When you come to a certain age you normally take the decision of getting some independence. It is healthy both for your brain and your body. We all need some freedom but, most important, we need to learn to live by ourselves.
Do you remember the first time to have to do your own laundry? I am sure you also called your parents to ask if your white t-shirt with the black letters was with the color or the white laundry, didn’t you?
You also probably called them when you were trying to cook your favorite meal and suddenly you realized it was not as simple as you though.
It is clear that a lot of things change when you start living by yourself, but most probably you will agree on the fact that it is absolutely necessary at some point.
If you are lucky, maybe you will be able to afford to live alone or with your partner in your own flat. This will give you a lot of freedom in terms of decisions, decoration, the way of living… but let’s say that, as a lot of people, you start living in a shared flat.
In my personal experience, I am sharing a flat already for a 4th time. Always different countries, cities, nationalities, ages and genders. At this point, I would say I have some experience on this, and I would like to share with you the things that I’ve learned about this way of living but also about myself. Hopefully, these rules will help you:
- You need to be flexible. Living with other people will require you to be flexible and open-minded.
- At the beginning, make an effort to get to know your flatmates. The more you know each other, the better. They don’t need to know your whole life, but some confidence in each other will start creating a healthy relationship.
- Say no when you feel it. Sometimes can be difficult to understand the limits. As everyone is paying for the flat, the people can think either that you have the power to do whatever they want or rather to be afraid of putting some limits. I’d recommend you to put these limits from the very beginning. You can call it coexistence rules.
- It is always a good idea to write these rules somewhere so everyone can remember. The idea is not that you feel you are going to jail if you break them but just to keep a list of important things to avoid any future problem.
- Make open communication the first rule of the list. When you live with others, it will be crucial that you keep an open communication within your house.
- Remember to stay helpful. Make some favors from time to time for no reason. Prepare dinner for your flatmates, invite them for a beer together…
- Propose plans. Maybe you all want to watch a movie together but nobody is saying it. Surprise them taking the initiative.
- Be always clean and tidy. This is one of the things why people get annoyed the most. I know we all have in mind a lot of people breaking this rule, but let’s say that, as a general rule, people like to be clean and organized.
- Respect your own time. Take your time to be alone in your room. Do not try to be always extremely social or you will become a bit annoying as well. Middle points are fine.
- Don’t be noisy. And if you think that you will be, let your flatmates know in advance.
- Be always generous. There is a limit. Get angry only when people are touching the important stuff but do not complain if someone is using your salt.
In general, I believe that the most important thing you learn when you live with different people is to become a flexible and open-minded person. It is important to say that I think is not an easy process. It is something you can actually practice. The first time is harder, as you have to learn some things and you are normally used to live with your family and to have your dish ready on the table.
Anyway, in my opinion, it is a big part of the path to becoming an adult. Definitely a step you have to take if you want to grow.
It will not only help you to learn basic home stuff but also it will shape your personality.