Lately, I have been reflecting on my four years of university and all the lessons that I’ve learnt through the years. So, I decided to write a Uni Hacks series to share some of what I’ve learnt.
One of the most important things that I had to learn was how to live with people who weren’t family. And after four years of my degree, I feel that I am now a pro at living with different and sometimes difficult people.
The most important things that I have learnt is that you do not have to be friends with your housemates. It is great living with people you like, and are friends with. But when you arrive in first year, you don’t know who you’re going to live with and whether or not you will get along with them. And most people assume that you are either friends or enemies with your housemates. But you don’t have to be either. You can all be civil and occasionally use each other’s things (with permission) without being friends. In my first year, I tried so hard to be friends with everyone that there were so many clashes because some people just wanted their space.
Lesson number two is to communicate. When living with other people, it is very easy for them to annoy you. Literally everything they do sometimes feels like a personal attack against you and you end up keeping it all in until you explode. This is exactly what one of my housemates does, she doesn’t communicate with anyone when we do something (usually by accident or unconsciously) and she waits until it becomes too much and ends up arguing and shouting. It’s gotten to the point that no one in the house is on speaking terms with her. If someone does something that annoys you, just go to them and talk to them like an adult without being patronising or confrontational. That way, your housemates will pay more attention and not do things that piss you off.
And my final advise is to just chill and relax. Whatever they do is not that important. Dirty dishes are not the end of the world. An extra ten minutes in the shower is not the end of the world. Relax. And communicate. Life and university is way too short to get stressed out over your housemate using you pan and not cleaning it.