There's no use pretending you're an acid wash denim wearing, Grime loving, Rave aficionado when you know perfectly well you prefer staying in to watch Bake Off and break into a sweat when your flatmate asks if you rate any of Stormzy’s early stuff.
You're far likely to make friends by being honest about who you are and what you enjoy. Even if your flatmates don't share your passion for baking or interpretive dance, you'll more than likely
find a society for it!
Be Open Minded
Picture the scene: Your flatmate asks if you'd like to come watch them play rugby at the weekend for their first match. You might think watching rugby is like watching paint dry, what should you do?
Well, you should go anyway. If nothing else you'll spend an afternoon bonding with people who you're living with for the next year. You never know, you could even enjoy it!
Try and put yourself out there, keep your door wedged open and make an effort to show interest in your flatmates and their hobbies, even if you don't hit it off immediately, it’s a conversation starter while waiting for the kettle to boil.
After a grand total of four days living in halls you've discovered your flatmate Charlie is messy in mind, body and soul. He has noisily come home every night after staying out later than everyone else, but this time he's passed out in the kitchen with two strangers and there's mess everywhere. What should you do?
Freshers Week, you have to understand that a vibrant social life is often a part of the uni package. So even if you're not keen on going out till dawn, you can't expect your flatmates to be tucked up in bed, making no noise at 10pm. Soz.
But equally, know that it's your home too and if someone has been leaving the communal areas in a state and waking everyone up relentlessly, you can have a quiet word about it. Asking Charlie to keep himself and the contents of his and his mates’ late-night trip to the chip shop to his room isn't a massive ask!
You'll most likely arrive with a couple of sponges and a bottle of Fairy Liquid your aunt semi-jokingly presented you with when she congratulated you on getting into uni.
If more or less everyone has done the same, you can take turns using one person’s washing up stuff and when it needs replacing, moving onto the next person. Or you might do the same with pints of milk or packs of butter, the possibilities are endless.
If you're doing this system, be fair and remember to take your turn, no one likes feeling like they're supplying everything while one person is free loading. Equally, know what your cleaner does (if you are lucky enough to have one) and what you're expected to do so no rows can be started over who has taken the bins out for the 5
th time that week.
Reach Out to Your Neighbours
It's worth knowing your neighbours, sometimes seeing a familiar face when you've become separated from the group on a night out and need someone to split a taxi with is a godsend.
Plus, if you're
friendly with your neighbours you can always go across to vent to someone about the washing up situation in your kitchen or have an extremely convenient pre-drinks to go to across the hall. You never know your new best friend might be living in the flat downstairs!
Don't Arrive With Just Packs of Pot Noodles
During the first term a Pot Noodle might seem a quick novelty with a hectic new schedule to keep up with, but when you've walked in the door from a bitter November wind and a hard day of lectures, the last thing you're going to want is another Pot Noodle.
So, perfect at least five different,
easy and cheap recipes to take away with you so you're not constantly relying on pasta, rice and noodles to see you through. Take advantage of your flatmates knowledge too, and ask them what they're making or even to teach you how to make one of their favourite dishes.
Despite being on mostly different schedules, living in halls can be a challenge when everyone wants to use communal things like the shower or the oven at the same time.
So be considerate. If you know four of you have a 9am lecture, don't take half an hour in the shower. Instead, get up with enough time to wait in the shower queue and don’t spend two hours washing your hair.
Equally, if you know everyone's going to be cooking at around 6pm, try not to hog the entire oven, and if you know you're going to be coming in at 3am try not to shout and slam doors and cupboards.
And as obvious as it sounds, remember to ask before using someone else’s stuff. If you have used someone's oven trays for instance, wash them up and put them back, it saves a lot of arguments!
Your Flatmates Aren't The Be All And End All
If you're panicking a month into uni that you haven't been able to find the new group of best friends you'd hoped for in your flatmates, don't worry.
Not everyone gets on with their flatmates, and the law of averages determines you can't want to be friends with everyone you meet, your flatmates included. Sometimes people don't gel instantly with their flatmates and that's perfectly OK, there are thousands of opportunities to make friends outside your flat or even halls at uni.
Just be civil, don't turn your indifference or dislike of your flatmate into drama, no one wants to live with that. But if you feel you are being bullied or targeted, tell your Residences Team, if they can't mediate sometimes it's possible to move you elsewhere.
Get Insider Knowledge of Your Halls
Know the peak hours for using the Laundry Room, know the quickest routes from the uni to your flat, know the best sunbathing spots or hangouts, know the nearest place a Domino’s driver can meet you, it's your new home after all!
For more help on university halls, head this way...