Getting along with your flatmates - Once you are here - University of Derby

Getting along with your flatmates

Two students looking at lap top and laughing

Here are some handy tips that should help you to settle in:

1. Show a little respect

This is the number one rule for happy housing:

  • Always ask if you want to borrow things
  • Always knock on a closed door before you enter someone’s room
  • Give people privacy when they’re on the phone.
  • Allow people time on their own if they want it.  Everyone needs a little quiet time.
  • Understand that people are different and you don’t have to be the same to get on.

2. Set some ground rules

Boring as it sounds, setting some basic ground rules is a necessary evil. Have a discussion so that you all agree what the rules should be whether it’s about washing up or playing music into the night – that way everyone’s expectations and responsibilities will be crystal clear.

3. Communicate

Most problems are caused by bad communication so make sure you all get to know each other from the word go. Even little things are worth mentioning before they build up and get out of hand. Try not to get personal and stay reasonable. Avoid talking behind people’s backs and try not to lose your temper.

4. Be prepared to compromise

Compromise is part and parcel of living with other people and a true test of putting the common good above your own. Sometimes you’ll realise that making your flatmates happy may be more important than your individual wishes, especially if differences arise about something really petty. And remember – it works both ways – they’ll be making compromises for you too.

5. Do things together

Walking to Uni together, going out in a group, sharing the cooking and eating together all help you to bond with your flatmates.

 6. Give it time

Good friendships don’t happen overnight. Remember everyone is finding their feet in the first term and emotions can run high. People can be feeling homesick and emotional. Give things time to settle down.

 7. Still not working out?

If you’ve tried all of these measures and you’re still having problems with your flat, don’t suffer in silence, there are lots of people who can help:

  • Talk to your Hall Manager or another member of staff. They'll be happy to help.
  • Get some independent advice from the US - contact them on 01332 591509
  • Speak to an experienced counsellor at Student Wellbeing 01332 593000.