Halls or House Share: Top Tips for an Easy Life

Research your local area
Looking into local activities and restaurants that you can suggest to your housemates will be the first step of bonding with the people you live with and will enable you to settle into your new home faster. For example you could do a team activity along the lines of an Outbreak or Escape room that are popping up all over the country.

Come armed with games
A pack of cards is first on the list, along with a plethora of drinking games. After that, you can start with the board games. This way, you can have fun whilst getting to know the people you will be living with for the next year. Even if you’re looking for a sober night in, Cards Against Humanity is a sure fire way to enjoy everyone else’s company and get to know each other.

Be organised and prepared for anything
Turning up to your new home for the next year will be so much easier if you have all of the utensils and equipment already bought and ready to move in with, especially if it’s the first time you’re leaving your parents’ house. Not only will it make your life easier, but it will enable you to make friends fast with your housemates when they have to come to you for cooking essentials. There will be deals everywhere for the basics that you need just before the academic year starts – ASDA and Tesco are usually the best ones to go for. A major thing to keep in mind is to discuss main kitchen appliances, for example kettles and toasters. You don’t want to end up either - without them or, with too many. 

Keep an open channel of communication
Start a group chat either on Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger so that you are able to talk to everyone at once. You’ll be able to share your timetables with each other and know when everyone else is free and around to spend time together.

Be courteous and clean
By respecting your communal spaces and keeping clean and tidy you will ensure that your housemates will respect you a lot more and will want to spend time in those spaces. House rules are also a great idea so that you all have a common ground and keep it in a nice state for the next person.

Keep your door open
By being readily available to spend time with your housemates you will make them feel comfortable enough to talk to you and spend time with you. If you are in halls, invest in a door stop and keep your door open so that it is obvious to others that you are available and want to spend time with them. Obviously your own space is important, especially when you are going through a huge transition in your life but surrounding yourself with a positive support system will help massively – and why not start with your housemates?

Put yourself out there
The most important thing to do when moving in with strangers, is to not be a stranger to them. Start conversations, make plans and arrange fun activities with everyone and pretty soon they will be the closest thing you have to a family in your uni town.

- By Eleanor O’Donnell


Tue 19 Sep 2017