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Moving into university accommodation can be a bit of a culture shock for some people, and it will be a huge contrast to life at home. Instead of having parents who do stuff for you, and siblings you are duty-bound to fight with, you have to learn to do stuff for yourself and to get on with your housemates.

It can take a little time to adjust to new living arrangements in university accommodation, but it’s well worth the effort. Fun, friendly shared houses are much nicer to live in than a constant battleground, and however lazy we are, we all like to live in a clean, tidy home.

To get you started, here are a few dos and don’ts. It might all seem a bit obvious but put it all together and it soon adds up to a harmonious home that you’ll love to come home to. After all, there is enough stress in student life without university accommodation being stressful too.

Do Stop For A Chat

Naturally, some of your housemates will be quieter and less outgoing than others, so take the time to chat and engage with them too. If you’re both studying and you make a brew, ask if they want one too, or if you’re heading to the cinema or an event on campus, see if they’d like to join you.

Don’t Disturb People

The flip side of this is that sometimes housemates in student houses don’t want to be disturbed. If they are working on an essay deadline, or just chilling with some me-time, they won’t appreciate you banging on their door every five minutes just because you’re bored.

Do Your Share

All those things your family used to do for you are now your responsibility, so empty the bins and do the washing up when it’s your turn. Clean up after yourself when you’ve used the kitchen and bathroom, and don’t let your personal stuff creep into the communal areas.

Don’t Be A Mug

At the same time, it is important not to let your housemates take advantage of you. Some people are naturally tidier than others, but that doesn’t mean they should have to clean up after everyone else all the time. If you need a rota to get people to do their share, then draw one up.

Do Pay Your Way

There are going to be some shared expenses, such as internet and toilet rolls, so make sure you pay your fair share, so no one is left out of pocket. Arrange a joint fund, which everyone contributes equally to, and use this to pay for shared expenses. This can be a separate bank account or just a tin of cash in the kitchen.

Don’t Use Other People’s Stuff

Not everything is shared of course, so don’t get into the habit of ‘borrowing’ stuff from other people in your student homes. A little help is fine when you’ve run out of something but helping yourself all the time is just annoying. Always ask before you take something, even if you intend to replace it straight away.

Do Have Fun

Student homes and shared houses shouldn’t be taken too seriously. There is enough stress on campus and in your lectures. You need your home to be somewhere you can come back to and relax. Get some games, or all chip in on a console, to lighten things up and get everyone involved so no one feels left out.

Don’t Forget Why You’re There

Of course, university is also hard work, and you shouldn’t lose sight of why you are there in the first place. Finding a balance between studying and fun will make the whole experience more rewarding for you and your housemates. Think about scheduling games nights or nights out for set days, so everyone is free to study undisturbed the rest of the time.