Erica Wilson and Aidan Milan
Whether you're outgoing or not, uni life means getting involved with at least a small part of the community. And that community now includes your uni halls. You have to share a kitchen, and sometimes a bathroom as well, so you're going to have to learn to share your space. But don't worry; all it takes is a little sensitivity and common sense!
It always at least a little awkward the first time you meet your flatmates, but the best thing to do is to not shut yourself away in your room as soon as you arrive, no matter how much you might want some alone time. Because it almost goes without saying that the first impression you make will be stupidly important. Hang out in the kitchen or communal area; people will gravitate there soon, and then you can start to get to know each other. If you really want to be in your room, at least leave the door open, that way people can feel welcome to come in and introduce themselves.
Once you've all gotten to know each other there are really only three simple rules to getting along with your flatmates; be tidy, be courteous, and don't have crazy parties every night because no one appreciates that, and campus security will shut that sh*t down and you could end up in trouble.
Actually, on that note, if your flatmates are having a super cool party which you haven’t been invited to (the b*stards) which is keeping you awake or interfering with your studies, or just being noisy and disruptive in general, you should try approaching them first and politely ask them to quieten down. Of course, if this doesn’t work or if they behave threateningly towards you, you should call security, who are available 24/7 on +44 (0)1895 255786 to come and shut that sh*t down.
If you’re new to living communally with strangers, sharing space can often be intimidating, but it’s simple really: stick to your assigned cupboards, don’t take up all the space in the fridge with watermelons and giant cabbages, and DON’T EAT OTHER PEOPLE’S FOOD. Not sure if it’s yours? Don’t eat it, ask your flatmates. Or leave a note on the fridge if you don’t wanna talk to them. Eating a poor student’s pot noodle is the fastest most guaranteed way of securing enemies in your hall and making the rest of your year a silent, nobody-wants-to-talk-about-it-but-everyone-knows hell.
If you have any problems with your room communal areas, such as a power outage or a broken oven, you should call the Accommodation Office for your specific hall, or visit their reception in person. It simply requires you to submit a report and someone will be sent out to fix the problem, usually very soon after.
Yes, living with strangers is scary, but as long as you are constantly aware that you space is shared and remember to be courteous you’ll be able to get along with mostly everyone, and even make some good friends – remember, you need people to live with in second year, and making friends with flatmates is the best way to secure this. Don’t be the d*ckhead who is a pain to live with, because come second year you’ll struggle to find anyone willing to live with you while all your flatmates get a nice, swanky house without you. And you’ll be super hella sads.