If travelling halfway across the country to start university wasn’t daunting enough on its own, most students have the added pressure of moving into a shared house with total strangers.
Whether you opted for cheaper student housing or you’ve left sorting your accommodation to the last minute and have had to compromise, it’s natural to feel a little apprehensive about who you’re going to be sharing a bathroom and kitchen with for the next year or two.
Fear not: we’ve put together some ways to get to know your new housemates…
Whether your shared house has been organised by your university or a private company, set up a Facebook group chat so you can introduce yourself before you get there. You can also spend some time stalking each housemates’ social media profiles to decide who you want to steer clear of. Share your excitement, get to know each other, and discuss your sleeping arrangements so that, when you arrive at your student digs, you know which room is yours.
Another way to get to know your new housemates is to host a moving-in party, though we don’t recommend that you do this on your first night. Spend some time sussing each other out and plan the party together - it’s a great team-building exercise and means you’ll not only get to know your new flatmates but their friends from university, too, expanding your circle.
You’re not the only one who’s feeling anxious about starting university. Chum up with your new flatmates and organise a day trip, getting to know the campus and facilities. You can check out the library, students union, and do some retail therapy to take advantage of your new student discount card. Figuring things out together will give you some more confidence, and you might even find that one of your roomies shares the same timetable as you, so you can plan your morning commute together and stop off for a coffee before lectures kick-off.
If you’re the first to show up at your new student accommodation, consider offering your new neighbours a helping hand unpacking and settling in. You don’t need to help them with their underwear drawer, but getting their boxes out of the car and helping them set up lights and tech will make you feel like you’re having an impact, and help you make a friend on day one.
Now everyone’s spending time unpacking and making their rooms feel like a home away from home, you could consider putting on some music. Set up a shared Spotify playlist where you can all contribute and add your favourite bands and artists. This will not only help to fill the awkward silence in the early days of your new “uni family”, but spark some convos and help you find common interests. Just remember to keep the music to a reasonable level.
Finally, consider heading out to the students union once you’re all settled in to loosen up and get to know each other. Don’t go overboard - you don’t want to be known as the one who can’t handle their drink and needs to be carried home - but feel free to let your hair down and have some fun. You’re going to be spending the next year or two with these people, whether you like them or not, so it pays to put in the effort and make a good first impression.
Do you have any other tips for getting to know your new housemates? Let us know what you think on social media and check back to the blog soon for more tips and tricks from us.