I’m a second year student this year so I’ve already done the whole moving in with strangers in halls last year and I thought I’d take some time to give you some tips on how to (hopefully) help it all run smoothly with your new potential lifelong friends!
It’s scary moving in with people you don’t know but I’d very much recommend an “in at the deep end” kind of approach. When you move in, be proactive in introducing yourself to your new flatmates. You have to do it eventually so why not just go for it?
A lot of the time the accommodation providers will have Facebook groups for people moving in and you can find your future flatmates on there. If you know what you need to buy for the flat (e.g. does it have a kettle?) you can try and organise who brings what in the group chat. There’s no point everyone showing up and having 6 toasters.
It’s a good idea to stay in on the first night. If you want to drink then have some drinks in your flat and take time to talk to your new flatmates. It’s hard to have a group conversation and get to know people a little better in a loud pub or club.
Make anything that they need to be aware of clear from the start. In my case I let them know I was diabetic and what to do in an emergency. You live with these people now and you could need their help at some point so let them know exactly what they might have to deal with.
Don’t jump in with this one but early on try to establish a bit of a cleaning routine. Make sure everyone knows what’s going on and hopefully it will avoid conflict over the state of the kitchen or passive aggressive notes left on your pots.
Ask plenty of questions. I can be terrible in some social situations and my mind blanks on what to say. You can never go wrong with asking about what they are studying, why they chose that subject etc. Also showing interest in people and what they are into is a good way to build friendships.
Be aware that living with new people could potentially be one of the strangest experiences of your life. It won’t always run smoothly but it’ll be something you’ll never forget. I made friends for life in halls and still live with most of them this year. I would 100% recommend doing it if you have the chance.
If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them below.