Student Living: Maintaining Positivity With Flat Mates

Going to University is a huge step.

It’s exciting, it’s nerve-wracking, it’s confusing….It’s all kinds of things. But, above all, it’s a time, if you see it through, that you will never forget for the rest of your life. You’ll meet the most fascinating people, have the most amazing conversations and learn and grow into more confident, capable and well-rounded individuals.

A lot of first year students, who will be making their move to University life over the coming weeks, will be leaving home for the first time without a whole deal of experience in how to take care of themselves.

How do you live without Mum and Dad? What do you need to think about? How do you survive?

Well, as we head towards yet another arrival of wide-eyed and fun-loving Freshers, we thought we’d put together a little ‘Surviving University ‘ series to help you get on your feet and, hopefully, stay there.

In this first entry, we’ll take a look at something that you might not actually have thought about. No, it’s not ‘how to go about renting’ or ‘simple cleaning tips for students’. We’ll get to all of that later. In this entry, we’re going to strip it all back and talk about something perhaps even more important: how to maintain peace with those that you’re living with.

Whether you are moving into student halls or straight into a flat in the city, it’s important to keep everyone onside. It’s a crazy time in the most craziest of times, and you’re all going to need each other to get through all of this in a way that is as stress free and enriching as possible.

So, how can you maintain positivity with your flat mates?

Let’s take a look!

Keep Clean: If you’re old enough and smart enough to go to University, then you probably will have come up with this one yourself. However, we can all be accused of being a bit lazy and thoughtless occasionally, no matter what your IQ is. We know you’ll be busy over the coming months and years, but you’ll be doing everyone you live with a massive favour if you kept things clean, took out the trash and did your part to maintain cleanliness and an all-around healthy environment. You know it makes sense. Do the right thing.

Chore Chart: A part of keeping everything cool between your fellow flat mates is to make sure you all share fair responsibilities for what has to be done. A way to keep this ticking along like clockwork is to create a chore chart so that everyone knows what they are doing and when. It might seem a bit silly and unnecessary, but it’s a great way to organise the house tasks and ensure there are no squabbles about who should do what, when and why.

Be Social: Moving in with others isn’t all about the dirty jobs. Spending time and getting to know those that live with you is also a vitally important, and ultimately rewarding, part of sharing a home. Sure, you’ll see them around campus and you might already know them from school, but living together is an entirely new situation. Be friendly, be supportive and get involved. You’re all in this together. So grab a tub of ice-cream, throw on a Harry Potter film and enjoy each other’s company.

Allow Space: Having said all of that, it’s also important to understand that we all need a bit of space now and again. If someone wants a bit of alone time and air to process their thoughts, be respectful and allow them that. It’s not rude to sometimes require a little bit of room: it’s a necessity. A time will come when you too might need an hour or so to read, think or just catch a breath. So, don’t be offended. Give them what they need and they will give you the same in return.

Be Kind: Of all of the lessons you will ever learn in life, knowing to be kind is undoubtedly the greatest of them all. All of the above will require this virtue, but don’t stop there. Do what you can for each other, even if you think maybe they don’t deserve it. Don’t be a pushover, for sure. But a bit of kindness can go a long way. And, in a world full of frailties and uncertainties, we could all use a bit of love right about now.

Moving into a flat with a group of fellow students is part of what University life is all about. So, do what you can to make living together as smooth and trouble free as you can. Do this, and it could be some of the best days of your life.

From everyone here at Belvoir Edinburgh, we hope you all have a great time.

Take care. And good luck!