Tips to achieve the perfect house share

Lots of students think about how to make friends at uni and what it’ll be like to share a flat or a house with people you’ve just met. Once you get started you’ll settle in and probably get on quite naturally, but it’s not a bad idea to have a few ideas in mind.

And just how long does it take to make friends at uni? It varies really – everyone’s experience is a bit different. You might hit it off with your housemates from day one, or you might take some time to get to know each other and figure out how to spend time together.

Here are some tips!

1. Share meals

This is an easy thing to do to spend time with your new housemates. Whether you cook or shop together, or whether none of you know how to drain pasta or boil an egg – it doesn’t matter, food is a great way to connect.

  • Make a meal for your housemates
  • Get the food shop together
  • Cook a part of a meal each and combine forces
  • Go out for dinner as a house
  • Try different cuisines and recipes
  • Order takeaway together
  • Go for a picnic

2. Get household supplies

You might have your own en-suite bathroom or you might share – either way, you’ll probably need shared supplies for the kitchen at least. Try to do your bit and buy washing up liquid, bin bags, cloths and cleaning spray on a regular basis. You could split the cost, or just take it in turns to buy stuff. If everyone’s getting involved one way or another, you’re more likely to have a laid back, happy household.

3. Share the cleaning

If you’re all shy about cleaning or washing dishes, you could end up failing accommodation inspections or even getting ill. So if someone wants to do a cleaning rota, it could be a good idea, (even if it’s not your cup of tea). Either way, as long as you help out, you’ll all get to live somewhere nice and avoid any frustrations. No one wants an argument about mouldy fridges!

4. Have a laugh together

Share some activities, have some fun. Whether you’re getting to know your housemates more or hosting each other’s friends, get involved and think of ways you’d enjoy spending time with people.

  • Invite friends round
  • Share playlists
  • Explore the countryside
  • Host a games or film night
  • Have a night in together
  • Go on a night out together
  • Visit art galleries
  • Go shopping

5. Look out for each other

Helping each other to settle in and adjust to uni life is a nice, supportive way to get on with your housemates.

  • Ask them how they’re getting on
  • Join a sports team together
  • Keep active by walking or running
  • Go to a student society with them if they don’t dare to go alone
  • Find a society you’d like to join and invite your housemates

6. What if there are any disagreements?

It happens. If there’s something unequal around the house – like who cleans or who doesn’t ever take the bins out – that could annoy people. Or playing loud music too often, or maybe not considering each other enough.

If it does happen, have a chat about it, make sure everyone’s ok and get back to normal. No one’s perfect and everyone has different perspectives – be kind to each other and you’ll all be fine.

Anything you want to ask?

You’re welcome to have a virtual chat with students already at uni – ask what their accommodation was like and what they did to make it a good place to live.

What’s next?

Take a look at our advice on maintenance loans for accommodation, and what you need to know about renting.

Or start your student accommodation search here