There it goes, the first letters of acceptance have reached your trembling hands, and you search through and pick up the university you have been dreaming of for ages – it is your ticket into the future, the result of your hard work and diligence, the sleepless night, and endless preparations for the test. Now, when your future is being outlined, it is time for the choice of accommodation, as it is an integral part of your performance.
Nowadays, with the plethora of offers for students, on-campus life doesn’t seem to be a one-and-only option anymore, it is rather a backup plan. The majority of students are looking for off campus student housing, as it perfectly balanced privacy, quality, and pricing, besides, it is always within easy reach to the campus, yet, you feel more independent. After finding a proper place, you need to dedicate time to finding a proper flatmate, as you will both be responsible for the atmosphere of the place.
Finding a flatmate among unknown people may be a challenging, yet quite exciting experience, as it will help you to practice your soft skill, and even become an HR-like for some time. Before getting down to the search, make the wish -list and answer a few helpful questions:
Are you ready to share an apartment with someone?
This is the first question you need to ask yourself, and the most important one. Oftentimes the freshmen are so full of positive and happy illusions about sharing the accommodation, that they lose the common sense, and thus, make everything more difficult. If you are an only child, think twice before renting a place for two people, as you may find it psychologically challenging. In such cases, learn how to share, cooperate and find a compromise. Those are important skills when other people are involved.
What do you what to see in your flatmate?
As with every task, you need to set a clear goal. Why do you want to have a flatmate and which characteristics make the core of your requirements? It is important to understand whether you just want to split the costs, or you also are looking for a friend, or a soulmate (which will make things more difficult). Make a list of specific characteristics, as they will attract the right people. Make sure to consider:
- Temperament – if you are a melancholic, sharing a flat with an explosive choleric may seem like torture, for both of you.
- Biological clock (circadian rhythm) – it is an important detail to discuss. If you perform better at night and prefer to go to bed early in the morning, you need to find a person who is okay with such a schedule. None of you will benefit from the noisy background when trying to fall asleep.
- Habits – Do you leave dirty cups all over the place? Do you like to walk in your shoes inside? Are you okay with someone humming a favorite song all day long? Such unnoticeable things may become the reason for a fight, depending on what you consider acceptable or unacceptable.
- Cleanliness – it is important. A perfectionist and layabout will barely make a good match as flatmates. Therefore, it’s better to clarify things at the very beginning.
What are the ‘stoppers’ for you?
When meeting with the candidates, articulate clearly which things are not acceptable in your place. Be honest, and make sure you agree on this point.
Outline the rules
Rules are important as they help to create a comfortable environment for everyone. The rules may be related to the usage of utilities, cooking, cleaning, time off, partying, inviting friends, etc. It is important to go over such requirements so that each of you knows what to expect.
Ask for a counter-description
Obviously, you are looking for a flatmate, thus, you are in charge. However, after presenting your vision of the co-living, it is equally important to understand what the person is looking for as well. Therefore, study their requirements as well, it may happen that your wish list is fully-satisfied, yet, you have habits that may cause issues for the partner.
Decide on the household routine
Another important point to discuss at the very beginning. You need to divide the chores and ensure that everyone gets a fair share. Once again, it is better to go over the list and agree on every point, not to have disagreements in the future. All the “Why me again?” tend to get accumulated and cause unnecessary annoyance and thus, deteriorate the quality of the co-living.
When looking for a flatmate, both of you need to be realistic and very clear about your demands. Co-living requires understanding and the ability to find a compromise; if you are lucky enough, the flat-sharing may grow into a lifelong friendship.