From taking the time to adjust to setting some simple house rules, undergraduate student ambassador, Efi highlights her top tips on living in shared accommodation whilst at university.
Moving away from home is a big change and it is definitely not an easy one. However, once settled in, living in shared accommodation could be one of the best experiences of your university life. Here is a survival guide and my top tips to make the most out of living in shared accommodation whilst at university.
- Take your time to adjust
Moving in with complete strangers is pleasantly overwhelming. You will hear stories of students instantly connecting with their roommates, and having the time of their lives since the day they first meet. This could be the case but it’s definitely not the norm. Allow yourself to feel a bit awkward sharing the kitchen or bathroom with your roommates or socialising together for the first time. In the beginning, everything is new and it’s more than ok to not feel comfortable for a little while. Take your time and don’t feel bad if everything doesn’t feel completely normal for the first few weeks.
- Make the effort to get to know your roommates
Establishing good relationships with your roommates could be the key to making some of your most memorable moments whilst at university. There is a high chance that your roommates will come from all around the world, so discovering more about their cultures could be very interesting so it’s worth making the effort to get to know them. Since you are most likely sharing a kitchen, observe what your roommates have to eat. What dishes are they making? What ingredients are they using? Showing some interest in what they are cooking could not only bring you closer but could help you brush up on your cooking skills as well! This is only one example of how you can approach your roommates. A simple ‘how was your day?’ or ‘what classes did you have today?’ are great conversation starters and can help you maintain a friendly atmosphere in your accommodation.
- Set some housekeeping rules
Setting some simple cleaning and organisational rules is an important survival tip whilst living in shared accommodation. Simple things like splitting the fridge shelves between you all and assigning who takes the rubbish out on what days are great tips to ensure a smooth daily running of your shared accommodation. I know that you don’t want to be perceived as a ‘control freak’ but setting those simple rules from the very beginning could save you from any misunderstandings later down the line.
- Be respectful
Apart from being a great place to have fun and create amazing experiences, your student accommodation is both yours and your roommates’ home. For most people home means a safe place where you are respected and appreciated for who you are. Therefore, I would advise you to be particularly mindful of your roommates’ sleeping patterns, religious beliefs, and other daily routines. Let your roommates know if you are having a difficult week and would prefer no kitchen gatherings or if you have an important exam and you want to get a good night’s sleep. Similarly, if a roommate informs you about something similar, be respectful and make their lives a bit easier as you would do for a family member living under the same roof as you.
- Strategically pick a laundry day
This tip may sound a bit odd but the launderette tends to be very busy at the weekends and you might end up having no clothes to wear for the week ahead if you don’t pick the right time to go. I would highly recommend going on a weekday and doing your laundry first thing in the morning! Trust me, you may think that it’s insignificant but this is a very useful piece of advice that I wish someone had told me before I started university.
My final piece of advice is that it’s ok if you don’t find your best friends within your randomly assigned group of roommates, as there are so many other opportunities for you to make friends throughout your university experience! I hope you have found my tips useful and I hope you have an enjoyable experience living in shared accommodation.
If you would like to know more about student accommodation at Warwick, you can find out more on the Warwick Accommodation website.