6 tips on what to expect when moving in with friends for the first time

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So it’s time for the big move in! Up until now you’ve been living the high life at home with all the cooking, cleaning and washing done for you. But this is all about to change as you transition into your student accommodation or shared housing and get to grips with sharing chores and cooking for yourself!

Whilst there’s little joy in domestic tasks, you’ll soon find that moving in with your friends was the best decision you ever made – and here's a few tips to help you settle in smoothly.

Privacy

During the initial few weeks of university life, it won’t be your introductory lectures that occupy most of your time. Rather you’ll be socialising and getting to know your new friends. Although this is a really exciting time, it’s important to strike a balance between socialising and giving yourself some space to get used to you new surroundings.

Try going out on your own and getting a feel for the campus and city. Find the nearest grocery store and get comfortable in your area. This will help you to feel confident and self-assured. Also ensure that you set time aside to relax outside of socialising and studying, either by watching your favourite Netflix series or reading a book.

Of course privacy extends into the digital dimension too. Having moved into student halls you’ll no doubt connect your devices to a wide digital network. To avoid losing all of your coursework to the rising risk of ransom ware, ensure that all your software is up-to-date and be savvy with your passwords.

“Joey doesn’t share food!”

But in halls, he might have to! The politics of sharing food in halls is notorious. Some nights you might cook together, others you may have a movie night where you all contribute snacks, and sometimes your food might mysteriously ‘disappear’!

It so follows that it’s a good idea to discuss food etiquette with your housemates, deciding together what to share (milk, bread, jam etc.) and what you’d prefer to keep as your own (your favourite cereal, treats, or foods for specific dietary needs).

With your new, hectic social life you may also find it difficult to keep track of your food, throwing much of it away before you had chance to eat it. To avoid waste, it pays to store your food properly. For example, don’t store your tomatoes in the fridge, as this will dry them out.

Support network

Moving away from home can be daunting at first, but you’ll soon find that living with friends means you always have somebody to talk to. Remember that you’re all in the same boat and going through the same thing.

If you do struggle to settle initially, don’t forget that there is an abundance of support at University from Mentors, Residence Teams, and Advisors. Also remember that your family is just a Skype, phone-call or train ride away.

Social butterfly

University is a time for exploration. It’s where you meet people that you’d never normally meet and do things that you never thought you’d do! There are hundreds of opportunities to try new things, by joining social clubs, taking part in the Liberty Living student experience program, taking up new hobbies or doing classes at the gym. From competitive eating to beekeeping, there’s a society out there for you.

There are also endless student nights out with cheap drinks, good music and plenty of opportunity to meet new people! So get stuck in, try something new and get chatting – it's a big world out there.

Be understanding

One of the greatest skills you learn when you move in with people for the first time is tolerance! You’ll meet people from all walks of life with all sorts of unusual habits. Remember to approach everybody with an open mind and give people the benefit of the doubt. If somebody leaves their dishes for a few days, don’t flip out! Just ask them politely to clean up. Remember, compromise is key!

Preparation

On the run up to your new and exciting journey, make sure you’re fully prepared for what’s to come. It’s a good idea to make a checklist and get all the life admin out of the way beforehand. This will ensure a stress free move, and allow you to get involved and get stuck in to your first few years 'parent' free! Good luck on your new student adventure, make the most of every minute!