Student Essentials: 5 Tips for Living in a Shared Student Apartment
A shared living situation means that you’re going to have to come to compromises and occasionally deal with conflict, but it’s an important part of becoming an adult. Here are some tips to make the transition easier.
Create a Chore Schedule
A chore schedule clearly tells you who is responsible for what. Setting a chore schedule early on is a great way to make sure no one’s doing too much or too little, and to head off disagreements before they become arguments. As an additional tip, try to set chores based on who likes to do them the most. If someone prefers washing dishes over vacuuming and someone else prefers vacuuming over dishes, there’s no need to make it so that each person does the same amount of both tasks.
Set Quiet Hours
Quiet hours are incredibly important for students, as there are times when you simply need to study or sleep. Set quiet hours early on to avoid frustration. During quiet hours, people can still live their lives — but they shouldn’t do things such as invite people over, play loud music, or watch television without headphones.
Consider a Meal Prep Day
A meal prep day can make cooking much easier. Rather than cooking every single day, you can get together with the other students to prep your meals on a single day (or during the weekend). By cooking in batches, you can each share each other’s food and won’t get tired of eating the same thing over and over. Cooking in batches saves money and time. In student apartments, there may be others that also want to share in your meal prep day, which can expand your culinary options.
Get an App to Split Bills
It’s easiest to split bills if you have an app. Most people don’t carry cash and it can be difficult to determine who paid what. An app will let everyone pay you a predetermined amount to cover things like utilities and rent — though, if you have off-campus housing, most of the bills will already be rolled into the cost.
Communicate Clearly and Early
If there’s something that you have a problem with regarding your other roommates, make sure to communicate that you’re having issues in a respectful way. Tell them what’s bothering you early so that you don’t end up dwelling on it: they may not even know what’s going on. It can be difficult for people to learn to live with each other, and some things that they think are entirely normal may be frustrating to you.
Starting your life in student living should be an exciting time. By setting boundaries and rules early on, you should be able to enjoy your off-campus student housing without any drama. Just remember to be open and understanding with your fellow students, while also asserting your own boundaries.