When thinking about entering university, living in dorms or shared houses often comes to a student’s mind. Regardless of whether you’re getting a degree in nursing or any other degree in the world, it can be daunting and even terrifying to think about living with complete strangers after living with your family for so long.
How are you going to split the cleaning responsibilities? What if someone spends too much time in the bathroom in the morning? What if one of your housemates doesn’t clean up after themselves? If these are some questions that you have about shared living, look no further! In this article, we’ve compiled a list of things you should know about living in dorms or a shared house. Keep reading to find out more!
How to Choose Your Housemates At University
Just because someone you know is a good friend doesn’t always mean they’ll be good housemates. In fact, a fair share of friendships ends up being broken when friends live together.
As such, it’s important to discuss your lifestyle and living habits with your friends before moving in together. If your friend needs constant reminding to pay back money that he or she has borrowed, they’ll probably be stingy over forking over money for electricity bills or other expenses as well. If you have a friend that acts this way, it’s probably best not to share a house with them.
Expenses-wise, it’s always better to have more housemates. More people living under the same roof means more people to split the expenses with. However, it’s important to note that most apartments or houses have a limit to the number of tenants that can live there. Ensure that your landlord isn’t renting out the property to more people than what’s legally permitted.
How to Live with New Housemates
Living with new housemates isn’t easy. But, with the following tips and tricks, you’ll be better prepared for shared living:
1. Get Your Daily Routines in Sync with Each Other
Being considerate is key to harmonious shared living. You don’t want your housemate blasting music at 2 am when you have to get up at 7 am for an early class. Neither do you want to be a jerk and throw parties every Friday night when your housemate has to get up early for their morning shift the next day.
During the first few days of living together, set aside time to sit down and discuss each other’s schedules. Getting in sync with each other and being aware of each other’s schedules will prevent fallouts or unnecessary arguments in the future.
2. Respect Personal Space
Another important thing to remember is to always respect your housemates’ personal space and privacy. No matter how close you are to them, never intrude or impose on them. If their door is closed or locked, they probably want to be left alone. Even if their door is open, it’s always polite to ask before entering their room.
After all, their room is their personal space. Your housemates will no doubt appreciate you respecting their privacy. Whatsmore, showing your respect will help foster stronger relationships with your housemates.
3. Make an Effort to Spend Quality Time Together
Make the effort to spend time with your housemates. After all, all of you live together. It’s better to foster good relationships than spend every day on the edge and unhappy. Throw a pizza party or organize a movie night every now and then for everyone. It’s also easier to discuss chores or housing expenses when everyone’s on friendly terms.
4. Split the Washing up
I’m sure you’ve come across posts on Instagram or Facebook about someone ranting about their housemate who doesn’t wash their dirty dishes. To most, washing up after yourself is a basic courtesy. But for a select few, this doesn’t come naturally to them.
To avoid such situations, you can try out two options. The first is to come to the agreement that everyone’s responsible for their own dishes. The second is to come up with a dishwashing schedule. This way, everyone chips in and has to wash the dishes at some point. Just remember that if it happens to be your housemates’ turn to clean the dishes, don’t annoy them by cooking something super greasy or using more dishes than necessary.
5. Have Some Self-awareness
Everyone has their own habits. Your parents and siblings may not mind you leaving your towels on the bathroom floor, or walking around in your underwear. But remember, you’re living with your housemates now. Be aware of any habits that might annoy or inconvenience your housemates and be mindful not to do them. You’re better off getting rid of these bad habits anyway!
6. Draw up a Cleaning Rota
You may not mind the hair clogging your shower drain, but your housemates might. Alternatively, your housemate may see no issue with the pile of dirty laundry sitting on the bathroom floor, but it may drive you crazy.
Whatever the case is, coming up with a cleaning rota or schedule is a great way to divide cleaning responsibilities. This also ensures that everyone does their fair share of work and no one can complain about someone else slacking off.
It’s also worth noting that everyone has their own standards of cleanliness. You may spend half an hour mopping the apartment while your housemate may consider spraying some air freshener good enough. As such, setting basic expectations on what needs to be done is always a good idea. Come up with a checklist of things that need to be done so that everyone’s on the same page.
7. Get a Cleaner
This last point may sound a bit far-fetched but most dorms and apartments offer cleaning services. Even if the property you live on doesn’t have one, hiring a cleaning lady may be worth it if cleaning is causing strife between you and your housemates.
Most cleaning services don’t go above $30 an hour so if you split the cost with your housemates, hiring a cleaner won’t cost you too much money. Furthermore, if everyone does their part and cleans up after themselves, you won’t need to hire a cleaner so frequently.
Living with housemates and being a good housemate isn’t hard. You just need to be a bit more self-aware and learn to clean up after yourself. If you can do this, you don’t have to worry about shared living!