September is approaching and most of you will meet your flatmate(s) soon. Living with foreigners could be a very nice international experience IF YOU want!
Communication is the most effective tools for living together happily. When you first meet, ask each other these important questions to make sure you start off on the right foot!
– What does each of you expect of your relationship with your flatmate?
– What can you and your flatmate discuss to prevent potential problems?
Here are some tips to have a friendly atmosphere in your apartment.
1- The best way to get along with your flatmate(s) is to understand the differences between you and them. Try to get to know them first. Tell them about your special habits and whatever you expect from them.
2- How neat do you both expect the apartment to be? Have a schedule for cleaning the shared areas such as kitchen and bathroom.
3- Due to law, do not make undue noise during silence hours (between 11pm and 6am) in your room or kitchen.
4- No pets without your flatmate(s) permission!
5- Better to avoid religious discussion, as it mostly leads to annoyance. You don’t have to convince your flatmate(s) as there would be still many other people outside your room who thinks different from you!
6- What, if any, food or other supplies will you be sharing? Do not use others’ food or even kitchen stuffs if they don’t like it. It’s better to allocate specific floor of refrigerator and cabinet to each person.
7- Be responsive to all reasonable requests from your flatmate(s).
8- Try to find out solutions for problems amongst yourselves. Do not involve a third party to find a way out.
9- Be clear about your boundaries and what you expect from them, but at the same time do not expect too much from them.
10- Inform them about any guests or parties in the apartment and make sure they agree to having it.
11- If you want to communicate, focus on interests and common points, not the differences!
12- Stay cool and do not get angry if they do things that irritate you. Try to make them understand.
13- If you are staying with more than one person, do not take sides with any one. Treat both alike. Make sure that you share with them the same common things.
14- Last but not least, always treat your flatmate(s) with respect. Respect is the key to all the tips mentioned above. Think about how you would feel if the roles were reversed.
I hope your flatmate becomes one of your best friends!