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Living with others

Living at be. is a great opportunity to make friends, socialise, study together and live together. The accommodation is designed so you can enjoy common spaces to relax, make meals and drink tea.
For some of you, it might be the first time you’ve lived away from your family; for most, it’s likely to be the first time living with so many people.

Living with others can be a challenge and it can be easy. Here’s a few pointers to keep in mind.

1. Take responsibility:
your actions and the way you live now have consequences on other people who are in your close proximity. You’ll want to clean up after yourself in the common areas, not only your rooms. You can contribute to making sure things are working properly, and make sure the doors close behind you properly for good security. It’s all about thinking not just how you can take care of yourself, but how will you help take care of the people you’re living with.

2. Treat others as you would like to be treated:
Most people would like to be treated with kindness, politeness and respect. Maybe you’d like to be asked before someone borrows something of yours. Maybe you’ll like people to be quiet in the hallways when you’re trying to study. Maybe you’d like to be invited to join in a meal. When you think about how you’d like to be treated, you can also extend that to other people.

3. Recognise differences:
At the same time, people are not all the same, and this is going to be a crucial lesson for living together. People come from all over the world, with different cultures and different situations and kinds of families. You can never assume that just because you think a certain way, that someone else is going to understand you. It’s also important to not make judgements. Someone who might be quieter than you isn’t necessarily unfriendly! Someone who likes to listen to loud music might not be a rude person. Recognising how different we are is fascinating and a gift, and helps us to get along.

4. Communicate.
Since we are so different, and can’t read each other’s minds, communication is going to be important. We can’t assume that other people will know what we like or want unless we can be open and talk about it. You might want to just have friendly chats, or organise a more formal way to talk about issues in the accommodation. Noticeboards can help for announcements or requests for help. Find as many ways possible to keep your communication open and flowing, even if you’re shy! It will benefit everyone in the end.

Most of all, take this opportunity as a gift. Many people in the world don’t get much of a chance to leave where they grew up, or get to know a really diverse group of people. Studying at university, and living in communal accommodation, is a way to broaden one’s horizons, make friends from around the world, and learn about new cultures and ways of being, while understanding your own culture better.
Your new abilities to understand others and get along will help you out in life, no matter whether it’s in your job, the next place you live or in your relationships and friendships.

Have fun!