The Student Room Group

Worried about living in student accommodation.

I'm currently waiting for offers for university and I'm really looking forward to it, however, I'm having some doubts about living with other people. Recently I've noticed lots of horror stories about 'flatmates from hell', issues with food, tension between flatmates and more. Is it really like this or is that just exaggerated? I'd like to know if some people are actually good friends with their flatmates, and also if there's anything else I should know about living with other people. (my top choice is Edinburgh if you have any advice specifically related to UoE) thanks for your time.
I think that 1st year flatmates can be a bit of a mixed bag. I'm at Sheffield and we had the option to choose our accommodation and even our flat and floor! We were also able to write short bios and put our social medias in them to talk to flatmates ahead of time.

I was really fortunate and I'm good friends with my flatmates, we get along so well that we're planning on living together next year too!

And I've also heard of some not so good flatmates, like people spending the minimum amount of time in communal areas and having all their own things, their own milk, salt,sugar,sponges,soaps and kitchen towels and stuff.

But yeah unfortunately if you don't get much choice on your accommodation it may be a bit of luck to see how y'all get along. But I hope you'll get flatmates that at least tolerate each other and can be pleasant.
Original post by eturbyne52
I'm currently waiting for offers for university and I'm really looking forward to it, however, I'm having some doubts about living with other people. Recently I've noticed lots of horror stories about 'flatmates from hell', issues with food, tension between flatmates and more. Is it really like this or is that just exaggerated? I'd like to know if some people are actually good friends with their flatmates, and also if there's anything else I should know about living with other people. (my top choice is Edinburgh if you have any advice specifically related to UoE) thanks for your time.


Hi,
Honestly, there may be no way of knowing how your flatmates are until you arrive to your accommodation. If you are really worried about this, I would recommend that whilst you are there set clear boundaries of what is yours ect. It may also be helpful to keep some of your things locked in your room if you end up unlucky.
Fortunately, my flatmates were extremely clean and friendly and what we found to really help keep the communal areas tidy was a rota for cleaning and taking the bins out too. I know a lot of people who have made really close relationships with those they lived with in first year, although it is not weird if you aren't friends with them as you guys will get busy through the year and might even barely see each other. Attempting to interact and make friends with your flatmates is a good way to start the year and break any awkwardness but relationships do change over time as you will be able to join societies and meet class mates.
Another piece of advice I have heard is to not clean up too much after people as after a while they will start expecting it from you, though this may not always be the case. As long as you all communicate (possibly make a group chat) and stay at least neutral with each other you should be able to maintain respectful relationships and be comfortable living there. Hope this helps :smile:
Good Luck!
-Malek
University of Kent Rep
I was in a flat of 5 as part of a block of flats in first year (part of Glasgow Uni's Queen Margaret Halls). Aside from another medic in that flat I can't remember the names of the other 3. We co-existed mostly in our own separate bubbles. What did happen was I ended up finding friends living in other flats in that block and most evenings were spent either out with them or back in one of our flats. If they happened to come back to mine and one of my flat mates already had a group sitting in the kitchen/dining room then we simply moved on to someone else's flat for the evening. As long as you're sociable and find a group of like minded people in who are part of that apartment complex you'll be fine. I enjoyed it so much I pretty much opted to stay in QMH for 5 years :biggrin:. There weren't many who went down that route. I can remember another medic and a dentist I met in my time there who had spent 5 years in halls!
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by eturbyne52
I'm currently waiting for offers for university and I'm really looking forward to it, however, I'm having some doubts about living with other people. Recently I've noticed lots of horror stories about 'flatmates from hell', issues with food, tension between flatmates and more. Is it really like this or is that just exaggerated? I'd like to know if some people are actually good friends with their flatmates, and also if there's anything else I should know about living with other people. (my top choice is Edinburgh if you have any advice specifically related to UoE) thanks for your time.

You could look forvcatered halls - restricts kitchen dramas. I'm still friends many years later with people I met in hall.
Original post by eturbyne52
I'm currently waiting for offers for university and I'm really looking forward to it, however, I'm having some doubts about living with other people. Recently I've noticed lots of horror stories about 'flatmates from hell', issues with food, tension between flatmates and more. Is it really like this or is that just exaggerated? I'd like to know if some people are actually good friends with their flatmates, and also if there's anything else I should know about living with other people. (my top choice is Edinburgh if you have any advice specifically related to UoE) thanks for your time.


Hi eturbyne52,
You may not know who you're living with until you actually check-in but there are things you can do to give yourself the best chance of getting along with your flatmates. Firstly, be open that you may have very different priorities and that's ok! You'll all be living away from home for what could be the first time, so try to be understanding if there are any minor disagreements. Some accommodations will ask if you have any preferences when you're applying, so if you really wanted to be in say a "quiet" flat then this is something they can try to arrange. Worst comes to worst, if you're finding that you are really struggling to get along with your flatmates then I'd recommend speaking to your accommodation provider to see if you can move into another flat etc.

We recently wrote a blog on befriending your flatmates in the early days of uni. You can check it out here: https://bit.ly/3XSQgcL

Hope this helps!

- Sophie
Original post by eturbyne52
I'm currently waiting for offers for university and I'm really looking forward to it, however, I'm having some doubts about living with other people. Recently I've noticed lots of horror stories about 'flatmates from hell', issues with food, tension between flatmates and more. Is it really like this or is that just exaggerated? I'd like to know if some people are actually good friends with their flatmates, and also if there's anything else I should know about living with other people. (my top choice is Edinburgh if you have any advice specifically related to UoE) thanks for your time.

Hey there!
I'd like to say that everyone you meet at university will be fine and that it's all exaggerated but unfortunately it's not always the case. The majority of the time you'll find your sort of people in first year and you'll only get the odd one or two that you don't get on with and that's completely normal. Like others have said, everyone has been brought up in completely different ways so it's all about compromising and gradually adjusting over time to how other people live. I'd definitely recommend starting off in student halls because it's an easy way to make friends in the initial stages. I've lived in two different student accommodations so far and both flats I've found it easy to make friends and to adjust. The thing to remember is that everyone is there for the same reasons in the sense that everyone is trying to make friends. You've just got to try and adapt to other people's way of living in the same way that they'll be doing it for you.

Hope this helped!
Lucy - Digital Student Ambassador SHU
Thanks a lot for all of your help. I'm kinda reassured, but I'm still not 100% feeling good about it. I think I'll risk it by applying for student halls and hoping for the best. I reckon the positive social aspects outweigh the chance of having a tough time. Thanks again for being so helpful and giving me such a good insight in to living with others.
Original post by eturbyne52
I'm currently waiting for offers for university and I'm really looking forward to it, however, I'm having some doubts about living with other people. Recently I've noticed lots of horror stories about 'flatmates from hell', issues with food, tension between flatmates and more. Is it really like this or is that just exaggerated? I'd like to know if some people are actually good friends with their flatmates, and also if there's anything else I should know about living with other people. (my top choice is Edinburgh if you have any advice specifically related to UoE) thanks for your time.

I think everyone else has given some really great advice, but I think it is also worth saying that if you are not happy in your flat, you can always ask to move and swap flats. At most Universities this should not be a hard process. Good luck with everything, I hope it all goes well!

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