Tag Archives: Students

How to Avoid a Flatting Disaster

Moving into a flat can be an exciting time for any teenager. You finally get to have a slice of independence, have your own room, and begin your life of adulthood. When you meet your flatmates everything seems great at first and they seem so wonderful to live with. But soon enough you’ll realise there are many types of flatmates out there that are difficult to live with. The friendly atmosphere can come crashing down at any minute.

While I was at University I learnt that flatting can sometimes be a nightmare, different personalities clash, and some people just don’t see eye to eye. It can be rather scary adjusting to a new city, a new job, and living with strangers/friends. So what can you do when you get bad flat mates? How can you keep the peace? Over the years there are a few things that I’ve learnt. Here we go:

  1. Choose Carefully

Sometimes you might not always be so lucky to share a flat with people you know so well or get to meet them first. Especially if you’re studying and desperate for a flat. If you are looking for a flat look at the job advertisement first. This will usually have keywords like respectful, considerate and so on. Do you fit what they’re searching for? Then again if you’re searching for a new flatmate a good question can be, tell me a bit about yourself? If they don’t meet the criteria or if they send off negative signals, pay attention! Once you sign a 12 month contract, or a long flat contract, that’s a long time to live with people you aren’t so fond of.

If my experiences have taught me anything it’s that you should never live with (some) friends. Even if you think you know them things can turn ugly. Until that person is in your face 24/7 and you start to see their flaws you might be in for a big shock. You eventually have to learn how to stand up for yourself otherwise you get walked all over. There can be tantrums, arguments, and all sorts and you really wonder why on earth you agreed to live with that person in the first place! It’s just not worth ruining a friendship by living together. Then again it’s not all doom and gloom! Living with some friends has been a breeze. We got along well because we were similar people, I suppose that’s what it comes down to.

2. Hang Out

If there are different cultures and people in a flat it can be really good to just hang out with each other (if you want to). My friends and I would cook dinner together once a week and have a good old chat. We would bake some muffins or go to the movies. Celebrating birthdays was also another big thing! If you happen to be living with strangers there are a few things that can break the ice. I remember watching TV shows with a girl I had just met and eating junk food together. Perfect. There are always going to be people you just instantly click with. Another great way to get to know people is to have a gathering, some call it a flat warming. It gives people a chance to bring their friends round and just chill out. Anyone for cheese and crackers? Yum.

3. Have a Cleaning System that Everyone Agrees on

dirty-dishesWhen there is a system failure in a flat it usually comes down to cleaning. People eventually end up yelling, “Did you do the dishes, did you REALLY do the dishes?” These type of people will leave a mess everywhere. Their room has a stench in it that is slowly wafting down the hallway, and you’re terrified to even think about what is under their bed. As a rule of basic hygiene if you make a mess you clean up that mess. You’d be surprised at how many people cannot do this.

I’ve seen people leave unspeakable things in the toilet, on the toilet floor, and on top of the toilet yet they just leave it there even after they are politely asked to clean it. WHY. Were these people not potty trained early in life? Have they no decency? I admit I’m a tidy person but that does not mean I want to clean up disgusting things. It doesn’t matter if you’re lazy or if you have different levels of hygiene in the flat it’s a team effort. Anyway, morale of the story is that you should try to lay out some ground rules for cleaning. Maybe a roster (if there are like 8 people in one flat) or a quick chat as soon as you move into a flat to see what works for everyone. Otherwise the arguments over cleaning will never end.

3. Be Considerate of Others

You’ve just settled into bed and you’re about to fall asleep, when BAM loud music starts playing and the house starts shaking. When you have to get up early for work the next day or you have an exam what can you do? If you’re losing sleep it can cause bloodshot eyes and grumpiness. Not good. It’s all about the golden rule; be considerate. It’s handy to know when people in the flat work, when they need their sleep, and when it’s appropriate to have friends round. Say for instance if there are quiet people in a flat versus loud and outgoing ones it can be a bit of a clash. If people continue to be inconsiderate and throw loud parties and you don’t like it, perhaps that flat culture isn’t the right one for you.

