Student life can be a lot of fun. Meeting new people, making lifelong friends, and parties. But it often comes with cramped student housing. Here’s some advice on how to make it better.
Student life often comes with having to, at some point, live in a house share. This can be a lot of fun but it can also feel cramped and claustrophobic on those days where you need some peace and quiet.
And with house sharing becoming much more common in people in their 30s, 40s and 50s, it is crucial to figure out a way to make sharing your living space an enjoyable experience which does not negatively affect you or your mental health.
Here are five handy tips to help you have the best experience of student housing.
Choose who you want to live with wisely
These will be the people you will be living with for at least a year of your life so you have to make sure you choose the right people. You may absolutely adore your best friend but if you love everything nice and tidy and they are super messy, living with them could damage your friendship.
A good set of people to choose would be people you have lived with before such as the people you shared your university halls with. You know their habits and know that you are compatible. If you weren’t compatible, then you could try people on your course or who you are in the same societies or sports teams. It is important that you get on with your housemates but that you also feel like you can be open and honest with them.
Decide what you want to bring with you
Before moving into your student housing, talk with the people you are moving in with about what they are bringing to have in shared spaces such as the living room or the kitchen. One of you could bring pans, one could bring plates, and so on. And you could club together and buy items such as sofas. There are many Facebook groups where you can find furniture for extremely cheap (and sometimes free!).
Make your room feel like home
With student housing, the only place that is truly your space will be your bedroom. That means you don’t want to bring too much stuff, as you don’t want it to be super cramped. But it is so important that you have a place that you love being in and that is entirely your own.
It can be really simple to make your room more your own such as adding photos and art to the walls, buying some plants, or adding some rugs and cushions to make it more comfortable and cosy. Fairy lights are also a great and cheap way to make a room have a nice homey feel.
Arrange equal storage for everyone
Throughout the communal areas, make sure that you and everyone has equal space and storage for their items. Everyone has equal space in the fridge, in the kitchen cupboards etc.
If you happen to have ended up with a smaller room than others, talk to your housemates about having a cupboard or space for your personal belongings in another area of the house.
If you all move in and find that the house is extensively cramped, then you can look into self storage. This could be a cheap and easy option for a few weeks whilst you get settled or for a few months whilst you decide what you really need.
Talk to each other!
Whether it’s about organising the household bills, doing chores or there are issues which need resolving, you need to have open and honest communication with your housemates.
Your shared house is your home for the next year and you all deserve to live in it, happily and comfortably. And you do not want to end up the housemate cleaning up after everyone. It may feel like the easier option to begin with but resentment and frustration will quickly build. So, talk to each other!
We hope you find our advice helpful and you have a great time living in your house share.