Tips for staying sane in student housing

Living in a student house can be an amazing experience, if you go about it properly. There are many things that you’ll need to get before you move in to help make sure you keep up. Some of which being a couple pointers that will help save your sanity.

Since living in a student house requires renting out a single room and sharing the common areas, the first thing that you’ll need is a good lock for your bedroom door. This can be a life saver, seeing as you likely won’t know any of the people that you’re moving in with. Sure they could prove to be amazing friends with while living there, but you’ll never know right off the bat. Keeping your valuables locked up somewhere safe is very important.

For any student starting post-secondary, even the experienced returnee, those first weeks are hectic and can make anyone forgetful. Consequently, you’ll need a spare key to go with that new bedroom door lock. It probably wouldn’t hurt to also have a spare for your front door either. No one likes to come home to be locked out after a long day of classes. Make sure to keep them in a secret spot that no one knows about, but not so secret that you forget too.

Another problem with shared living, which can cause trouble for any student, are the shared fridges. It can be a real pain to try and keep track of what groceries you have left. Not to mention coming home expecting groceries or leftovers that aren’t where you left them. Often, with only one fridge per household and sometimes at least five residents, students will find fridge space minimal.

Shared kitchens can be an absolute nightmare. Dishes piling up, rotting food needlessly wasted, garbage overflowing from its container; when you have that many people storing food, cooking, and eating in the same area, things sometimes tend to get very messy. Getting your own kitchenware will save you a lot of stress, just remember to keep it clean!

Assignments start to pile up during the year, with early classes and midterms keeping you up late, school work can leave you daydreaming about the next time you will get a good sleep. Every student has that night, first year or even seventh year, where they are so overwhelmed with stress that they just want to take the fail and get some sleep. Those are the nights where a coffee maker will prove to be a saving grace. After a nice walk and cup of coffee – for some students’ maybe two or three – the brain goes back into action for most.

When stress gets high like that, loneliness can come into play for a lot of students. Especially for those moving away from home for the first time. Even though surrounded by friends, there are times when a person simply needs a parent to talk to. For students that come from the area, comfort can be as easy as taking a bus or driving home can be an option. But for those students that come from hours, or even continents away, a good long-distance plan will make those days of feeling completely alone bearable.

No matter the argument, student houses are great for a students’ social life. New people, campus wide parties, and friends that can last a lifetime are but a fraction of the student experience. But when it comes time to get to work, and focus is necessary, having students all around you can become a serious distraction. While making new friends is a big part of the college experience, “you’re there for school and without a structured work environment it can be near to impossible to complete your home work in a comfortable and timely manner” said Jacob Rancourt, a third year marketing student at Fanshawe college. Therefore, a desk set up for your room is one of the most important things to have in a student house.

Aside from material items, there are a couple crucial things that need to be kept in mind when moving into a house full of strangers. Brooklyn Van Dyke, said that compromise is key with your roommates so that you don’t end up hating one another. Adding, “you’re still going to have to pick up your feet a little bit or sacrifice one of your habits, but in the end if you make compromises it will be ten times easier to get along with roomies and make it easier for everyone.”

Conclusively, living in a student house is really sink or swim. Dave Matthew, a third year student in the Culinary Management program at Humber’s north campus says that the single most important things are having a positive attitude, a sense of humour and an open mind. He said this is because “depending on how you open your mind to it sometimes you need to be willing to meet new people and embark on new experiences. You need to be able to laugh things off and keep smiling. If you don’t you can end up passing 2 years by in a basement apartment by yourself with no one who helped you through it and you’ll regret that for the rest of your life.”

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