The Student Room Group

Communal living experiences please

Poll

Are you friends with your flatmates (hang out together regularly etc)

Hey, I'm applying for accommodation and realised I have no idea what uni halls and communal living is actually like and whether I should do it at all/ just live alone.
Has anyone got any experience living alone on campus?

Basically, I'm interested in your experience of communal living.
Was it messy and loud and stressful or the best years of your life and really uneventful?
Do people generally get on with their flatmates or not?
Do you find it easy to cook and keep food in a shared kitchen etc etc

Sorry for all the questions. Thanks
(edited 2 years ago)
I use cookbooks. Yes I love it. We go out to the pub once a month for dinner and quiz and are planning a trip to Scotland and to a escape room etc too.
Original post by beach1891
Was it messy and loud and stressful or the best years of your life and really uneventful?

It's a real luck of the draw as to whether you get on with your flatmates or not, as allocation is usually completely random. My flatmates were incredibly messy and one was really noisy, but as I left them to it most of the time, living with them was relatively uneventful.
Do people generally get on with their flatmates or not?

It can range from being best mates with your flatmates, through indifference, all the way to hating each other. It really depends on how compatible you are personality- and lifestyle-wise.
Do you find it easy to cook and keep food in a shared kitchen etc etc

Cooking was fine, but food theft is a pretty typical experience in any shared student housing, so don't be surprised when it happens.
(edited 2 years ago)
Reply 3
Original post by PhoenixFortune
It's a real luck of the draw as to whether you get on with your flatmates or not, as allocation is usually completely random. My flatmates were incredibly messy and one was really noisy, but as I left them to it most of the time, living with them was relatively uneventful.

It can range from being best mates with your flatmates, through indifference, all the way to hating each other. It really depends on how compatible you are personality- and lifestyle-wise.

Cooking was fine, but food theft is a pretty typical experience in any shared student housing, so don't be surprised when it happens.

thank you for replying that is great. Did you find you spent much time with your flatmates?
Can I ask how it works with space for food and kitchen equipment/utensils etc. Do you all share a cutlery drawer and shelves or do yo have allocated ones? Is it common people touch/use your things? Im not at all against sharing I just have anxiety around hygiene so would worry about them being clean etc. thank you
Original post by beach1891
thank you for replying that is great. Did you find you spent much time with your flatmates?
Can I ask how it works with space for food and kitchen equipment/utensils etc. Do you all share a cutlery drawer and shelves or do yo have allocated ones? Is it common people touch/use your things? Im not at all against sharing I just have anxiety around hygiene so would worry about them being clean etc. thank you

I didn't really see them much (we all had very different schedules), and none of them were really my type of people.

Usually you assign yourself a drawer and one or two cupboards, and shelf in the fridge and freezer. A few unis actually tell you which are yours, but otherwise most of the time it's a free-for-all.

It's pretty common for people to use each others' utensils, plates, mugs etc., and my flatmates used to put them back in various states of cleanliness (and sometimes without washing them at all). I always kept a set of cutlery and crockery in my room to make sure I always had at least one set of clean things.
Reply 5
Original post by PhoenixFortune
I didn't really see them much (we all had very different schedules), and none of them were really my type of people.

Usually you assign yourself a drawer and one or two cupboards, and shelf in the fridge and freezer. A few unis actually tell you which are yours, but otherwise most of the time it's a free-for-all.

It's pretty common for people to use each others' utensils, plates, mugs etc., and my flatmates used to put them back in various states of cleanliness (and sometimes without washing them at all). I always kept a set of cutlery and crockery in my room to make sure I always had at least one set of clean things.

thanks again for replying, thats helpful. Did you end up just making friends elsewhere? im considering living alone but am concerned about the social side but maybe its no different to people like you who dont see their flatmates much.
Original post by beach1891
thanks again for replying, thats helpful. Did you end up just making friends elsewhere? im considering living alone but am concerned about the social side but maybe its no different to people like you who dont see their flatmates much.

