If you are frantically searching craigslist for new housemates, or have just moved into student halls for the first time, it’s possible you are feeling slightly nervous about the prospect of living with strangers. Don’t worry – living with strangers can be an amazing experience! You could meet life-long friends, learn more about yourself, and have the best year of your life. So throw yourself into your new life with these tips!
Leave your door open
I mean this very literally. If you leave your door propped open while you’re chilling on Facebook or watching Netflix it means people are much more likely to pop their head around the door for a chat. This will also make you seem more open and friendly, rather than private and reclusive. And who knows – one of those conversations could be the moment you realise your housemate ALSO loves ramen noodles and the Walking Dead. Hello new best friend!
Put time aside for your housemates
This could be a midweek Wednesday meal, watching a television series you both love, or simply doing your weekly shop together. No matter how busy your life gets, it’s nice to know every week you will spend some time doing something you enjoy with your housemate. This might be a little obvious, but it’s also a have casual way to bond with your housemates.
But not passive-aggressively. If your housemates are bothering you, by being too loud or messy – tell them frankly and openly why, and what they need to do to improve the situation. It’s likely they will actually appreciate your honesty. A big no-no for me is leaving sticky notes around the house – it can seem aggressive and make the issue hard to bring up.
Stick to the rules
Alternatively known as respect. If you haven’t bought milk for a few weeks and you drink tea every day, it’s your turn. Not doing your part can make your housemates silently resent you (or maybe not silently.)
There may also be official house rules, like no loud music after midnight. If this is the rule, don’t turn up with ten friends after a night out. Not even if you just got the promotion you always dreamed of. Unless your housemates know, and are fine with it – don’t break house rules if you don’t want to create a tense atmosphere!
Learn to wait
Set yourself a rule – don’t freak out about mess if it’s only been there for an hour! Whether it is dishes, washing up or general mess, try not to get too stressed out at your housemates straight away. It’s likely they plan on doing it every soon, but they might have important stuff to do first – like watch five episodes of the Mindy Project. If you expect the house to always be tidy, you’re going to go through some serious stress and upset when it isn’t… which is probably going to be every other day.