Talking Points

House share etiquette you might want to know

Moving out of your parents’ house and joining your new university course mates under one roof can be incredibly exciting. After all, you’re finally flying the nest, reaching out on your own and taking the great leap forward into independent life.

However, just because you’re living away from your parents, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be on your own. Unless you’re lucky enough to be able to afford a home by yourself, you’re going to be living with a roommate or two. And with the amount of student accommodation Leeds has to offer, there’s a whole lot of different people you could be sharing a sink with throughout term time.

Now, we don’t want to paint roommates in a bad light. Plenty of people who head off to university find their best friends for life in those halls and sometimes within their own accommodation’s corridors. However, pushing together a bunch of strangers, most of whom have never lived with anyone besides their immediate family, can cause a couple of problems.

So let’s take a look at three of the most common issues and the possible solutions, so you’re well prepared for those inevitable bickers.

The Problem: Dishes being left in the sink

Cleaning in general is the cause of many headaches for students. It can be very frustrating when you can’t get to your bowl because there’s a mountain of washing up in the way… or worse still, you can’t even find it because your housemates have been using your dishes without your permission.

If there’s one thing that’s going to cause a major breakdown in your new home’s harmony, this might just be it.

The Solution

The truth is that you can’t force other people to clean, and trying to make them will probably just leave you with a bad atmosphere and a flat that looks no better for it.

By all means, ask people to pitch in but when help is not forthcoming, the best thing you can do is to keep your dishes out of reach of others and wash them immediately after use. That way, no matter how high the pile gets, you should always have a cereal bowl clean.

The Problem: Someone steals your food

Picture this: it’s been a long day of studying and you’ve left a curry in the fridge. You’ve been thinking about it all day. You come home, open the fridge, only to find it’s gone.

The Solution

The trick here really is to try not to fly off the handle. This was rude and inconsiderate, yes. But is the few quid you spent on the meal really worth a bust up that might leave a dark cloud over the rest of your university year?

Most people – unless you’ve been left with a really bad bunch – will understand that food thievery really isn’t ok. Perhaps they came in drunk and couldn’t resist. So, be polite but firm. Maybe they’ll even offer to buy you a new one. If all else fails, consider a mini fridge for your continued sanity.

The Problem: Party animal housemates

Now, this entirely depends on your personality. If you’re also the type that likes to stay up until 4am drinking cheap wine – and quite frankly, who doesn’t? – then you’ll probably have few issues here. However, you might find yourself with a housemate that takes this a touch too far.

The Solution

Once again, some calm, rational diplomacy here is always going to get you further than a shouting match. Take advantage of the university library when you can, as it’s always a good idea to have a work/home split. And if you do have a night where you especially need some shuteye, maybe consider giving your housemates a bit of notice so they can plan their partying accordingly.

There’s tons of fun to be had in your Leeds student accommodation, no matter where you choose to stay. If you follow these tips, you might just avoid some of the potential pitfalls that come with this big life change.

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