Psychology student Ayana shares some of her tips on what to do if you don't get on with your housemates:
When you start University, your flatmates are likely your first point of call when trying to make friends. Often, you’re told that your first-year mate flatmates are likely to be your closest friends throughout University, but what if that doesn’t happen? What do you do then?
The most important thing is to not worry or stress yourself out! If you’ve spoken to anyone about this, then you may have been told (many times) that you will ‘find your people’, and as patronising as that may seem, it is true! Here are some top tips:
1. Master the art of civility
Firstly, just because you don’t get along with your flatmates, that doesn’t necessarily mean your flat needs to be filled with hostility. Regardless of your opinions of your flatmates, you can be civil with them. Whether that be through a polite smile as you pass them in the hallway or small talk in the kitchen, being civil with them will hopefully make your time in the flat less awkward. It’s also good practice for working life to practice the art of remaining composed around people you aren’t a fan of!
2. Go to other social events to make some new friends
Whilst the ‘easiest’ way to make friends may be the people in your flat, you can find ‘your people’ anywhere. Whether that be people from your course, club or society events or other students working the same part-time job as you (e.g., as a student ambassador!), there are many opportunities to meet like-minded students. By putting yourself into social situations and trying to make friends, you will eventually find people whose values align more with your own and who have similar interests or hobbies.
3. Maintain perspective.
It can be very disconcerting when you don’t get on with your current flatmates, and it may impact on your university experience. However, you won’t be living with them for very long! Instead of spending time with your current flatmates, spend some time with your other friends (who, with some luck, may be your next flatmates!). In the grand scheme of things, a few months won’t ruin your university experience and you can make some amazing memories with others outside of the walls of your accommodation. So, when you find yourself getting down over your lack of connection with your flatmates, keep in mind that this feeling won’t last forever.