So you’ve moved out, yay! Looking to find some housemates to share a place with? Wondering how to make the most of your time first meeting new people you’re living with? How should you tackle a situation with flatmates that are slightly grinding you down?
Whether you’re moving to your first uni flat or house share, you’re going to have to get used to living with new people at some point. You might have heard some horror stories about moving into a house with some peculiar individuals. Read on to figure out how to deal with flatmates.
Most first year students are likely to be getting themselves into the Uni recommended Halls of Residence, where you’ll be put in a flat with a random selection of people. It’s in your second or third year where most of you will be thinking about finding people to share a place with.
The first place to turn when looking to find a new place is your friendship group. You know how they are to be around and you know how well you all get on. If you haven’t managed to find a good group of people you would like to live with, take a look on
. Here you can find any properties in your area that have a spare room up for grabs. Often people place a room up for rent on Spare Room, when somebody has to move out of their house or flat, but everyone else renting a room there would like to stay.
It’s great for those of you interesting in living with people you have never met before. For those that haven’t considered it before, give it a go, it’s a real great way to expand your network and meet new people from all walks of life. You can also try out sites like
to connect with people in the same situation as yourself, and get to know each other, before finding a flat together.
Every University understands how it feels to be away from your home, so if you're stuck without any plan for flatmates give your Uni accommodation services team a call. They'll be able to connect you with like minded people, and help organise a place for you to live.
You’re all moved in but you might be at a bit of a loss as to how to start the first conversation with your new flatmates. It can be a bit daunting, but just remember, everyone is in the same boat as you, so the nervous feelings really are mutual.
Leave your door open
when you first move in to encourage that first chat and let people know you’re excited to meet them.
Knock on their door
once you’re all unpacked and settled in. It can be a bit nerve racking doing this, but it’s a great way to break the ice and say hi.
First night drinks
are a must once you’re all moved in. Heading out as a new group together starts the year off right. You’ll get to know everyone properly and have a good laugh.
Moving in with new people is always going to be a bit scary, no matter what age you are or how many times you’ve done it. If you’re wondering the etiquette to remember so you get on in your new place, just bare in mind these few tips.
Keep it clean:
try to keep things tidy, try keeping communal areas as clean as everyone else, you don’t know who you’re annoying if you don’t, and nobody likes other peoples dirt and grime.
Get to know everyone’s schedules:
even if it’s a rough idea, get to know whether your house mates have to be up early in the morning. If you’re coming in late after a night out, or you’re considering a house party, you’ll kinda want to think about who you’re living with and what they have going on, especially during exam season. Try not to disturb others how you hope to be respected with quietness yourself.
it’s no surprise that to get on with the people you live with, you’re going to have to be respectful to them and their belongings. Respect their privacy, their room and their things. If you do need to borrow something of theirs, it’s easier to ask, than to deal with the stress you’re giving someone by taking it unannounced.
Don’t get tangled in arguments:
be respectful and open minded of people’s views and opinions. At Uni you will meet people from different places, different cultures and from different backgrounds. You’ll get a bad vibe following you around if you start disagreeing with peoples political or religious views.
Be accepting & keep it chill:
not everyone might be as clean or as tidy as you. Chillax and try not to get irritated with people if they don’t immediately wash up, or if they leave some mess around. People can get busy or prioritise other things, so might not have the time to clean. It only becomes an issue if they’re leaving moldy dishes everywhere.
Steer away from leaving notes:
if something is bothering you, like the state of your kitchen, don’t leave passive aggressive notes around before just having a chat with someone. It will come off a load better if you talk to them. Even if you do leave a note, the chances are they will just ignore it anyway, grinding on your patience even more.
Don’t commit flatcest:
hey, this one doesn’t really need explaining. The awkwardness you’ll encounter if you start sleeping with the people you live with… It’s a bid mad.
Nobody wants a place that’s dirtier than what they are used to. Living around other people’s filth is not the one. You might want to shout at your flat or housemates the filth in shared areas. Whether this is because they’re leaving their dishes in the sink for weeks on end, or they have never picked up a sponge in their life, it can be infuriating.
It can be quite intimidating on how to approach the subject with your flatmates. Confrontation is never easy, but you don’t want to be living in a place that’s fit for rats and whatever other bugs decide to infest. Now these are the kind of house guests you could do without.
Approaching the chat, try not to cause a scene like the ones on Geordie Shore. Chill out and have a casual conversation with them talking about why you’re unhappy with the mess. Consider putting together a cleaning rota for different jobs around the place. This will help delegate jobs and give less hassle to each other if you feel like you’re all pulling your weight.
Now, just a warning, not everyone at University will align with your interests. Some might choose not to drink or prefer nights in. Some people aren’t the most social, and that’s okay. Like we said before, your flatmates or housemates won’t be the only way you’ll make friends, so it doesn’t really matter too much if you’re flatmates aren’t the going out type.
If they are incredibly boring to the point where they won’t socialise with you at all, then it’s best to look elsewhere for best mates. You can consider moving flats, but just because your flatmates are a bit boring, doesn’t mean you have to.
So you might not get a boring flatmate, you might end up with a mega outgoing flatmate that goes out every night, and turns your flat into a nightclub for pre’s. As long as they’re not constantly waking you up at all hours all of the time, then maybe you can cope with it. If they clean up after themselves, then maybe there isn’t an issue.
If they are constantly keeping you up and do leave your flat in a state, then have a chat with them. It’s not weird to ask for some quiet.
First of all, make sure that this is actually the case, you might just be feeling a bit paranoid. If you’ve just moved in with someone they might be a bit shy, or not really know what to say. Push yourself out there and have some chill out time with them.
If a fair amount of time passes and they’re actively avoiding you, then there’s not that much you can do, some people are just like that. It’s a fact of life that you won’t always get on with everyone, and that’s okay! There are loads of other ways you will make mates at university.
If it’s unbearable to live with, you can always ask to move flats. Speak to your Uni accommodation office, or your landlord. You might need to find a replacement tenant yourself, before moving out. And remember, if your housemates have just suddenly stopped talking to you, maybe you are the one annoying them, maybe you’re the unclean one. If you’re concerned, ask them what’s up?
So now you know where to look for your future house or flatmates and how to deal with any situations you aren't happy with in your new place. If you're looking for more advice on student living, check out our
Student Guide To Renting
to learn the ins and outs of renting as a student, what to prepare for, and what to think about. For more advice on life at Uni visit our
Student Advice Hub