwards. Gather your new housemates together early on to see how you can make life easier for each other. For example, you might think about setting up a household kitty from which you can buy shared items such as toilet rolls, cleaning equipment and tea or coffee. This avoids anyone feeling like they are contributing unfairly towards group items. It’s a good idea to get agreement on common issues such as:

  • Guests staying over
  • Noise levels day and night
  • Romantic company
  • Bathroom usage

Be prepared to compromise and suggest a monthly house meeting where any issues can be openly and respectfully discussed. If you ever do experience household problems going forwards, it’s important they are addressed early on and in a non-confrontational manner. This approach avoids unnecessary tension that can impact the whole household.

Get your roster on

There’s nothing worse than coming home to a dirty kitchen with a week’s worth of grime around the sink. Or waking up to another empty toilet roll in the bathroom. Top tip for all those wanna-be perfect housemates: organise a household cleaning schedule. This is actually a real lifesaver for many students. Simply rotate through the general tasks and allocate each person a role. Stick it up on the fridge and leave it up to individuals to fulfil against their weekly duties (or organise switching tasks around if their timetable does not suit). By detailing this out for everyone to see, it strips out any emotion and negativity that could potentially arise otherwise.

Be considerate

Whoever said students were selfish? Thinking about others makes a huge contribution to a happy student household. When you move in with a new set of people, it’s the ideal opportunity to show consideration and kindness, and to think beyond yourself and your own personal needs. But it’s not just about doing the household chores or observing the house rules. It’s about learning how to co-exist alongside other students, respecting privacy and putting other people’s needs ahead of your own. Consideration feeds into every aspect of house sharing – from cleaning and cooking through to lifestyle and behaviours. Everyone is different and will have a different idea about how to live their life. By respecting individualities, being prepared to share and treating others as you would wish to be treated yourself – you can’t go wrong!

Keep the noise down

One of the benefits of student life is that you have entire independence over your schedule – and you will soon find that everyone operates differently. One man’s early bird is another man’s night owl and there’s a good chance you’ll find a version of this in your new student accommodation. Where daytime studying might work for one, there’s always another that can’t study until dark. So, no matter the time of day, it’s always a good idea to put yourself in your roommate’s shoes and be mindful of your noise. Think twice before you launch into that music session or start up the juicer – there just might be someone nearby quietly trying to catch up on their zeds. It’s a sure-fire way to avoid those dark looks over the morning cereal.

Hang out together

Spending quality time together and getting to know each other can make a real difference to your student household. It might simply be a chat over dinner or a shared study session, but it’s these little interactions that create a bond that over time draws you closer together. And even though you may have wildly different interests, bringing the household together for a mutual experience can be a great way to turn your student house into a home. Think movie nights, cooking competitions, trivia and more. Set up a WhatsApp group for fast and easy communication and you’ll find your household relationships will notably benefit as a result.

Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

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