Living in student accommodation can be a fantastic way to enjoy your time in Australia with likeminded individuals. But, there are a few etiquette rules to take note of when you’re living with other people that will help keep the peace and ensure it’s a positive experience for everyone.
About to move into student accommodation or just started settling into your new dorm? Here are some tips to take on-board.
It may seem obvious, but one of the golden rules of living in student accommodation is getting to know your roommates by chatting to them and being a friendly, open person to be around. Say ‘hi’ to people when you pass them in the hall and start a conversation when you meet someone new.
Plus, the best thing about living in student accommodation is all of the fun social events you can get involved in. It’s only polite to accept as many invitations as you can – especially if you’re new to the city and want to make friends.
Student accommodation is a great place to live when everyone is getting along and supporting one another. Try and be inclusive in everything you do so no one feels like they’re being left out. Be considerate of fellow residents’ feelings and ask them if they want to join you for social outings or for a game of pool or table tennis.
Make the most of communal areas
Most student accommodation buildings in Australia have fantastic social spaces. The Student Housing Company, for example, provides things like cinemas, games areas, and outdoor terraces. If you plan on having a party, make use of the communal areas in your student accommodation. Common rooms are great for social gatherings and getting to know the people you live with.
Just note that your student accommodation provider will probably have some rules around having parties, such as noise levels, restricting the number of guests allowed at the event and whether alcohol is allowed. Make sure you follow their guidelines so everyone can have a safe and fun time.
Don’t steal food
Just because something in the fridge looks mouth-wateringly good, it doesn’t mean that anyone can take it. In fact, this is one of the most important rules of living in shared accommodation.
You can get around this issue by asking everyone to label their food by placing their name on the front of containers. This way, you can avoid eating someone else’s food and they can avoid eating yours.
Of course, if you’ve asked beforehand and everyone is happy sharing their food, there’s no reason you can’t mix and match!
Clean up your mess
This one goes without saying! No one likes to walk into a shared kitchen only to find dirty dishes stacked high for someone else to wash up. Whether it’s in the kitchen or elsewhere, make sure you clean up whatever mess you make so the next person can use the space.
Share the chores
On that note, make regular cleaning fair for everyone and create a rotating roster where each roommate is scheduled certain tasks throughout the week. This keeps the apartment clean and tidy, while everyone contributes equally.
Keep noise levels down
It’s really important to be considerate of your roommates when living in close quarters. This means you should keep noise down to an appropriate level when talking, listening to music and taking phone calls.
This is especially important in communal study areas and at night, usually from 10pm onwards, when your roommates may need to wake up early for classes the next day.
When up to eight people are living in the same apartment, using a shared bathroom in the morning can be chaotic if people aren’t respectful of others. Consider how much time you’re spending in the bathroom getting ready and attempt to get in and out as fast as you can. This way, everyone can get to where they need to be on time.
Respect the privacy of others
Sometimes, everyone needs a little alone time. If one of your roommates wants to hang solo for a while, respect their need for privacy and let them have it. Also, remember to knock before you enter a room if the door is closed.
Ask before you use
In shared accommodation, people often leave belongings like hairdryers, kitchen appliances and portable speakers lying around. While it can be tempting to pick up something that isn’t yours and use it when you’re in a hurry, always make sure you ask the person if you can borrow their stuff. Once you’re done, make sure you return the item to its original location, in the same condition you found it.