You’ve read countless internet forums on what to take to university and you’re ready to become the social butterfly that you were always meant to be. Read on to prepare for the next stage and help your flat-sharing resemble more Happy Families than Jeremy Kyle…
September: Fresher Fever
Fresher’s week is a beautiful time. A rota of cooking and cleaning works for the first week as the buzz of new surroundings powers you through the mornings-after and un-emptied bins.
Top tip: Set up a cleaning rota early on while everyone is still enthusiastic to make sharing a living space that bit smoother.
What if you enjoy your quiet down-time and your neighbour down the hall prefers all-nighters?
Top tip: Find out about your new flatmates’ interests and share yours. If your personalities and body clocks clash, keep the communication up from an early stage in order to avoid any big blowouts further down the line.
November: Mid-Term Moans
As your university schedule starts to kick in and the fun of fresher’s fades away, the reality of term-time can take its toll. With your flatmates settling down to deadlines, tensions can run high.
Top tip: Everyone needs their space from time to time. Be considerate and keep the noise and the dishes soaking in the kitchen sink down to a minimum to keep the flat running in harmony.
December/January: Exam Zone
The trick to studying in first year is to work out where you revise best. If your flat is too noisy, head to the library – but beware of falling into the trap of the ‘Quiet Chat’ area becoming the new social hotspot.
Top tip: Each flatmate will have their own way of studying – whether it is a strict 9 to 5 schedule or pulling a series of all-nighters. Identify which style suits you and your roomies and you could find yourself with a readymade study buddy.
New Year: Same Flatmates
It happens to every cycle of flatmates and yet it always takes you by surprise. Soon your time in halls will end, and you’re expected to have found three best friends to take on as you go flat-viewing for your second year rented accommodation. Four flatmates in total is preferable, unless you like having to draw names out of a hat to see who has to sleep in the living room…
Top tip: Spread out your social horizons as far as you can while you have the flexible first year schedule. Join clubs and societies to expand your friendship circle and increase your options when the time comes to group together to sign a lease.
June: Long Goodbyes
With the unwanted excess cutlery left in the cupboards, the time will come when you have to leave your first year flat behind for pastures new.
Top tip: If the year was fraught with tears and unwashed dishes, take these life lessons onto your next flat. You’ll probably bump into one or two roomies as you walk around campus next semester, and maybe even be able to laugh about the things that drove you crazy in first year…