For my first year at university I decided to go into halls and am already set to enter back into the halls spirit again in September. This is for several reasons. Although, one reason is definitely not the fact that I absolutely loved halls to the point where I want to spend ANOTHER year paying astronomical prices and being kept awake until 4am. In fact, most people would probably see that as a decision maker in deciding whether or not to pick halls at all, never mind for a second year running.
My flatmates were, well, interesting to say the least. One believed that every night between 11pm and 5am was a good time to rehearse for X-Factor or High School Musical ‘the stage production’ (…whatever you want to call it – I would label it as ‘noise, through a wall, that gave me headaches, everyday’). Another only ate stuff that was green. Having said that, she was significantly skinnier than me and I never seen her eat spaghetti hoops (out of the tin) at midnight *cough, cough* (lazy student right here)! I also lived with someone who I never once seen cook ANYTHING, only eat takeaways for just under a year – impressive and expensive!
In general my flatmates were incredibly friendly and on the most part okay to live with, despite the messy kitchen splattered in tomato soup, ‘leaning Tower of Pisa’ inspired dirty dishes and a hairy plug hole in the shower (ew, just don’t…).
My contract length for my halls was 40 weeks. I shared a kitchen, shower and toilet, which sounds like it would be a cheaper option right? No, wrong. It cost me £220 a week (yup, take a deep breath…), although I did live about a 5 minute walk from the British Museum and 2 minutes from Primark at Tottenham Court Road. So it wasn’t too shabby!
At times I found halls incredibly lonely and once fresher’s ended, I found it hard to make friends, socialise in general and find the courage to leave my room. However, unlike most people I didn’t find my closest friends in my halls but instead on my course.
Coping with halls can be difficult at times. I have some tips and tricks that will help you throughout the year!
Talk to each other.
The best way to solve ANY problem is to talk to your flatmates. It can be hard to live with people, especially if you aren’t close and therefore small fallouts are inevitable. Arguments are often over cleanliness or noise. For example, playing music at 4am on a Sunday night right before a 9am Monday morning lecture or not wiping down the kitchen worktops after using them. Throughout my time in halls, all issues I had were dealt with by either texting, talking or via post-it notes on the fridge door. This seemed to solve the trick! Talking is good.
Go out for a drink or meal together.
Socialising with flatmates is a good route to survival and lack of loneliness. Going for a meal or a quiet drink down the pub is a perfect ice-breaker that also opens up the gate to further social gatherings! Failing that, you should all hit up the student union on a Friday after lecturers! Tequila shots at 4pm are totally normal… You are a student remember!
P.S. Takeaways (e.g. Domino’s) are the answer to 99% of all disputes. Who doesn’t love pizza anyway?
Being friendly is the best way to be right? You can be nice and still express any issues or problems you may have. Arguably the most important tip! Friends not enemies.
If it is affecting your education, then tell someone!
Very occasionally disagreements cannot be solved through talking just to your flatmates. Like I mentioned previously, being friends with someone is completely different to living with someone. If a problem begins to affect your time at university or education, then tell someone about it. For example, on campus there will be a student support team who can offer advise or within halls then there is the warden or student committee!
So, to summarise, talking is a way of solving no matter what the issue (unless it is over food then its serious and perhaps you should refrain from sharing your Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream in future…).
Are you moving into halls in September? Are you worried about what your flatmates might be like? Do you have any lifelines that allow you to cope with halls, flatmates or small-scale arguments? Let me know in the comments below, contact me here or follow me on Blog Lovin’ here. I’d love to hear anything that you have to share!