A Happy Home is a Good Home

There are some big clues as to when a flat is not a good place to live. It really isn’t worth staying somewhere that makes you feel like you have to hide in your room or avoid other people. I’ve met some really cool people while flatting, and others just don’t gel so well together. Flatting can be really fun when you find the right people to do it with.

I hope this helps anyone who might be flatting for the first time, or anyone struggling who is on the verge of tears. If you do end up living in a bad flat hopefully one day you can look back and laugh about it. After all flatting is only temporary. One day you’ll have your own place and it’ll be pure bliss.

U.N.I is a wonderful song by Ed Sheeran, it means you and I. Or in this case University. It seems like a year ago I was just starting. young and eager. I for one didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. No one tells you how to act or what to do at University. These words of advice are for first years or any students who have lost the spark in their eyes.

HAVE FUN

This is the most important one. Social life is a big thing for Uni kids, screaming down the streets at 3am. These kids know how to party.

  • Go to O week (orientation) the only time where dressing up in bed sheets is acceptable There are also lovely people around Massey who often hand out free redbull or food, and make first year students feel at home.
  • Flatwarmings: this is how you will meet people. If you already have your group of friends well step outside the comfort zone and slap butter on yourself, and go socialize
  • SAY YES. If you get invited and have nothing else to do, GO. People get sick and tired of asking people who always say no. Sometimes you’ve got to have twenty seconds of courage, let your hair loose like a goose and dance the night away. No need for alcohol you can have fun without it.
  • SAY NO. If you have an exam the next day.
  • If you’re more on the quiet side, there are sooo many cool quirky places to chill and have some relaxed cocktails.. Southern Cross is personally my favourite, jenga, lanterns. Enough said. Or The Library bar you can read books whilst chilling out.
  • If you aren’t 18 yet don’t worry your time will come. Hang on to the threads of innocence you have left.

Study something you ENJOY

Passion fruit is great, so is studying something you’re passionate about. What you do for study should bring you goosebumps, and bundles of joy. I would overhear way to many students going “I hate this already, at least my parents are paying.” and it was only the first day! They sound spoilt and ungrateful. Regardless of who is paying for your education enjoy it. Your love of the subject will reflect in your work.. compared to someone who is just wanting to pass. Cherish what you learn and go in with an open mind.

Study FIRST party LATER

Yes it sounds silly, and I’m sure I missed out on some events because I was studying for exams sitting in my cave knitting. If you don’t study for exams you will not be ok. YOLO? You only live once is not an excuse to do foolish things. You’re not going to get far if you YOLO your way through education. There are distractions, and memory loss, so write down what you want to get done that evening or day. Tick it off. If you don’t get it done there’s always tomorrow. Once you’ve done it though it’s out of the way. Then you can go do what ever you want to do for the rest of the day with the feeling of accomplishment on your shoulder.

Apply for SCHOLARSHIPS

These will be your best friend I’m telling you now. Send off immaculate applications for as many scholarships as you can! BreakOut seems like a good site with thousands of ones to apply for (it costs a bit to use though) Look on your University website, it takes awhile years to scroll through the scholarships. Or your University website wil have lots of opportunity as well. Winning one is a great feeling it really is. I was really happy receiving one it helped a lot.

GO to your lectures:

Each lecture, tutorial, workshop, class all costs money. If you think you’re going to get a good education by looking at lecture notes online instead of attending them. You may as well have just stayed at home watching re runs of Malcom in the Middle. I’m going to try and get to classes.  Say what you wish, I’ll be the one grinning from ear to ear when I graduate. So if you’re friends tempt you to skip class because they want to go to a garage sale down the road walk away dramatically. Your mind needs to be filled with knowledge instead of your wardbrobe being filled with clothes. 

P.S don’t raise your hand in lectures: This is is grown up world where you get to yell out answers and get a few laughs if you’re answer is wrong. You will get asked questions if you look half awake so be ready. Yell out your answer loud and proud even if you’re completely wrong.

