College is regarded by many as an exciting time in a person’s life. This is when many young adults acquire several new skills that’ll help them out throughout their lives.
However, the most challenging skill many students have to learn is living with other individuals in close quarters. Dorm rooms and student apartments often equal box homes, equipped with bunk beds and small closets. It’s said that a majority of people don’t plan their living spaces when they’re yet to reach the prime of their lives, so the first time living with someone else is a true test of interpersonal skills.
Student Housing: What Is It
Depending on the school, student housing can be anything from off-campus apartments to house-like facilities with dorm rooms. It’s designed to help students transition into college without any parents or guardians present.
The most crucial part of student housing management is learning to work with other people in close proximity for extended periods (referred to as ‘cohousing’) and be responsible for living conditions. You may visit student housing sites or click here for more information on the different options for dorm rooms and off-campus apartments.
What’s It Like Living In Student Housing
College dorms and student housing can provide a taste of living in the real world for many would-be college attendees. Gone are the days when students have nannies to raise them or their parents’ handling most of their affairs. Living in student housing allows college students to manage all kinds of tasks independently for the first time.
One of the most important things that students learn is how to cope and live with other people, both in their immediate circles and among strangers. It can be difficult for someone who has never had roommates before to adjust to sleeping next to another person, sharing a living space, or even waiting in line for the bathroom with four others. As a piece of general advice, students must learn to reconcile their privacy with their socialization needs.
How To Thrive In College Student Housing
The good news is that students who learn to cope with living in close quarters with others are said to be far better off than those who can’t. Whether they share living space or merely share information, students will often have to interact with their roommates.
If you’re planning on living in college student housing soon, the following are 11 skills that’ll help you survive in college housing:
1. Tact And Diplomacy
The first skill needed to survive in student housing is tact and diplomacy. It’s said to be among the most challenging skills to master. Tact and diplomacy aren’t usually used in day-to-day life until early adulthood, so it’s hard for some people to learn these skills when living with others.
Being tactful is knowing how to talk to someone without upsetting them. Diplomacy involves choosing the best words to say during pressing situations. Being tactful involves being polite, not pointing out your roommates’ flaws, but at the same time not being deceitful. You’ll likely survive with minimal issues if you master these skills before moving into student housing.
2. Communication Skills
The next skill that’s crucial to thriving in student housing is communication skills. Communication skills are essential to get along and resolve conflicts when living with other people. It’s an essential skill that makes working together easier and prevents disputes.
There’ll be times when you’ll meet people from different backgrounds and with different personalities while living in student housing. To make your living situation more manageable, you’ll need to communicate your ideas and thoughts clearly.
3. Basic Cleaning Skills
Learning basic cleaning skills is vital to thriving in student housing with shared bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and other amenities. Whether you do it yourself or make your roommates help out, knowing how to keep the common areas clean and tidy is important to have a pleasant and healthy living situation.
Some of the basic cleaning skills you’ll need to know include:
- Doing the laundry;
- Cleaning the bathroom;
- Keeping the kitchen clean;
- Vacuuming the floors; and
- Dusting fixtures situated in common areas.
These are just a few basic cleaning skills to help you thrive in student housing. It’s recommended that you try out helping with your family home’s cleaning chores to give you a feel of what it’s like tidying up your living space once you move to a student housing unit.
4. Cooking Skills
To thrive in student housing, cooking skills are said to be crucial. Although some student housing provides meals for students, there might be times when you’ll need or want to cook something for yourself.
If you have poor cooking skills, you won’t have many options besides eating out or microwaving unhealthy snacks. If you can learn basic cooking skills now and practice them often, it’ll become easier to feed yourself while staying in student housing.
Learning cooking skills will help students save some money and eat healthy and nutritious meals. It’s believed that the more you know about preparing meals, the easier it becomes for you. You may even share your meals with your roommates or fellow student housing residents.
5. Time Management
Another skill that’s crucial to student housing is time management. It involves keeping everything organized and prevents stress from developing around the house due to time constraints. When you live with other people, scheduling a time to meet your individual needs becomes a necessity.
Time management helps you get the most out of life by helping you reach your daily goals using different time management techniques. If you’re not good with time management, it’s best to improve this skill before moving into student housing.
To thrive in student housing, you must be self-reliant. It means caring for yourself and seldomly relying on your roommates. It includes cooking for yourself, keeping your room clean and tidy without always asking for help, and keeping track of where all your belongings are.
If you can be independent in student housing, making friends will be easier because you’ll have fewer barriers to overcome.
7. Organization Skills
After learning basic cleaning and cooking skills, organization skills should be included in the mix too. For adults, especially budding ones living away from their families for the first time, organization skills are essential to thrive in student housing.
