Shared living can drive a wedge between anyone if you’re not careful. So, how do you make sure that you and your friends live in harmony, whilst still being the best of friends? There are a few simple things you need to do to make sure that your living arrangement doesn’t go awry. Here’s our guide to living with friends at uni.
Start with the basics
Before you move in together, and just as you move in, make sure that you have set some ground rules. This is really fundamental things like remembering to communicate things to one another. For instance, you should always let one another know in advance if there are people coming around to your flat.
Getting things like bills and finances sorted out first is also key. Decide on how you are going to work out who pays for what out of their account and then who needs to pay them each month. If you have a bills-included package you won’t need to do this. Think of such a package as one way to keep your friendship intact!
It’s important to remember that everyone will have different ideas of budgets and what they can afford, so make you find something that you can all afford and are happy with. If someone isn’t happy with the cost of their bills/rent at the start of the year, resentment could set in.
Keep it clean
What you do in your own room is your business. Your room is your own domain that can be as clean or as messy as you like. Everyone lives differently. But think about the communal areas of your flat. The kitchen, bathrooms and living areas are there for you all to enjoy. Show your friends a bit of respect and keep these areas clean and tidy.
Make sure that they do too. Think about creating a cleaning rota to make sure that you all do your fair share of cleaning each week. The last thing that you want is for one person doing all of the cleaning.
Don’t be too passive-aggressive with keeping things clean though either, as this will only end up breeding contempt.
Communicate with one another
This should be simple enough, but so many times it’s not. If you or any of your friends have a problem, the best thing to do would be to talk about it. Do so in a calm and collected manner.
You don’t want to be starting an argument that could leave a lasting divide between you and your friends. Similarly, don’t not talk about a problem and ignore it. This will only make things a whole lot worse and you know it.
Remember to still be friends
This might be obvious, but just because you live together, doesn’t mean that you’re friends. You may see each other in the kitchen and occasionally watch TV together, but make sure you spend some quality time with your friends.
Go out for meals or drinks with each other, on so-called ‘friendship dates’. Make sure that you take the time and space available for your friends, so they know that they’re important to you. After all, you still want to be close to them long after your tenancy is over.