How to Live with Friends (and remain friends)
So, you have the opportunity to live with your friends, it’s probably something you’ve been dreaming about since you were a little kid. It’s going to be amazing! Want a good ol’ gossip? Just head over next door to your mate’s room! No more phone calls or having to check schedules to see when you can meet, this way you’ll be together every day and night; surely it doesn’t get better than that? Just like one massive sleepover! Well, we hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but living with your friends could go from childhood fantasy to that episode of Friends where Rachel and Monica have a huge fight (you know, that one). While we would want you to enjoy every second of it, living with someone you’re close to is a big deal and it can come with a lot of headaches if you don’t deal with things right away. Here are some tips to ensure you and your besties have a blast and have nothing to worry about!
A lot of these tips should apply no matter who you are living with but the difference between living with someone you don’t now and living with a close friend is that ideally you wouldn’t want to lose that friend. Therefore, tip number one starts off with a big one; cleanliness. All you have to do is clean up after yourself, it’s an easy concept that gets lost on a lot of students, especially as the year progresses. Don’t be that person. If you struggle cleaning up after yourself, make sure to do it right away rather than leave it, that way you get it over and done with. Also, be sure to have a bi-weekly communal cleaning chart or organise some sort of routine between yourselves to make sure your crib is dust-free and a hygienic environment to live in. As long as everything is fair and everyone is happy to contribute, there should be no issues.
This is one of the biggest argument starters between housemates. If you’ve already lived with people (that includes siblings), you know that when you buy your own food and put it in a cupboard/fridge, chances are it will be gone by the time you’re back. It can be the most frustrating thing and after a while it can lead to major arguments. Avoid this by discussing how you guys will share things (if at all) and how you all feel about anyone taking anything that belongs to you; will you not care or will you prefer they don’t take anything at all? Or is it OK as long as they replace it quickly? Will you share things like milk and bread? How do you split the costs? Talk this through at the start to avoid any confusion later on, that way everyone knows where they stand.
- Bills (Bills, Bills)
If Destiny’s Child dumped a boy because he couldn’t pay bills, then it sure is an important topic to talk about. Now, this is where we recommend renting somewhere that has all bills included in the rent, or at least some bills. However, if your bills are not included in your rent, it’s time to get serious, like really. Bills should be all business, because this is where being an adult comes in and bills are a significant responsibility. Come up with a system that works for you all, whether that means one person pays the bill and everyone else transfers their half into the account, or whatever else, as long as everyone is on the same page and there is a set deadline for things to get paid, hopefully all will be good. If a mate isn’t happy about this arrangement, talk it through and come up with a solution that makes everyone comfortable. We know any issues surrounding bills can be incredibly awks and no one wants that putting a damper on things!
- Socialise outside of your group
Seeing as you’ll be around your friends very often, it may be a good idea to socialise outside of your usual group of friends. Being around the same people all day everyday can definitely have a negative impact, especially if you are on the same course as well. Join societies by yourself or make friends outside of your normal circle through mutual friends, this way you’re away long enough to miss each other without completely ditching one another. Time management is everything, you’ll see.
While sharing is caring, especially when you’re on a student budget, no matter who you’re living with, it is always best to ask before you borrow something, even if you are pretty certain that person won’t mind. Whatever it is that you want to borrow, if it isn’t yours make sure you have permission before to avoid conflict. Plus, we are pretty sure you wouldn’t be happy if you were looking everywhere for your favourite Topshop t-shirt only to find it on the floor of your pal’s room, we definitely wouldn’t be impressed.
Don’t be afraid to speak your mind if something is bothering you. No, we don’t mean be confrontational and cause an argument. If something is annoying you and you would want something done about it, sit down with your mates and approach the topic calmly. This also excludes angry texting, avoiding them or talking about your issues with anyone else, especially a mutual friend which could easily lead to a major problem. If you have an issue, take it up with the person directly in a calm, conversational manner. That way things can be discussed and resolved in time for your night out! There is nothing worse than getting annoyed at something and keeping it in until you explode, your mates can’t read your mind, after all.
Knowing when the other needs some alone time and would prefer not to be disturbed during a Taylor Swift and Adele listening sesh is quite important, we all need some quite time away from everyone and everything. So, don’t feel offended when your mate isn’t interested in a Twilight marathon and vice versa. We are pretty sure there are times when you’d prefer to be alone too, and there’s nothing wrong with that! If you want, shoot them a text to let them know you’re there if they want a chat, but seeing as you’re mates, they’ll probably already know that and come to you whenever they’re ready (that is if something is even wrong). You and your mates don’t all need to be in each other’s faces all the time, personal space is definitely necessary, particularly after a long day of lectures and seminars.
It’s 3am, you were having an amazing dream when suddenly you’ve been woken up by your mates stumbling in from a night out and it sounds like they’ve decided to start a band using the pots and pans. What’s worse? You have an exam in the morning. Not good. There are plenty of ways you can avoid being in this situation, either have an agreement from the beginning that loud noises should be avoided after a certain time. Or you can set up a house calendar where everyone write down any important events coming up that everyone else should be aware of, this way there are no excuses.
Living with your friends can give you some of the most cherished memories, be sure to love and respect one another, be understanding and compromise is everything! Arguing and bickering is normal between friends, especially those who live together, but don’t let it come between you. As easy as it is to cross your arms and throw a temper tantrum, this is your time to handle life and all of its challenges like an adult. You and your friends will have a fabulous time, so sit back and enjoy all that is to come.
Why not have the best time with your friends while living in a Student Crib? If you’re still hunting for the perfect house, look no further, just click here.