It can be a big move from living in halls on campus to living in shared accommodation with other students. Although the majority of the time is going to be fun packed and full of enjoyment, there are going to be times when the seriousness of adult life is going to take its toll. It is important, therefore, that you, as a student, are ready for the challenges ahead before you jump straight in.
#1 Make sure that you can afford the rent
Unless you are very lucky and have rich parents that are willing to bail you out of financial difficulties, you are going to have to make sure that you can afford the rent (most likely by finding some form of emplyment) as well as your food bill and other expenses, such as your share of maintenance, housing tax, and household bills before you commit to moving into a shared home with others. It is very unfair and irresponsible to expect others to pay part or all of your share of the financial commitments.
#2 Moving your furniture
If you are moving out of halls, it is unlikely that you will have mountains of furniture to contend with. However, some of the items that you will need for your new accommodation may require the use of a large vehicle. You may be able to use the family car to move these items if your parents are free and have a large car, or if you have a driving license and are trusted to borrow it.
The other, possibly better option, is to hire the services of a man with a van, who will be able to collect your items in one trip and take them to your new accommodation without too much stress on your behalf or worrying your parents unduly and taking up their valuable time.
#3 Understanding boundaries
When you move into shared accommodation, you have to be clear on specific boundaries in place as regards the communal living areas. If, for instance, there is a kitchen rota, what shelves and cupboards are going to be allocated to you personally and what are seen as communal items. This last point is in regards to food, bottles of milk, toilet rolls, cleaning products, and of course cooking and eating utensils.
#4 Keeping your personal standards high
When you are living in shared accommodation it is easy to let your standards slip, especially if you are living in a household where some residents are slovenly in washing up or cleaning communal areas after they have used them. With this in mind, you may very well decide to have your own cooking items, crockery, and eating utensils in your room and wash them up when you have used them to keep them clean and in excellent condition.
When you are thinking of moving into shared accommodation, it is important that you go in with your eyes open. This is not only from a financial point of view, but also with the mindset that it is not all going to be fun and games. Living with others can be hard, especially when there are those that do not carry their weight, are not overly clean with their manners or household chores, or like to take advantage of others’ good nature or personal wellbeing.