Even for those with the most social and outgoing of natures, moving into university accommodation for the first time can be unnerving. Suffice to say, such nerves tend to be intensified many times over if the individual in question happens to be moving into shared accommodation. There’s really no denying that shared student accommodation for London University of Arts has the potential to be uniquely enjoyable, but when it comes to initially settling in, it’s often a scary process to say the least.
Nevertheless, it’s important to be proactive about things as these initial weeks and months tend to be the most critical and influential of all when it comes to making friends and building connections. As such, it’s worth taking a step back from things, counting to ten and making all possible efforts to get the very most from the experience, rather than simply sitting back and hoping for the best.
Here’s a brief rundown on how to make friends and influence people when moving into student housing for the first time:
1 – Don’t Hide Yourself Away
First of all, your instinct may tell you to hide yourself away and basically keep yourself to yourself. Unfortunately, all you’ll end up doing is somewhat excluding yourself from the opportunity to build any real bonds and connections, which will in turn make it even more difficult to emerge from isolation further down the line. What’s important to remember is that you don’t have to necessarily be massively outgoing, confident or even the life and soul of the party -you just have to be there! Chances are that even if you yourself aren’t usually inclined to make the first move, others most definitely will.
2 – Be Accommodating and Open
For a good while at least, it’s important to be as accommodating and open as possible when it comes to the antics of those around you. For those heading out to university for the very first time in particular, this transition period can be one of the most intense, important and indeed enjoyable in a whole lifetime. As such, you simply have to expect that a fair few people will go a little ‘off the rails’ on a temporary basis at least, which is all part of the adjustment process. Or to put it another way, expect the unexpected and embrace it if you can.
3 – Bite Your Tongue
Following on from the above point, it is absolutely inevitable that during the first few weeks at least, certain activities, habits and behaviours of others will drive you to distraction. Nevertheless, what you absolutely have to bear in mind at this stage is that the same will probably be true in reverse – there are no doubt things about you that annoy the living hell out of them. As such, unless it is something that is absolutely unacceptable and unforgivable, the key to household harmony lies in biting your tongue and just letting them get on with it.
4 – Make the Effort
Even if it’s not usually the way you’d do things, you really should think about at least occasionally making the effort to reach out to your housemates and play nice. Whether it’s inviting them to the pub, ordering in some pizza or supplying the drinks for a night in, these are all the kinds of minor efforts that have a big impact.
5 – Do Your Bit
In a similar vein, you also want to make sure you get across the fact that you are more than willing to do your bitwhen it comes to keeping the place in order. This doesn’t mean taking control of all essential cleaning duties or becoming something of a butler for the place, but rather demonstrating the fact that you’re more than happy to contribute, just as everyone else should.
6 – Be Assertive if Necessary
In any instances where the behaviour or habits of your housemates cross the line into being entirely unacceptable, the importance of being assertive cannot be overstated. The reason being that there’s a very big difference between causing arguments just for the sake of it and effectively allowing yourself to be walked all over by others. Once again, it’s a case of thinking long and hard about whether the problem in question really is a problem that warrants escalation, or a simple personal annoyance that you personally should learn to deal with.
7 – Be Yourself
Last but not least, it’s often easier said than done but is nonetheless important to ensure that even when trying to make friends and influence people, you are always yourself. The reason being that if you build an image of yourself that’s untrue, there’s absolutely no way you’re going to be able to keep up the façade for the rest of the year. And even if you could, it would end up being a year you would absolutely hate!