Dealing with conflict in your home

Living with new people can be really stressful, in your first year you are thrown into a house with a group of strangers, even when it comes to your second year living with a group of friends, you can still have problems. One of the hardest things you learn at university, in my opinion, is dealing with conflict within your university house.

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My Housemates this year- I love them!

In the beginning.

When you first move into a house the best idea is to sit down as a group, and have a house chat. If you begin the year by talking about what you all expect from each other and how you want the house to be kept and how to split house cost, you will all know from the beginning.

In my second year I found that we had 2 guys who wanted everything tidy, all the time, and 2 girls (including me) Who wasn’t that great at keeping things tidy.

I would also say that, although it horrible, you need to start talking about money ASAP. Will you all put money into buying bin bags and other cleaning stuff? Will you all alternate who buys them? The big cause of tension, in my experience, is paying the bills. If it is being paid out by one person in the group then create a standing order into their account so you don’t have to remember every month. If not try and find a company that sorts it out for you (I use split the bills)

When tension starts. 

The first sign about their being a problem within your house, is the tension, last year my house was filled with it constantly.

You need to, once again, talk to your housemates. Arrange a time when you can all get together, preferably not after a stressful exam or straight after a lecture. One of the most important things I think you need to remember in the conversation is that you need to try and see things from the other person’s point of view as well.

All sides need to honestly talk to each other about their feelings, without trying to make the other side feel bad and without getting too emotional.

Once you have realised the problem then you can work out what you can do to change to fix all your problems. Try and find a way to make sure you problems stay resolved and you don’t end up hating each other again in a few weeks.

Some really important thing. 

If your frustrations between your housemates get difficult, go and speak to your student services at university. They have seen everything and they will know how to help you out.

If you are being put in danger through your housemates actions or if they are threatening you then you can also talk to your student services and they will help with the next step. This can involve them having a disciplinary at university or helping you contact the authorities.

I hope all your problems get sorted out soon.

My Confessions. 

-In my second year of uni I lived with a couple who I never got on with. 

-My third year of uni is amazing and I love my housemates. 

-I am terrible at writing on a schedule sorry! 

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It’s because my parents are divorced!

I drive my boyfriend crazy when  I talk about how divorce can affect children as they grown older. I know that it can affect me, my thoughts on relationship and my own self-confidence have been blamed on my parents divorce. In fact I even wrote an feature article about it earlier this year (I will post it here if I can find it!).

However as I have been looking around the internet getting ready to start my dissertation next year, I found an article about broken families and writing your dissertation.

The article said that the majority of university students use the christmas holiday as the time to start writing their dissertation, this is not the first time sensible students start working on it though. However the christmas stress that being in a blended family can put on you can make working on your dissertation even more difficult.

Is this really fair though? Maybe my boyfriend is right, maybe we need to stop blaming our parents failed relationship. After all although my sisters and brother are not biological they don’t make my life bad, they are great. My step mum isn’t my mother but she will help out whenever she can and my stepdad is always doing things to help me.

Surely there are a number of worse situations to be in. What if your parents are always arguing because they stayed together for you, what if there is a crying baby in the house or a younger brother who loves to play his music at 100 decibels. It is always going to be hard to write your dissertation, not everyone can do it. Thats why its so good to have. But we need to grow up and take responsibility. You choose to write your dissertation, it’s your responsibility to get it done.

We all need to stop holding our parents accountable for every bad thing in our life. If my parents were still married would I really have a disney princess perfect life where nothing goes wrong? No!

Hope your getting ready for Easter!

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p.s Split the Bills code: LE959

A new home: before you start!

Your home!Last week, while I was sitting in my journalism seminar when I looked at my phone to see the time. I saw the best thing a blogger can see; a message from a reader. Jenny said that she wanted some information about getting a house. So here it is.

Before I begin I want to say one thing! Don’t worry about look for a house yet!

A new home: Before you start!

I know this seems like a weird thing to say but there are a number of things you need to think of before you start doing anything about getting a house.

  1. friends, flatmates, who?

The first thing you need to do is start thinking about who you want to live with. I think the majority of people end up living with at least one person they lived with in their first year. However if you have friends from your course or a society that you get on with then they might be a great person to live with.

  1. Habits.

One of the biggest things you need to think about is if you are going to manage to live with these people. If your OCD and your friend is a mucky pup then maybe living together won’t be a great idea. Not only do you need to think about your cleanliness habits but also general living habits.  Although everyone in their first year is mad keen on going out, what are you naturally like? Will you want to go out every night or would you be concentrating on course work.

I am not saying Party animals need to live together and book worms live together, but you don’t want to be the only one not going out.

  1. Couples

Although I am living in a house as a couple, this is one thing I would discourage. I know, do as I say, not as I do, but this is my experience. University has an amazing way of making all relationship feel so much more special and grown up, wether it is friendships or boyfriend/Girlfriend relationship. This can mean that relationship are too hot and heavy to actually last a long time.

I have heard so many stories of couples deciding to live together and then breaking up in the summer. This is an awkward situation of two people who really don’t want to be together having to live together.

As well as saying that, I would also say that living with a couple can be really hard as well. Just as I said before, what if they breakup? you are likely to be stuck in the middle. Not only this but couples naturally support each other this can also mean that they side with each other in arguments.

  1. How many rooms?

It is obvious that you will need as many rooms as people. If you are a couple, you will still have to get a room each, that will be one of the rules set in place by the landlord.

One of the big things is that the more bedrooms you want to more messed up your house would be. Four bedrooms seems to be the most common number of rooms for a student house however even with four bedrooms you can end up with one room downstairs.

