By Eszter Jokay
Leaving halls (or home) to move in with your pals can be the best thing ever. Just don’t expect to be best friends 24/7 and braiding each other’s hair before bed every night. OK?
To help you get the most out of your first flatshare, we’ve listed a few things to look out for…
- You have infinite utensils
You’ll never have space in the kitchen cupboard. Ever. You probably own a fair amount of plates and cutlery that your parents bought as a moving away/good luck feeding yourself present. Same for your flatmates. But don’t worry, having an infinite amount of mismatched utensils means you don’t have to do the dishes as often.
- Dishes get everywhere
There’ll always be dirty dishes on your counter. It’s a given. But everyone has their limits, and someone will be first to crack when new life forms start evolving in your sink. Avoid falling out with your flatmates during the first week by agreeing a cleaning rota. You’ll thank me later.
- Someone will use all the milk/toilet roll
If, like a true Brit, you’ve given in to the pressure to drink tea 24/7, you’ll be lacking milk pretty often. Same with toilet roll. Whether you believe in the ‘who used the last one should buy a new one’ mantra or not, it’s recommended to come up with a system and make sure everyone sticks to it.
- Things break
Living in halls or at home lulls you into the false security because there’s always someone who will instantly jump to carry out repairs. Landlords are not exactly the jumpy kind. So buy a tool kit and learn to change a lightbulb.
- Winter is coming
Moving to a flat means that now you’ll have to think about electricity and gas bills. And when money’s tight, Scottish winter can be cruel. You might want to invest in a onesie, blankets and furry slippers. Make sure you plan your heating timer in advance to avoid those flatmates who keep the heating on all the time and walk around in shorts.
- Passive aggressive notes aren’t passive
No matter how much you love your flatmates, stuff will annoy you. And what better way is there to express these repressed feelings than to write a funny(-ish) note? Loads. There are loads of better ways. ’Funny’, passive aggressive notes quickly become, well, not exactly passive. Man up and talk about your problems instead. It’s more honest, you’ll feel better, and you might even be able to solve the issue.
- Everyone has weird habits
Secrets come out when you live with someone. Prepare to discover things about your flatmates that’ll make you want to leave a body-shaped hole in the wall. Whether it’s their showering habits (or lack thereof), tendency to dress up as Disney-princesses, or a secret pet snake, try to be as understanding as possible. You probably have your own quirks you didn’t realise were weird.
- People are noisy
Your flatmates may be having people over for pre-drinks the night before your exam or you might just not share their enthusiasm for German rap. Either way, it’s time to invest in some earplugs and good quality earphones. If it gets to the point where you can’t take any more, don’t suffer in silence. Mention it to them. It’s possible they feel the same way about you singing to One Direction every morning.
- Money chats have to happen
No matter how much you’re trying to avoid it, the thorny issue of money will get raised. Prevent the awkwardness by getting in there early to discuss what counts as communal, how to divide the bills, and maybe even make a budget for the flat.
- You’ll have the time of your life
It’s a cliché but it’s true. You live far away from your parents but close enough to give them a call if you’re having trouble boiling an egg or, more likely, run out of money. Living with flatmates also means you’ll always have a partner in crime, someone with whom you can binge-watch Netflix and eat pizza for breakfast. Enjoy it!
Got any funny stories or advice about living with flatmates? Get tweeting @Scotcampus