Living with your matesOne of the best things about schoolies is sharing accommodation with your mates. It’s exciting, fun and nothing like living at home with your family.
But what if there’s an argument? And what if some of the individuals just don’t get along?
It’s normal for people living in close quarters for the first time to feel like their space is being invaded. The trick is to make sure it doesn’t ruin your schoolies trip. Check out our advice, below, on how to keep the peace.
Keeping the peace
Up-front communication is the best way to keep the peace. Before going away, tell your housemates exactly what you expect of them, and know what they expect of you. Will there be house rules and chore rosters? If so, it’s a good idea to write these down, so no one can dispute them later.
It’s a great idea to set some house rules before you arrive at your destination. The aim of these rules is to make sure your schoolies experience is both safe and fun. House rules can be created for little things, like who takes their shower when, as well as heavier issues, such as whether you can invite strangers into the house.
ChoresCleaning, tidying, cooking and shopping all take a bit of organisation. Sometimes, when you’re living with a few other people, you might assume that someone else will get the job done. A chore roster can be a really good way to make sure the house runs smoothly. It’s also useful in preventing arguments about who should do what.
Personal spaceYou’re probably used to having your own bedroom and not having to queue for the toilet and bathroom. Most schoolies accommodation is quite different from this, more like an ant colony than private living. Take extra care not to disturb your mates when they’re sleeping or resting. If you’re feeling a bit claustrophobic, get out and go for a walk.
Money issuesMoney issues can strain relationships. Again, be up-front about your trip expenses. Most share-houses have a kitty, which is a communal fund for groceries and other essentials. Agree on how much each house member will contribute towards the kitty and what the money will be spent on. Some housemates, because of dietary reasons, might decide to buy their own groceries. Again, it all comes down to communication: talk about these things before you leave!
GuestsNo doubt, you’ll make lots of new friends during schoolies, some of who you might even want to bring back home. It’s important to think of your housemates, though, before bringing a stranger into the house. Again, it’s best to have an open discussion, before going away, about what the rules are in terms of bringing guests home – that way, everyone knows where they stand.
Resolving conflictIt’s almost inevitable there’ll be times when housemates aren’t getting on. It might be a small thing like, ‘Who left coffee dregs in the sugar?’, or something bigger like, ‘I saw you with my boyfriend/girlfriend!’ Sometimes, you’ll be able to take a deep breath and talk things through; other times, it might be best to give each other a bit of space before trying to sort things out. Whatever happens:
- Try not to be confrontational
- Give each other the chance to express how you feel
- Ask questions rather than making accusations
- If the other person is acting violently, leave them alone to cool off
Respecting differenceRemember, everyone is an individual. If you show respect towards your fellow housemates, they’ll show it back to you.
The ten commandments of living together
- Respect the individual
- You mess it you clean it
- Don’t wake the sleeping
- Don’t eat what isn’t yours
- Take care of your friends’ personal property
- Need space, take a walk
- Inviting guests home, ask your housemates first
- Resolve minor conflicts, don’t let them brew
- If there are house rules, stick to them
- Have fun with your friends!
WebsitesReach Out! - Resolving an argument or conflict
Talks about why conflict arises and how to resolve your differences.