Student life is a varied affair and everyone has their own unique experience, but almost everyone will encounter the joys and challenges of living in shared accommodation.
We've teamed up with Glide, an innovative company founded in 2006 with a vision of taking the pain out of paying the bills in a shared accommodation.
So whilst we can't make the guy three floors above in your halls turn the Bulgarian folk-metal down, we can offer a few tips for living together in peace – with a little help from the team at Glide.
This doesn't mean trailing your entire corridor behind you when you're off underwear hunting. If you're in a shared house or flat it's the communal items that can provide unexpected costs or cause simmering resentment if one person is getting the goods in every time.
Take toilet roll, cleaning products or little essentials like tea, coffee or even sugar. They can be expensive, and no-one wants to get involved in a battle of wills over whose turn it is to buy the loo paper. It could get messy.
Glide say: Get around it by shopping together, or at least in a pair: that way you spread the cost, it makes it easier to budget, and nobody's left carrying the cost of occasional items.
This works in a couple of ways. For one, cooking as a group can be fun, sociable and – if you're still honing your slicing and dicing skills – a good way to pick up tips, techniques and even recipes. (Cooking with your housemate's mum if she comes to visit is another handy way to accomplish this.)
It's also a simple way to economise. Cooking solo tends to cost more: team up with a couple of people and make bigger meals and the cost per person drops (you'll use less energy and keep your bills down, too). It also becomes easier to make larger portions that will last everyone for a few days, so there's something in the fridge if you're in a hurry.
Glide say: Decide who's cooking, who's cleaning up and who's offering moral support (make sure you swap roles regularly) and the food situation will always be under control.
Pay the bills together
If there's anything guaranteed to sow the seeds of enmity in your house (other than incessant Bulgarian folk-metal) it's the money stuff. It could be the first time you've all had to deal with the financial side of things, for one; it can be complicated to split the bills; and how can you make sure everyone pays on time?
Obviously the best way is to find a rich benefactor to bankroll your life, no questions asked. But as most of us live in the real world, another great solution is to use a service like Glide. They provide all of your utilities – including power, water and broadband – and will split your bill equally between all the people living with you. You get one monthly bill payment that covers everything, so the money stuff is sorted. Now you can get back to writing passive aggressive notes about milk stealing.
Find out why over 40,000 people in the UK have turned to Glide to take the pain out of paying their bills.
Clean up together
One of the carved-in-stone truths of life is that everyone bickers over whose turn it is to do the washing up, or clean the bath, or remove that green thing from the fridge before it starts demanding the right to vote.
You'll never totally escape it, but you can avoid blazing rows or stony silences as the dish towers mount up on the draining board. A cleaning rota is a reliable option; you could even draw lots at the start of your tenancy and agree who's responsible for certain parts of the house, and swap around each term.
Glide say: The main thing is to agree everything amicably at the start, and you'll never have to experience bin-gate, washing up-gate, or you-never-lift-a-finger-to-help-you-slovenly-wretch-gate.
You can also turn co-habiting to your advantage when it comes to studying. Planning work, revision or reading time together means nobody feels left out of the loop, stuck studying while the rest of the house goes out, or – worse – stays in and has a good time.
It's not just about avoiding friction, though. You might not live with people on your course, meaning you lack that little bit of encouragement or moral support once you get home. Embracing the 'study' part of being students together makes it easier to get the work done.
So there you have it: team up, split your bills fairly, work together and you'll have a much more harmonious life. Now, how does that folk-metal chorus go...?
Find out more about simplifying your bills – whether you’re already in shared accommodation or will be in the future, learn more about Glide and how they can save you the pain, letting you focus on what really matters at uni!