Things to know about sharing a home with other students

Sharing a home with other students can be fun, but it is also filled with potential conflict

Photo by CC user artinstituteofportland on Flickr

So, you have just left home for the first time, and you are about to spend your first semester at your chosen college or university. Unless you are staying in the dorms on campus, you will soon be sharing a home with other students.

Here’s what you need to know to keep things running smoothly, avoid animosity, and a build a sense of community within your new home away from home.

The kitchen

Of all the areas in the house, it is the kitchen where there is the greatest potential for conflict. The creation of dishes is the biggest issue, as it only takes the actions of one laggard to spawn resentment. Left unaddressed, this situation can lead to the refusal of others to keep up the cleanliness of this common space.

Another concern is food storage security. According to a recent survey commissioned by Data Label in the United Kingdom, anywhere between 14% and 37% of students had reported their food or leftovers had gone missing from communal fridges and food storage spaces. This study was also featured onĀ  We Are Homes for Students.

By carefully vetting roommates before allowing them to rent in the house, and then taking a proactive approach if food goes missing, these incidents can be avoided or quickly resolved.

Divvying up chores

If you hope to have a house that is at least respectably clean, it is imperative that you establish a schedule for chores at the start of the semester.

If everyone knows who is supposed to clean the kitchen, vacuum the floors, take out the trash/recyclables, and perform other tasks on given weeks, you will have an environment that feels more like a home rather than a place to sleep.

Paying the bills

The lights, water and internet won’t keep themselves on. In order to keep all these services running smoothly, the bills will need to be paid on time. Make sure that all bills are posted on the fridge as soon as they are received, with a complete breakdown of what is owed by everybody.

Though it may be uncomfortable to chase after your fellow housemates for money, it is vital that no one falls behind in their bills without a valid excuse, as it will give others a reason to be tardy on their payments as well.

Respecting each others needs

It can be difficult to share space with other human beings, but this task is made all the more tricky when the people involved are very young adults. Everyone must make an effort to respect each others need for privacy and quiet, especially during the week and at exam time.

On the other hand, if it’s the weekend, or early on in the semester, lighten up a little and respect your other housemates need to unwind, blow off steam, and have fun. So long as everyone has an understanding of the magnitude of a planned social gathering, and when they will begin and end, there should be no issue with having friends over every once in awhile.

We Are Homes for Students?