4 difficult flatmates and how to deal with them

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You’ve had a bit of a break from student living over Christmas, but now you’re back at university, perhaps you’re struggling to get on with some of your flatmates. We all have those people that we just seem to clash with, but what’s the best way to deal with them? Well, here are a few examples and solutions that we hope will help make your experience at university more of a positive one.

The untidy one

Situation: For most people, university is the first time they’ve moved away from home and are fending for themselves. Therefore, it’s likely that you’ll have at least one person in your flat that leaves their dishes on the side for an unspeakable period of time or doesn’t know how to hoover the floor. This can be a pain, especially when you’re sharing your kitchen and living area.

Solution: To tackle this, it’s a good idea to get your flatmates together and devise a cleaning rota. Or, if a rota isn’t for you, create a tally chart, so you can mark each time someone washes the dishes or wipes down the surfaces. It doesn’t have to be all bad, and you can add fun tasks too – like who’s the latest person to bake brownies or cook a flat dinner. Or even, who was the last one to lose their keys! If anything, this will hopefully bring you together as a group.

The loud one

Situation: A common stereotype is that the first year of university is for partying, missing lectures and staying up at all hours making new friends. While it’s a good idea to make the most of first year (as for most courses, this is the year that ‘doesn’t count’ as much), there’s always that person who takes it a little bit too far and constantly wakes everyone up by being loud.

Solution: In order to make your life a little more bearable, maybe invest in some earplugs or speak to your flatmate about keeping the noise down at certain times of night - there’s nothing wrong with wanting to get a good amount of sleep without being woken up by unnecessary noise.

The food thief

Situation: We’ve all been there, you’ve been gasping for a cuppa but someone’s already used up your last drop of milk. How rude! There always seems to be that one person who takes everyone elses food without asking (and then denies it). Besides having to drink your tea or coffee black, it’s also annoying because let’s be honest, we’re students and our weekly shop is already expensive.

Solution: At the end of the day, you are under no obligation to buy food for anyone else and unless your flat has decided to share items of food such as bread and milk, you’ve got to stop them from being stolen. Talk to your flatmates to try and gauge who is the culprit and ask them nicely (but firmly) to stop eating your food. If it continues, try labelling your food or designating fridge and freezer shelves.

The passive aggressive one

Situation: Whether they’re leaving notes on the bin saying it’s your turn to take them out, or sending messages on the group chat asking who left a single spoon on the table, student living can really bring out the passive aggressive side of many people.

Solution: My best advice is to try not take their criticism personally. If you think that what your flatmate is asking is unreasonable, try talking to them calmly and be open about how you view your different standards of living and cleanliness. They might already be aware of how their comments are making others feel and be willing to listen. And deep down, you might sympathise with a little bit of what they’re saying (especially if your flat does tend to turn into a pig sty). Try to reach a happy compromise between pig sty and a squeaky-clean kitchen, and hopefully you'll please everyone.

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Flatmates