Sharing your Living Space…
One of the biggest challenges in embarking on a higher education course is overcoming issues with accommodation. Whether in halls of residence or a shared student house, it’s all but inevitable that you’ll be living in an environment that is not yours alone. The potential for conflict in such settings is accentuated by the added pressures of being buried in academic work. As such, being prepared with solutions to any potential conflicts will benefit you, your housemates, and your studies.
At the UK College of Business and Computing, we always look to support our students in every aspect of their studies, whether in the classroom or at home. As such, we’re pleased to offer some tips and advice on living in a shared household…
Make your Space your Own
Regardless of those you live with, you will undoubtedly have a room to call your own. It’s important to make this room your own private sanctuary, and keep others away so that you have somewhere to rest, unwind, and work. You can also decorate the room in a way that makes it feel like home: bring items that remind you of life away from your studies, add pictures of loved ones, and establish an ambience that is conducive to supporting you throughout your studies.
Respect Others’ Items
In much the same way that you will want to create a ‘safe space’ of your own, it’s essential that you respect the same areas established by others. Stay out of their individual spaces and honour their privacy, and ask for permission as and when required. You should always aim to treat others in the same manner as you yourself wish to be treated, and giving both their space and possessions the respect they deserve will help you to establish more positive relationships.
Replace and Replenish
One of the most common causes of tension in a shared household revolves around the consumption of others’ food. Often, student accommodation will see people label their own food in order to keep others away. Of course, a label can only do so much, so in the event that you eat or drink someone else’s food and drink, always make sure you apologise, and replace items quickly and in full. It’s important that any tension is eliminated at the earliest juncture, so always go the extra mile to avoid any bad feeling.
Clean and Tidy
Another bone of contention that needs to be diffused early relates to hygiene and cleanliness. A messy home life is never good for anyone, and conflicts will often arise in relation to such tasks as putting the bins out and cleaning the bathroom. No subject will cause as many arguments, however, as responsibility for washing up. Put in place a schedule for who does the washing up on each day of the week and stay on top of the situation. Don’t let the washing build up over the course of a few days, as the more washing that gets generated, the more the tension rises.
Communal areas in a shared home should be kept as tidy and organised as possible. By setting aside places specific to individuals – including in the kitchen cupboards and the fridge – clear identification of what belongs to who will limit any confusion. In addition, the bathroom should be maintained in optimum condition; wash and clean the shower after use, and always ensure you have a suitable supply of essentials.
Get to Know Each Other
We’ve only really looked at the negatives associated with living together, but there are plenty of positives to be found. Not having sole responsibility for cleaning, food, bills, etc. can prove beneficial, while building relationships with others always proves a rewarding experience. Spend the time getting to know one another early, and you’ll soon determine what people like and dislike, their habits, their annoyances, and how to ensure that you counter or avoid any issues should they arise.
Communication is key to a living environment that is happy and relaxing. Without being able to communicate with one another effectively, the ability to discuss problems and issues – and to achieve resolutions – is all but impossible. It might be as simple as ensuring that you talk to one another face-to-face instead of leaving one another passive aggressive notes; or even contacting housemates to let them know you’re having visitors or planning a social event. Regardless of the situation, being able to communicate effectively is key.
When conflicts and disagreements arise – and arise they will – it can be all too easy to go on the defensive. Keeping cool in such a situation will serve you well, and enable you to approach and resolve any conflict with the minimum of fuss. You’re likely to be living with others for a prolonged duration, so knowing how to diffuse conflict with as little effort as possible will prove invaluable.
Everybody needs there own time and a bit of escapism. While your own room will often prove a sanctuary, sometimes it’s better to get out of the property altogether. In a city as diverse and fascinating as London, finding somewhere to go for a bit of ‘me’ time is simple.
Going out needn’t even be a solitary activity. Your new housemates will undoubtedly become friends, so arranging social activities with your flatmates will help bolster your relationship further. Plus, you will have the opportunity to get to know people in a different environment – something that will teach you lots about their likes and personality.
Moving to London to study with the UKCBC has the potential to be a life-changing event. Not only will you benefit from the highest-quality tutoring, but you’ll be able to meet and mix with others, developing personally as well as academically. The points above should help you integrate into shared student accommodation easily, and will prepare you for some of the relationship clashes that may occur. Of course, not all house shares will end in conflict; you may be fortunate and move into a property with people that are wholly like-minded and will overlook indiscretions as and when they occur.
Contact UKCBC for More Info
To find out more about the learning experience provided in London by the UKCBC, you can contact our friendly team direct. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have and ensure your time with us is as enjoyable and rewarding as can be.