Oh yeah, I made great friends (who I'm still in touch with now) on my course and through societies. Your flatmates definitely aren't the only people you have the possibility of being friends with - if anything, I'd say you're less likely to be friends with them anyway due to conflicting lifestyles/cleanliness standards etc.
Reply 7
Original post by PhoenixFortune
Oh yeah, I made great friends (who I'm still in touch with now) on my course and through societies. Your flatmates definitely aren't the only people you have the possibility of being friends with - if anything, I'd say you're less likely to be friends with them anyway due to conflicting lifestyles/cleanliness standards etc.

Thats what I am planning to do if I do decide to live alone, its just the worry of not making friends and being lonely if I dont live with others although I would still be on campus.
Original post by beach1891
Hey, I'm applying for accommodation and realised I have no idea what uni halls and communal living is actually like and whether I should do it at all/ just live alone.
Has anyone got any experience living alone on campus?

Basically, I'm interested in your experience of communal living.
Was it messy and loud and stressful or the best years of your life and really uneventful?
Do people generally get on with their flatmates or not?
Do you find it easy to cook and keep food in a shared kitchen etc etc

Sorry for all the questions. Thanks


as a first year at uni, i've found that it's a definite mix; i get on well with all of my flatmates thank goodness, but it's completely random as to whether you get on or not since flatmate allocations are completely random (unless you apply with a group of people that you know but this is usually for 2nd/3rd year)

in my kitchen (there are 8 of us in my flat) we each have two cupboards; one for food, one for utensils which works out well unless someone is standing in front of them (unusual unless someone has friends around). we have two fridges which works for us, and it's pretty easy to cook in the kitchen as long as you're able to work around the others and when they're cooking. one of my flatmates is basically nocturnal and only cooks at 2/3am so i barely ever see him, one of them only buys microwavable burgers, one pre-cooks all of her food for the week and those of us remaining are all pretty friendly and are able to work around when we each have lectures/work/extra-curriculars.

in terms of cleaning? there's four of us that actually clean the kitchen. i find myself being the one who wipes down all the hobs and surfaces but honestly, i don't mind too much because it's usually not too bad. we've only failed our kitchen inspection twice and i then decided to actually clean so we wouldn't have to pay for a cleaner (which is how our uni do it if our kitchens get too gross).

i would definitely recommend living on campus in a shared flat: it introduces you to the more social aspect of uni and makes it a LOT easier to get to lectures!
Depends. I personally find living in halls a nightmare.

I'm on a corridor of 18 and there are 2 kitchens on the hallway, so I share a kitchen with 8 other people. I have social anxiety and those kitchens are small so being in the kitchen with another person makes me really uncomfortable. If another person walks in while I'm in there I'll start panicking and if there's already someone in there I can't go in - which is an issue on the days that they decide to hang out in there for over 4 hours one afternoon (I ended up eating dinner at 11pm). As a result, despite being able to cook by diet is **** because I'm scared of using the kitchen.

It doesn't help that I've got absolutely terrible flatmates. I did hang out with them in the corridor once during fresher's week, but they were already having conversations amongst themselves. What was I supposed to do? Butt into their conversations? It takes me a while to feel comfortable around anyone and they only really gave me one conversation, so I'm still scared of them. They're not the sort of people I'd be friends with - they go clubbing frequently, while I don't drink alcohol, am scared of crowds and can't stand the sound of people shouting, so I wouldn't even go to a club and drink lemonade.

They sometimes come back drunk around 3am and start shouting. Once one of them karate kicked a door and broke it. Another time one of them decided to order a pizza at 4am and for some reason called the pizza place in the corridor so that everyone could hear her. Sometimes they'll sit in the corridors talking until it starts getting light. Once they tried to have a party in the corridor, but I got them portered for that - they've got a bit better with the noise since then, but living with them still sucks.

