I have been very lucky in my final year to be blessed with great housemates. In the beginning of the year, I’m sure many of you are concerned about how to be a good housemate to keep everyone’s living situation pleasant. Here is a snippet of my experience and tips for sharing a house at university!
When we first moved into the house in September, we immediately tried our best to make the house was cozy and styled to our taste. By putting up fairly lights and placing flowers on our table and removing weird interior (a jar of dirt) that was there from the year before, we quickly settled into our new home. My housemates were all girls and we all did similar courses. This meant when I was struggling with work, my housemates sympathised with me as they were going through something similar. We also made a fun ‘flat bingo’ where we list stuff we want to do before the end of the year (such as going out for dinner etc.) This allowed us to become closer friends from the beginning of the term.
Although we all had other various commitments such as society events, when we came back home it became natural to lounge on the sofa and talk about our day over many (and I mean many) cups of tea. If you are nervous as to how to socialise with your housemates, then asking if they want to drink a cup of tea is never a bad place to start. In terms of maintaining a clean house – some houses create a rota to maintain fairness regarding who cleans and who buys bin bags etc. As for my house, we took turns fairly into buying households goods too. Although in all honesty there were some days we all slacked off to clean the dishes, we nevertheless manage to clean it all up together.
As for cute house events, I think my house would definitely be up in the league table. Starting with a Christmas Roast (although maybe we didn’t stuff the turkey from scratch) to an Easter Sunday meal, we definitely celebrated just about any event we could! Don’t forget your housemates’ birthdays too!
Although we did many events as a house, we also appreciated each other’s space. This is really important for maintaining a pleasant environment (especially in stressful times such as final year!). Often in our flat, if we knew someone is going through a stressful time we would quietly place some chocolates we bought as a flat or a note outside her door. Little gestures like that can make all the difference to a person going through a stressful time. If it is exam period, asking whether if it is okay to use the hoover (just in case anyone is working or taking an interview etc.) can help to avoid misunderstanding between your housemates. Talking it out together is something I would also recommend.
At the end of the term, one of my housemates presented a housemate award show (arguably a more prestigious event than the Grammy’s). I am so proud to have won the “Best Couple Award” (with my one and only Siracha Sauce).
As my time at the University of Exeter is coming to an end, I have realised how valuable my housemates have been this year.
So I wanted to write this blog to appreciate my housemates, their banter and the memories we have made together this year.