If you can’t organize yourself and your belongings, it’ll be challenging to live with other people. It means that learning organizational skills is crucial to having a favorable living situation as a young adult living in student housing away from your family for the first time.
To organize yourself, you need to know where everything is and take care of anything that comes up immediately instead of letting it pile up. Even budgeting skills must be put into place to ensure you don’t spend all your monthly income at the beginning of the month and have nothing left by the time you need to save up for a trip or an entertainment activity.
8. Adaptability Skills
Being adaptable is necessary for student housing for when you learn to adapt, it’s much easier to deal with potential problems and keep them from interfering with living in student housing successfully.
Adapting well during stressful situations means that you’ll have fewer problems in your student housing journey.
For example, if a roommate moves out without warning and leaves you responsible for their share of the rent, you’ll be able to make sure that nothing terrible happens to you financially, even though it’s an unforeseen problem early on. You can look for a replacement roommate right away to offset the unfulfilled rent payment the former wasn’t able to settle.
Being adaptable during stressful times will help you thrive in student housing – and most importantly, survive any problems that may come up in the days to come.
9. Stress Management Skills
Stress management skills will come in handy during any difficult situation, especially if you live with others. Dealing with and learning to manage stress is crucial to your well-being, and it’s necessary for getting along with roommates.
Stress can be a huge problem when living with three or four other people who also have their own lives and problems. Learning to manage stress effectively will help you deal with your roommates and potential issues that may arise in student housing.
If you have trouble managing stress, taking meditation or yoga classes may do you good. These activities are great for learning how to properly handle stress and find inner peace, appropriate for thriving in a student housing situation.
10. Respecting Policies And Housing Rules
Learning to respect policies is a critical aspect of effectively adapting to student housing living. It means that you shouldn’t violate the rules listed in your contract with the university, which can result in costly fines.
Rules are put into place in student housing for a reason, and it’s necessary to follow them, or else you won’t have a pleasant living situation. For example, neighbors who don’t respect the noise curfew but stay up late each night playing music loudly can cause a serious problem.
Living in student housing isn’t just about yourself – it’s about respecting other people’s needs in your building so it can be an enjoyable experience for everyone.
Knowing what rules are in place and learning to follow them will help you succeed at your university and contribute to thriving living with roommates in student housing.
11. Money Management Skills
Finally, learning money management skills will help you thrive in student housing and other living situations.
As a college student, managing your money wisely will ensure you have extra cash lying around to buy what you need in case of emergencies. It’s always important to learn these skills because unforeseen events can happen anytime, even if you’re set on a budget for your spending – besides tuition fee payments from college loans.
Some key money management skills to learn include:
- Acknowledging how much you can afford;
- Knowing when it’s time to save up for a larger purchase;
- Knowing how to budget for entertainment activities and trips; and
- understanding the difference between wants and needs.
When people go off to college, they don’t typically have a job to support them right away. Instead, they’ll be living on financial aid, meal plans that include food for the semester, and any money from their parents or other family members.
To ensure that you have enough money each month to buy groceries and personal items, learning proper budgeting techniques is crucial. This skill won’t only help you in student housing but throughout your adult life.
What To Avoid When You Move Into A Student Housing
When you move into student housing, you must avoid several crucial things to ensure an enjoyable experience for yourself and your roommates.
Avoiding these problems will help you thrive in a student housing situation:
- Taking up too much space or using more than your fair share of resources like cable, internet, other shared resources;
- Becoming a disturbance to others such as playing loud music late at night while everybody’s sound asleep;
- Not following any rules that are in your lease or the housing policies of the university, so you don’t receive fines;
- Overspending and living beyond your means, as well as borrowing money for frivolous purchases and other unsustainable financial habits;
- Not notifying your roommates that you’ll be bringing back a significant other and friends to the apartment;
- Not notifying roommates of your schedule changes such as staying out late and returning home too early
- Bringing home too many pets with you like fish, birds, roosters, or any other animals;
- Engaging in illegal activities, including drinking, using drugs, or smoking cigarettes; and
- Throwing large and unannounced parties that’ll disturb others living nearby.
Not learning and following crucial rules, along with committing mistakes listed above will result in a negative experience for you and your roommates. It’s important to follow these dos and don’ts when moving into student housing. If you avoid these common mistakes and focus on learning to thrive living with roommates in a student housing situation, you’ll have a much more enjoyable living situation.
Thriving in student housing is all about handling different situations you face. The abovementioned skills will help you survive your living situation at any university so it can be an enjoyable time in your life.
With roommates and many different personalities, adapting to a new living situation can be difficult and stressful. Nonetheless, developing the skills mentioned above, as examples, will ensure that your time as a college student living in student housing with others is successful and fuss-free.