Turn OFF your phone

I am guilty of texting many times last year thinking no one could see me or the teacher. Wrong. Today was my first day back at Uni and I saw girls texting in class. You’re here to learn not text. Not only is it rude, but it’s a distraction.Unless it’s urgent such as the food falling from the sky you have no reason to pick up your phone. Turn it off.

Get enough SLEEP

You went out last night and fell asleep in a lecture? That’s your problem. Taking photo’s of friends sleeping in lectures is priceless. Until it’s you who’s in a photo drooling away. Don’t be the person who makes the lecturer feel like they’re boring you to sleep. I fail at sleeping I really do. I block out noise with headphones and music each night. Slowly try to get earlier nights. If you can’t do this then nanna naps will become your best friend. Alas sleep is the best recovery for all things. How ironic I’m finishing this post off at 12am. 

Go to a DOCTOR

I need a doctor, doctor to bring me back to life No not Dr Dre, an actual Doctor to prevent sickness. I have Vitamins to take to prevent me getting sick, yet I would only take them if I was under the weather. Ironic. There are lovely nurses and doctors at the University for a reason, to help you get better and hand out free condoms. Having a card where you get points on it makes the trip to the Pharmacy rather thrilling.

Look presentable but don’t over do it

Most people are either sleep deprived or just don’t bother noticing what lipstick you put on today. I wasted time with make up and trying to look nice. I would be at least 5 minutes late to some of my lectures. Why be late for vanity? Life is a catwalk yes. Sure you want to look good in public, but you could turn up in your fat pants or in your PJ’s and no one would care. There are days I feel like putting on make up but most days I don’t I chuck on my beanie to hide my horrible hair days. Natural is the new craze don’t you know? Oh and having a signature smell is a must. The people who wear beautiful perfume fill the lecture room with the sounds of birds and the sweet scent of roses blooming. 

Stationary

    • No to loose refill: I cannot stress what a waste of time it is buying a folder, refill, taking notes. Then having the little holes on the pages break where it should connect to the folder. Pages get crinkled.
    • Just buy books. My friends 1B5 and 2B5are great. Especially avoid those annoying notebooks with the weird round things on the side that holds the pages together. They break and you can’t fix it.. They will break your heart.
    • Post it notes: They’re your best friends. My wall was covered in them for exams last year. They help sooo much.
    • Pens. Mine always magically disappear so you can never have enough pens.
    • Highlighters: I probably highlight everything on the page. Different colours = more fun.
    • Textbooks are hardly used depending on the subject. If you really do need them try get them second hand because they’re so expensive! I would go to the library, and take notes from one of the textbooks I couldn’t be bothered buying. It was a good challenge because I could only get it out for an hour.

Relax

You can balance a personal life with study life. Friends, and relationships. If you all have something going for yourselves so you aren’t waiting around for other people to be free. If you’re stressed about your personal life simply relax. Have a bath, read a magazine. Take. A. Break. Or have a nice hot steamy shower, the ones you never want to get out.. When things get tough remember how far you’ve come and how far you shall go. Let no one get in the way if your education. If you keep failing try a new method of study or approach to life. Be spontaneous and things that make you happy. You can’t except change if you keep doing the same thing. 

Don’t freak out about your future

Yes you want to be thinking about your future. But a career isn’t the thing you’re focusing on whilst studying, enjoying your study is the main thing. 
A Degree, Diploma, Bachelor, or whatever you gain isn’t going to get you a job straight away so don’t be disappointed. I have a Diploma in Journalism but it feels pointless if I don’t get more experience. I came to University to learn about different types of writing because I love it. Focus on gaining experience whilst studying, internships, volunteer work for your field of work. Then you meet great people, and learn things. After you finish your studies you aren’t stuck wondering what to do with your life. Ride elephants. Live life. Try to just enjoy the ride. Absorb everything you learn like a loving sponge. Happy studies everyone!