Let’s be real for a second. Shared accommodation looks great, until you fly the nest and endure the harsh reality that the Blair and Serena set up you had in your mind with macaroons, shared bathrooms and 24/7 friend time is completely unrealistic.
First of all, the only good store-bought macaroons are from Marks and Spencer and we do not have the income for that right now – that £5 could be two doubles from the Union bar, or new notebooks! No thank you! And secondly, you know we get discounts on Amazon Prime, right? Who has time to talk when you can binge Handmaids Tale all day?
But shared accommodation can be really great once you figure things out together, and stop worrying if they’ll like you, because they will!
There are some things to iron out before living together for the next year, so we’ve made a list to help you make the best of this next year:
1 – Establish Your Routines
Picture this: you’re done with your first week at uni and looking forward to sleeping until 10, you’re all cosy in bed and bang! You get woken up at 6am by your night shift flatmate who’s heading to bed to sleep all day while you walk about like a zombie for the remainder of the weekend.
Absolutely no chance, we need our z’s.
Sit down with everyone and figure out what the daily routine will look like for the year ahead. It lets you become aware of work patterns and whether you’ll need to use headphones for your 2am Netflix binge if you’re surrounded by light sleepers or those who wake up early for work or classes – because it seems not everyone appreciates hearing Always Sunny at all hours of the day, who knew?
2 – Spend Some Quality Time Together
You’ve got a year with these people, so it’s good to make the most of it! We’re talking pizza nights, pre drinks before the club and a tv show you can watch together – a home only feels like a home if the people make it one, give your flat a great environment and enjoy this experience together!
3 – Be Self Aware
You know those times when you’re on holiday, in a room with someone constantly for weeks? And you begin to get annoyed at the things they do? (I mean is it really necessary to sing along to the Just Eat advert every time it comes on???)
Well you now have a year of that, and let it be known we all have those annoying habits, which is why this is a great time to break them! It’s not like at home where you could walk about the house in your undies and pick your nose like there’s no tomorrow; people will notice here, and they won’t be pleased by the sights they’ll see.
So, let’s nip that in the bud, or at least wait until nobody is home, if you realllly need to.
4 – We all need toilet roll, right?
It turns out, contrary to popular belief, toilet roll doesn’t magically stock up and was actually replenished by the parents, which means you need to figure out some household delegation duties.
When it comes to bathroom, kitchen and cleaning products, there should be some structure so that no one person is left with the same shopping list. With food items and bathroom products, it’s normally a more sensible choice to get your own, but for the things everyone uses there should be a way to level out the costings.
Pop a jar in the kitchen with £5 each person per month (money varies on number of housemates) to use as a household kitty for when you need toilet roll, bleach, sponges etc.
What a way to make life easier!
5 – Keeping it Clean
Unless you’re a Monica, there are very few people on this world that enjoy cleaning, and even fewer that enjoy cleaning after others. Which is why it’s vital to lay the law and split the washing up. You can do your own dishes, of course, but it does mean if you leave your pile to grow at the sink, you’ll probably lose some fans in the flat.
It’s quite popular to have a rota within the flat, especially as it means nobody feels like they’re doing all the cleaning and it keeps things running smoothly.
Warning – You’ll probably meet some of the best people and not want to move out ever