So you powered through all the stress of college and you made it to university! Congratulations! Then suddenly it dawns on you that you will be meeting new people that will most definitely be sharing a flat with you.
How do you learn to live with a bunch of new people? How will you even start the first conversation? I for one was worried about meeting six strangers when I’d made the biggest move of my life, so I’ve pulled together some pointers over my time at Uni that might help you get to know your flatmates and ease your worries about making new friends!
Make sure that you are actively involved in ‘brew time’
Us up north love a brew and enjoy the time of the day designated to the humble mug of goodness. If your flatmates ask you if you want a drink because they’re just ‘sticking the kettle on’ then say yes, even if you have just finished your last. If no-one in your flat offers then you be the one to offer around.
Nine times out of ten they will have been just as nervous to knock on your door and ask if you wanted a drink. Trust me when I say that a good chat over a brew can lead to some very exciting new friendships.
Organise flat meals
When you’re all living away from home for the first time you’re bound to miss your mum’s home cooking. Sitting down for dinner with the whole flat can feel like a family atmosphere, and it’s more than a little comforting.
It helps ease in to chatting and is a good way to find out people’s likes and dislikes. Also there’s a much better chance you’ll find out one of your new friends can cook a really good Spag Bol!
Let them know your door is always open
I mean this both literally and figuratively. When you’re away from home and you’re missing your family, sometimes you just need a hug. If you make sure that you let your fellow flat friends know they can come to you when they need a chat then you’re bound to make a solid friendship with them.
Similarly, prop your bedroom door open every so often so that when they walk past you can call a ‘good morning.’ It makes you seem a bit more approachable.
Don’t hide in your room
This is probably the most obvious one on the list but don’t sit in your room alone all the time. We all have busy days at uni and days we don’t want human communication, but don’t do it all the time – they’re not going to get to know you from behind a brick wall are they?
Make the effort to go in to the kitchen or other communal areas when you hear someone in there. If you don’t just leave your room when you know the flat is empty, you should be okay!
Be respectful and open minded
As you most likely will be living with a wide range of people, it’s important to be respectful towards everyone and treat them as equals. As human beings our instinct is to judge someone as soon as we’ve met them.
Okay so that one guy is very religious and you maybe don’t agree. Okay you’ve never seen the girl next door without a face full of makeup. Okay the boy across the hall is playing very loud house music. Don’t judge the person until you get to know them properly. Keep an open mind and always respect their opinions and actions. After all they’ve most likely lived a completely different life to yours.
These are my top five tips for getting on with your flatmates and keeping a sane head for at least the next year of your uni life! Stay friendly, keep a smile on your face and no matter how tempting, don’t steal someone’s milk!