Living with people who are not 'your people'

Posted 9 months ago

Living with strangers can be one of the hardest parts of uni

You are often thrown into a flat with people from completely different backgrounds and with entirely different interests to you. However, before you start to panic that you can't live in your flat - keep an open mind.

Often the best friends you will make at university are the ones you would least expect. Someone may take you by surprise and you might just end up with a diverse friendship group from all over the world. Give it a chance!

a person standing in front of a group of people posing for the camera

Stop saying "they just aren't my people".

First of all, try not to reject people because they're different. You may have grown up with the same group of friends throughout your adolescence, but as your enter adulthood, now is the time to learn that not everyone will have the same interests as you and come from the same place. Instead of rejecting these differences, encourage them!

A large part of university is learning about different peoples lives, backgrounds, and cultures. Take it as an opportunity to learn more about different people and the culture they grew up in. You might be surprised who you get along with when you take a chance and talk to them. Just because someone doesn't look or act like your friends from home, doesn't mean they are not best friend material. Have an open mind.

a group of people standing next to a person

Remember it's a relatively short period of time in your university journey

If you have tried to get to know them, and you just don't click then that is okay. However, you still have to live with them for a year. The best way to approach this situation is to always be polite and friendly to your flatmates. The last thing you want is to be caught gossiping about them and causing arguments within the flat. It's only a year so try to get out of the experience as much as you can.

Try an activity as a flat

It is important to make an effort to get to know your flat through outings, you could have a picnic in the park, explore the campus, go for a group dinner, or a trip to the pub. This can be a great way to find out more about them and socialise in an environment outside your student flat.

Sometimes all you need is fresh air and fun activities to see a different side to someone. Remember, student halls are supposed to be fun!

a man and a woman sitting on a couch

Make friends with other flats

Student halls are a large part of first year. However, this is not limited to your flat. Go and meet the flat opposite or above you and widen your social circle! It can be nice to have friends in your student halls, without living in the same flat as them.

You never know, multiple flats in your block may get along and before you know it you have loads of friends around you. The more people you meet, the more likely you are to meet someone you really get along with!

If in doubt, go to different events

If your student halls haven't gone to plan, there are plenty of other ways to make friends. Go to as many events as possible, there will be loads to go to. Or, you just talk to people in lectures and seminars to make friends with similar interests to you. You will be studying alongside these people for three years, it can't hurt to get to know them!

a group of people sitting at a table

Try to remain open-minded and give your flatmates a chance. If you're really struggling, speak to your Accommodation team who will try to help the best they can.