Living with Flatmates
I am an only child. I have been all my life and not at any point have I wanted that to change. I like my space, independence and yes, I am not particularly good at sharing so the stereotype is real and I am the living proof. This became quite apparent to me when I was faced with the challenge of living with a house full of people I had never met before; sharing a bathroom, kitchen and just general space with them was a daunting task for a child like me that has only ever known their own space.
I was the first one to move into my flat in central London, located in a prime area right at Oxford Circus (ikr crazily central). I had the whole flat to myself for about three weeks, it was great. I could do my washing when I wanted, cook, play my music and shower at any time of the night without waking anyone up. This all changed on the third weekend when two girls from Spain moved in, a week after that a couple moved in and that was the beginning of what is now known as the flat family.
The flat went from one Australian girl to an international household, with French, Spanish, Japanese and British all living under one roof. It was new for me but after a week, I got used to having people around and I learnt how to share the space.
In saying that it still came with some struggles like desperately needing to wash that dress because you want to wear it out tonight and you have nothing else to wear or falling into crisis mode as you realise that all of your underwear is in your washing basket and the person who was washing in the morning, still hasn't taken their stuff out, so you'll have to wait. Being thrust into the unknown world of flat sharing was scary at first but,talking to my friends who had been through the exact same situation before I learnt some useful tips on how to deal with it and how to get along with your new flat family.
Useful tips on moving into a new flat:
Make sure you make your room your own and not just somewhere that you eat and sleep. Personalise your room, one of the biggest mistakes is thinking that the flat isn't your home. You won't enjoy your time staying there if you don't, this is also helpful to give you a positive mindset about your new flat.
BUT if you use the kitchen make sure you wash your dishes and clean up after yourself because there's nothing worse than having to clean up other people's mess.
Don't be afraid to use the flat, eg. the kitchen and the bathroom. This may sound like a pretty pointless tip but when I first moved into my flat I was too concerned with what the other people were doing and not going into the kitchen when others were there. I soon realised that I can use the kitchen just as much as they do and that's okay.
Establish some basic flat rules, sit down with your flatmates and jot down some points eg. if some people work during the week no music after 11 or for girls no using the hairdryer after 10 so it doesn't wake the whole house up. Honestly, most things should be common sense and most people will try to be as respectful as they can of others.
Be open minded about the different people and different cultures you will be living with in your flat. Living with strangers can be a great experience 95% of the time, being able to connect with people from different backgrounds and cultures, embrace that as much as you can because its a great opportunity to learn and appreciate.
Try and have a good friendship with your flatmates. Coming home from work will be much more enjoyable if you come home to a bunch of friends rather than strangers that 'you happen to live with'.
It's not all easy as I've found from moving to different flats. I have had flatamtes who never wash and put away dishes, leave their washing in the machine (it doesn't sound that annoying but wait until its happening to you) and down to the basics of flushing the toilet, which was soon resolved after post it notes were taped all around the bathroom telling them to do so! From my experience make the most of living with other people and try to grow as a person as part of the proccess, becoming more accepting and patient.
Enjoy your time otherwise, you will be the one regretting it in the end.
Have a great day lovelies!