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What makes a good housemate?

By ResLifeLouise 25 Oct 2023

Written by Katie for ResLife

Are you enjoying the adventure that is living together? By now you will have probably got to know your housemates really well, and might have even faced some differences in how you like to live. Is it okay to leave dishes in the sink? Or practice your cello at 5am (strong no). So what makes a good housemate? 

  1. Respect for personal space: Know when to give people space. Everyone needs time to themselves now and then. Living together doesn't mean being joined at the hip 24/7. 
  2. Communication: Always use open and honest communication. Discussing issues, like sharing chores should be done openly and not behind someone's back. You don't need to be unkind but if you can chat about the small stuff, the big stuff becomes a piece of cake. Inevitably, you will disagree at points - tackle things head-on but diplomatically. Discuss the issue, listen to each other's perspective, and find a compromise that works.
  3. Patience: Remember, everyone is human and sometimes we all make mistakes. Be understanding, forgiving, and patient when things don't go as planned. Avoid worrying about the small stuff, sometimes it is better to let go of minor annoyances.
  4. Cleanliness and hygiene: You don't need to be a neat freak, but nobody wants to live with a mess, right? Respect common spaces by cleaning up after yourself. Everyone is happier in a clean and tidy space. 
  5. Respect for quiet hours: A late-night guitar session at 1am on a Tuesday may be your thing, but your housemates probably would prefer a good night's sleep. Respect quiet hours and people's need for sleep and time to study. Earplugs can only do so much! 
  6. Flexibility: Life happens, and some plans don't go to plan. Being flexible and open to compromise will make life much easier. So you have great rota for cleaning, but does it matter if your housemate cleans the sink on Tuesday and not Monday?
  7. Share the load: A good housemate understands that responsibilities are shared, and they're ready to pull their weight. No one likes to hear, "I don't ever use the bins, so I don't think I should have to empty them"
  8. Be a good listener: Be there to support and listen to each other. Don't make it about you, pay attention -  sometimes, all someone needs is to be heard. 

Remember, living with flatmates is a unique opportunity to learn about different cultures, make lifelong friends, and grow as an individual. So, here's to an amazing shared living experience filled with friendship and unforgettable moments. Enjoy every minute of it!

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ResLifeLouise I'm Louise, the Marketing and Communications Manager for ResLife at the University of Bath
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