Living in a shared student house is a really fun and memorable experience during your university years.
Student accommodation may have been your first taste of freedom but this time round you get to choose who you’re living with, which is quite often the friends you’ve made.
Whilst a house share can be an amazing time, there are some things that people don’t always consider when they make the decision to live together.
Check out our guide to find out the things they don’t tell you about shared student houses to help you prepare and make the most of your experience!
1. Finding The Right Housemates Takes Time & Effort
Choosing who you’re going to live with at your university is an important decision which takes time and effort, it isn’t something which should be rushed as it can affect your daily life and student experience.
To help you make the big decision on who to live with, we’d suggest looking for friends who have similar lifestyles and interests as you.
Such as, if you’re someone who’s a night owl and tends to stay up late partying, it may not be a great idea to live with someone who prefers a quiet lifestyle as your habits and schedules will clash.
Before agreeing to live with anyone at university, it’s a good idea to have an open conversation about each other’s expectations out of the experience, as this will help ensure that everyone is on the same page.
We cannot stress this enough, don’t just agree to live with the first people who ask you, think carefully about it, as people may make great friends but that doesn’t mean they’ll make great housemates!
2. Not Everyone Will Pull Their Weight
Living in shared student houses can be frustrating sometimes, it’s expected that everyone should do their fair share of chores, but you’ll probably find not everyone will pull their weight.
To work around this, try to create a rota for sharing household chores, such as one housemate cleans the bathroom or the kitchen one week, and another the next week. This can help to ensure that everyone contributes equally.
If a particular housemate continues to not contribute to cleaning and tidying, make sure to have a conversation about your expectations for the living situation early on.
Otherwise, they may carry on thinking it’s acceptable to have everyone else clean up after them!
3. You’ll Have To Be Tolerant
When in a shared student house, it’s important to remember that just because you’re friends with your housemates doesn’t mean you won’t get on each other’s nerves every now and again.
Whilst you’re not going to agree on everything your housemates do or say all of the time, it’s important to try and be tolerant and agree to disagree over certain issues.
There are absolutely times where you should speak up about problems, but it’s good to let certain issues slide. Your housemates’ habits may not be the same as yours so try to find ways to meet in the middle!
4. Set Guest Rules Early On
Inviting friends and significant others over is bound to happen within shared student houses, but it’s important to set some rules early on.
You should let your housemates know if you’re going to be having people around, and ask if it’s okay with them, especially if you will be spending quite some time in the communal spaces.
If you don’t establish some rules, it may become a free for all and you may have a housemate who invites their friends to crash on the sofa multiple times a week.
This is especially an issue if they’re not contributing to household expenses but they’re practically living in your home, rent free!
5. Personal Space Is Important
Everyone needs their personal space but some more than others, so make sure to respect other’s needs for privacy and alone time, and remember people prefer different things.
Even extroverted people need their own time to unwind and relax, it’s not going to be a party all of the time and there may be times where your housemates don’t want to chill in the communal areas of the house.
Just because you’re living with friends doesn’t mean you have to be together all of the time, it’s healthy to have time alone to recharge your batteries.
6. Money Can Cause Tension
When living in a student house, sharing living expenses can be a great way to save money on rent, gas, electricity, water and even your TV and internet costs. Although, on the other hand, money can undoubtedly become a source of tension.
Before moving in together, we’d suggest having a conversation with your housemates about how you plan to split expenses, especially if your utility bills are not included in the rent.
When staying with UK Student Houses, your utility bills are taken care of, making it nice and easy to budget!
It’s vital to ensure that every housemate’s names are included on household bills, as If only one person has their name on a bill, they are solely responsible for getting paid. If everyone’s name is on the bill, it’s a shared responsibility.
If money issues do start to cause tension within your house, it’s best to try and have a chat as a house and see how the problem can be resolved.
If that doesn’t work, it may be wise to contact your housing provider or utility providers.
7. Sharing Isn’t Always Caring
When adapting to a new way of life within your student house, you should remember that you’re not obligated to share anything, and vice versa, your housemates aren’t obligated to share anything with you.
Of course, there are certain items which tend to be shared like bin bags, toilet roll, cleaning products and so on, but when it comes to sharing food and drink, not everyone is up for sharing and that’s okay.
So, make sure to politely ask before using your housemates’ things, or eating or drinking things they have purchased. If any issues do arise, just chat it out!
8. Make It Your Own
We know, you’re not going to be living in a student house for the longest of time but it’s still a good idea to make it your own home sweet home.
There are a few ways you and your housemates can make your setup welcoming and cosy, rather than boring and not inviting.
Such as, grabbing some lights to create a relaxing vibe, getting a rug to really tie the room together, purchasing some funky cushions for the couch or printing off some pictures of you and your housemates.
Just make sure not to make changes without permission from your landlord (we’re talking about painting or decorating) and ensure that you’re not damaging walls as you could end up losing your deposit.
This way, you’ll have a nice homely environment which you’ll all settle into in no time!
Living with friends within a student house can be a great experience and you’re bound to make tons of memories, but it’s important to go into it with your eyes open and be prepared. We wish you luck and be sure to embrace it!
There are so many amazing TV shows to watch in your student house so, make sure to read our blog on the Best 8 TV Shows You Need To Watch In 2023.