Living in halls can be quite a daunting experience for any fresher, especially if they’ve never lived away from home before. All of a sudden you have the responsibility of looking after yourself and every aspect of your life – from washing the dishes and laundry to getting up on time… Because if you don’t do it, nobody else will!

Here are a few tips I learnt last year whilst living in halls to get you through the first year safe and sound…hopefully!

  • Make sure you and all your flatmates have equal kitchen space. That means kitchen cupboards for food and equipment as long as fridge and freezer space, that way there will be no disputes as to who is hogging the fridge – leave the arguments for later on in the year when you really get tired of each other!

  • It’s a good idea to share essentials like milk, butter and bread as it works out cheaper, but if you’d rather go it alone and buy all your own food then let your flatmates know. Otherwise they might start tucking into your supplies without a second thought!

  • As sad as it sounds, at least try to work out some sort of cleaning rota. If your flatmates laugh at you for even suggesting the idea, then just remind them they won’t be laughing when the washing up resembles the leaning tower of Pisa and a strange smell begins to muster around the mound of full bin bags – not to mention the irritating flies buzzing round the flat. Try and work out some sort of organised chaos!

  • Lock doors: you can never be too careful, and it’s not that you don’t trust your flatmates it’s just taking those extra precautions – especially if your halls are located in town.

  • Make your room your own: uni rooms can be quite unwelcoming at first, with bare walls and unfamiliar faces, but if you bring a few home comforts you will definitely start to settle in better.

  • Take pictures of any damage in your room or living space in the flat. If you don’t, your residential services rep may blame you for the damage! Try to make an effort with your flatmates – this was one of my biggest mistakes I made in my first year. Even if they aren’t your usual cup of tea, try to spend a bit of time really getting to know them before you cast them off and be tolerant of certain habits – nobody’s perfect and there definitely is no such thing as a perfect flatmate!

  • If you are suffering from homesickness, this is where your flatmates really come in handy – Simply sitting around watching TV or chatting will keep your mind off back home! However if you really are struggling stay tuned as next week I’ll be writing about how I overcame my homesickness.

  • Get some earplugs: I’m not joking – if your halls are anything like mine were – noisy neighbours, walls and floors paper thin, sat on a busy main road – you’ll need them!

  • Finally, try not to be the flatmate that constantly loses their keys and constantly buzzes somebody down when you’re locked out…especially at 3 in the morning! Not to mention the cost of replace them, often +£30!

Got any tips or do’s & don’ts to help this year’s freshers survive living in halls? Share your experiences below!