How to not be a nightmare flatmate

If you’re moving into uni halls with a bunch of people who you haven’t met yet, or even if you’re sharing a house in second/third year, living with people can really be the ultimate test and may make or break your ability to bond with your flatmates, especially when you have differing ideas on what makes a house a home. Here are a few tips for a smoother sailing experience to make sure you’re the best flatmate you can be.

Talk to each other

There’s no point getting upset about plates left uncleaned by the sink for days when, for other people, that is what they’re used to. Communicate with them to let them know it bothers you and find ways to compromise so there isn’t tension building up between you like the stack of dirty plates building up on the table.

Understand boundaries

Sometimes, some people need personal space. If you get on well, great! It doesn’t mean that you need to spend 24/7 with them. It’s awkward and hard for people to say they need their own space sometimes, so bear that in mind if you’re knocking on their door at every opportunity.

Know how thin the walls are

No one wants to hear other people in their bedroom, whether that’s their snoring or other business. Be aware of your flatmates and, if you have friends round, be understanding of their situation if they have exams or other things they need to get rest for.

Plan to do fun things together

Perhaps not surprisingly, you often find at uni that you’re so busy with your own course and own commitments that you rarely spend time with your flatmates. Aim to do something all together as a flat once a month. It doesn’t have to be a wild night out; it could just be a meal or a movie together! Just something to show you’re all making an effort to get on. It’s so much easier living with friends you can have fun with!

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