A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
As the school year comes to end, many of your student housing contracts may also be coming to an end. I understand that many of you will be looking to move in with some of the friends you’ve made this year. As I have been through this process successfully, I have some helpful tips to make sure it goes smoothly. Firstly, how to pick who to live with. It can be difficult to pick roommates who you will suit living with.
Discuss your budget – I know this seems obvious but plenty of people have not discussed this beforehand. Not everyone has the same expectation about finances, and they can really be a make or break. It can be difficult to talk about finances but if you’re taking such a big step, it is something that must be considered. Talk about what you would like to pay and what is your absolute limit.
What is non-negotiable? – When looking for a place to live, everyone has different requirements. This can be from how far from the centre you’re willing to be, to whether you need space for furniture you’ve already bought or even if you need the apartment to be furnished. Sometimes these don’t match up, so it’s worth discussing what features are necessary and where you can compromise.
Discuss what type of lifestyles you have – Some people are introverts who need their own space, and other are extroverts who come back at 3AM. Sometimes these traits clash. It is not a bad thing in a friendship or even if you live together but it is worth discussing so you’re aware of what they expect and what you’re getting into.
How do you deal with disagreement? – Living together is not always plain sailing, they may leave their dishes out, you may leave the kitchen messy or you may simply get on each other’s nerves at times. It is worth talking about how you deal with issues so you can be aware of if they’re annoyed or not, and if they are what you should do. Some people will get annoyed over small things, and just need some space for a few hours and when you’re aware you can give that space. Others need to talk things out immediately. It’s worth knowing so something small doesn’t become something big.
Living together with friends is a hard step to take. People who are in committed relationships struggle so it’s understandable and expected that friends would too. If you think that you aren’t able to figure these things out beforehand or that they just don’t match, then it is ok to say no and preserve your friendship.
What are you’re tips for living with friends. Share them in the comments