Living with people who are not 'your people'

Living with strangers in your student halls can be one of the hardest parts of university.

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!


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.


Remember it's only one year.

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. You can always live with different people next year.

You could always do activities as a flat.

It can be hard to get to know your flatmates when everyone is at lectures, Welcome events and making friends elsewhere. It is important to make an effort to get to know your flat through group dinners, nights out, trips to the pub or cinema. This can be a great way to find out more about them and socialise in an environment outside your stuffy 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!


Make friends with other flats.

Student halls are a large part of first year. However, this is not limited to your flat. Go 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, join a society.

If your student halls haven't gone to plan, there are plenty of other ways to make friends. Join a society - there are LOADS. 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!

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.

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