Living in a shared house really can be fun for lots of reasons. It’s a fabulous way to make new mates, there are always people around to chat to and independence can be scary when you’re new to it, so sharing the experience with others makes it that bit easier.
Unfortunately, with the good also comes the bad. In a situation where people are forced to share a space, issues will always arise.
However, that doesn’t mean it has to be out and out war, there are ways to ensure conflict is minimal.
Fending For Yourself
If you come from a family where you are used to your brothers or sisters taking pieces of that lovely cake you baked yesterday, or eating the last bit of butter, you won’t find it too weird when you open the fridge and find someone has nabbed a bit of your food. However, this might get annoying if you start to notice it, and others might be highly offended if you do it to them.
With this in mind, it is a great idea to make some rules with the group right at the beginning of moving in together. If food is bought together, you have to agree as a group that the food is available to everyone. If you buy food for group meals together and food individually, agree on the group meal food being off limits apart from when you are cooking group meals. If you are completely shopping individually, agree on each having a shelf in the cupboard or in the fridge.
Paying For Food Together
Paying for food together is a cheap way to live and means everyone can pay a set amount per week or month for food for the house, and then everyone eats that food. If the same amount of money is in the pot for shopping every week you can create a shopping list together and take turns to order it or collect it. However, do bear the following in mind:
- What does everyone eat? Will group shopping cater for everyone’s tastes, allergies or preferences? For example, is it fair for someone with dairy intolerance to pay towards milk and cheese? Will everyone else want to pay towards their milk and cheese alternatives?
- Will the shopping include extras? Basics will work well like bread, pasta and milk, but what about luxury items like alcohol or nice chocolate?
- What about if you run out? It is likely you might run out of certain things in between shops. If this is the case, consider having ten pounds or so in the kitty for top-ups and agree who is responsible each week for getting top-ups in
- What if someone eats more than everyone else? If this is the case, you should have a group chat about it when the issue arises
- If someone is away, do they still need to contribute? If someone is away, consider agreeing on what to do in regards to contributions
Issues over kitchen cleaning can get really bad, especially when the sink is full of pots or there are no dishes left for people to use. Try to create a cleaning rota for the kitchen that works for everyone. It could be rotating who cleans the dishes every night, who cooks and who cleans, or that you all take individual responsibility for cleaning your own pots but clean the kitchen together every week.
One of the great things about being a student, is the fact you meet other people from all walks of life. People you would have probably never met if you had never gone to university. With this in mind, it would be a shame not to take advantage of everyone’s background and culinary skills. Shared cooking can be a really great thing to do in shared accommodation. Those that love cooking get to share their skills, those less confident get to improve on theirs. And everyone gets to enjoy a varied diet. Plus, it’s a great excuse to sit down together once a week or every evening and socialise.
It Is Going To Be Great!
It might all seem like rules and regulations, but your student accommodation St Andrews experience is going to be really fun! Just get the planning out of the way and let the partying begin.