Sharing a kitchen would probably be bad even if I wasn't scared of my housemates. There's a spilt bottle of milk in the fridge, taking up one of the compartments in the fridge door. It's been there for weeks, and whoever bought it isn't picking it up. I don't know if any of my other housemates have asked whose it is being I don't interact with them, but now it's curdled and the whole fridge smells like spoiled milk. Last term someone stole one of my bananas, and then a few days later (I assume it was the same person) put a black banana on my shelf. It wasn't my banana because it was covered in plastic, and I never buy packaged bananas - I'm still baffled. Someone stole one of my peppers too for some reason. If our uni didn't have cleaners to clean the kitchen every week ... I don't want to imagine what the state of the rest of the kitchen would be. If any of them ever cook they will leave their dirty pans everywhere, and will only move them the day before the cleaner comes.

If you're introverted, have social anxiety or struggle with social interaction for any reason, I wouldn't recommend it. Maybe if your uni puts you in halls/flats with a small number of people (my friend at Edinburgh is in a flat with 3 other people - I'm so jealous) it might be okay, and if you're lucky you might actually get on with your flatmates but living in halls in generally not a good place to overcome issues with social interaction. My experience living in halls has definitely made my anxiety and fear of people worse. If you're alright at interacting with people you don't know it might be okay - everyone else seems to enjoy it. As for me, I'm probably going to live alone next year and I wish I'd had the opportunity to live alone this year because I'd certainly be much happier if I wasn't living in halls.
(edited 2 years ago)
Reply 10
Original post by elsiehxo
as a first year at uni, i've found that it's a definite mix; i get on well with all of my flatmates thank goodness, but it's completely random as to whether you get on or not since flatmate allocations are completely random (unless you apply with a group of people that you know but this is usually for 2nd/3rd year)

in my kitchen (there are 8 of us in my flat) we each have two cupboards; one for food, one for utensils which works out well unless someone is standing in front of them (unusual unless someone has friends around). we have two fridges which works for us, and it's pretty easy to cook in the kitchen as long as you're able to work around the others and when they're cooking. one of my flatmates is basically nocturnal and only cooks at 2/3am so i barely ever see him, one of them only buys microwavable burgers, one pre-cooks all of her food for the week and those of us remaining are all pretty friendly and are able to work around when we each have lectures/work/extra-curriculars.

in terms of cleaning? there's four of us that actually clean the kitchen. i find myself being the one who wipes down all the hobs and surfaces but honestly, i don't mind too much because it's usually not too bad. we've only failed our kitchen inspection twice and i then decided to actually clean so we wouldn't have to pay for a cleaner (which is how our uni do it if our kitchens get too gross).

i would definitely recommend living on campus in a shared flat: it introduces you to the more social aspect of uni and makes it a LOT easier to get to lectures!

Thank you for replying. If i was to live alone it would still be on campus but what you have said sounds better than a lot of the horror stories lol. I dont mind mess its hygiene I worry about. Do you often find people cook at the same time?

I think Im leaning towards giving it a go as I do not want to be too isolated I just hope I get clean flatmates :smile:
Original post by beach1891
Thank you for replying. If i was to live alone it would still be on campus but what you have said sounds better than a lot of the horror stories lol. I dont mind mess its hygiene I worry about. Do you often find people cook at the same time?

I think Im leaning towards giving it a go as I do not want to be too isolated I just hope I get clean flatmates :smile:


i try and cook at the same time as two or three of my flatmates depending on what days our lectures work out that we're back in the flat at the same time; mostly evening meals are when I'm cooking at the same time as then which is quite nice because it gives me time to chill out and wind down on the days when i have lectures or go out for extra curriculars!

even if you don't get clean flatmates (and it seems like a lot of hassle) you can either clean it by yourself (i like to clean everything so that i know all of the surfaces are clean for when I'm cooking or eating meals) or leave it until they crack and start cleaning by themselves :smile:

i wish you the best of luck!

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