Anything more than four rooms can mean you don’t have a proper living room area.

  1. living alone!

You don’t have to be a loner to want to live on your own, in fact some of the bubbliest people live in an apartment. It can be a great way to live on your own and spend time at your friends houses.

They tend to include a double bed, a kitchen area, an ensuit, a sofa, desk and sometimes a large TV. In my local area there are ‘Code’ Buildings that are specifically designed for this purpose, they also have communal living rooms. They are around £100 for a room there.

I hope that this has helped you out.

At the beginning I said don’t look yet, the reason for this that you have only really known your friends for a short amount of time. This whirlwind friendship can make you seem like the best of friends however once you have stepped away you may decide that you don’t get on so well.

Houses are often not even put on the market until after Christmas anyway, so Don’t panic!

Love lauren blog sign off

Moving in: The review

Moving in year two: The Review

At the end of last year I did a number of posts reviewing the year I had, when I came to writing all of the posts I struggled to remember the way I felt and the little details.

So this year I decided that I would write a few review posts as I went through the year. So this is my first one: moving in!

Over the summer I had become slightly addicted to organizational things. So I started planning my move to uni a few months before I had to go, I am not saying a spent everyday sorting out moving. In fact a lot of the work was because I decided to create a household binder and a recipe book to take to uni with me.

I am going to be doing a post about both of my binders at another time.

I always feel really bad when I move out because it always falls a few days before my Mum’s birthday. This meant that the friday evening I spent with my mum and stepdad celebrating her birthday. This was really nice as it was a sort of birthday/ going away meal with my family.

I woke up early on the saturday morning so that I could finnish getting everything ready. I packed the last few things I needed, and made sure I had enough time to pack the car.

I was running around the house, packing, dressing and moving long before the rest of the house emerged from their room. Once he emerged from his room my stepdad managed to become some kind of tetris wizard and fitted all of my stuff into the car. I still don’t know how it fitted.

It doesn’t take long for us to drive from my home to university, although the drive felt like forever that day. Once I turned up in my university town I had to head towards the estate agents to pick up my keys.

I have to say been given 3 keys has never felt so much fun, so grown up. As we drove through the maze like roads to my new house I felt the excitement building. As we pulled up in my road I looked at all of the houses, there pretty blues doors made it feel a little bit like a disney village. The builders quickly killed that thought with the constant banging.

I opened the door and walked through the house looking at my home for the next year. I walked into my bedroom, the first floor front of the house.

I have to say that as I started to unpack I felt so overwhelmed. Looking around the room and seeing all of my belongings and the room it has to fit into. My new house has such little storage space. There aren’t any shelves so working out where everything goes is actually really hard.

I have to admit that I am still moving in properly.

My boyfriend, Chris, moved in a few hours later than me, not long after my parents left. Seeing him again and knowing her was staying here was so much fun. I will happily admit that I missed his over the holidays. We each spent the day trying to sort out our own rooms.

That evening we got a takeaway and finally got to spend time together.

Sorry I don’t think this has been my best post but it has been one of those days. Hope you enjoyed anyway!

Homesick help!

Today is Football day in my house, that means 3 football games, 1 match of the day and games of PES and Fifa! So with that having been announced I decided that I would sort out my room and get blogging.

The other day I talked about the classic symptoms that you have become a student. One of those things was that I said was about feeling home sick. I wanted to go back and talk about this a little more. Over the last week I have felt really home sick so I understand what it feels like. I have also seen my elder step sister going through it.

I hope you don’t mind that this is another list of tips. I will do some proper posts soon.

A picture paints a thousand words

I know when you move away from home it can sometimes feel like you are leaving an old life behind and starting again. However that isn’t true, you a moving onto a new stage of life not a new life.

Keep memories of your friends and family around your room. Pictures are an obvious thing to put up, but letter from a friend or a trinket from the family holiday may also be great. Plus your childhood toy, if teddy got you this far you don’t have to ditch him now.

Go back 

One of the main stresses that causes Home sickness is the worry of not having a place to go back to. So if you are feeling a little worried or homesick then think about going back. I am not saying you should unpack and hop straight back into the car with your parents.

You need to give your new home and possible friends a chance. Your life at university is a new experience and you will never find it the best experience if you don’t get in there.

Keep it the same

This tip is more aimed towards parents and siblings left behind. Although it is really tempting to see the large room becoming empty when your sister goes to uni as a great new room for you to move into. However this can make their university life even harder.

As I said before, homesicknes is mainly caused by the worry of having nowhere to retuern home to. So if you return home to the little box room after been kicked out of your room this makes the move even harder on you.

Get out there

When your feeling homesick it sometimes feels like the only thing to do is to lock yourself in your room and feel upset. However if you get out of your room, go on a night out or just round to a friends house, it takes your mind off your family back at home and gets you thinking about whats going on now.

Phone home 

Believe it or not phoning home actually wont make you miss home more. Checking in every now and then to make sure your mum’s ok, Your brothers test went well and the dog is been walked is perfectly fine. If you are living far away from home and can’t easily get back then think about downloading Skype on your laptop and home computer. If you have a fairly modern computer then you should be able to see and talk to your parents making everything seem better.

Stick at it. 

On the first night at university it is easy to think that you have made a huge mistake. Don’t run away just yet though,  give it a few days to get used to your new life and make friends. Once you have gone home you are likely to feel better.

see the Pro’s 

If you are feeling especially homesick and feel it is actually getting in the way of your life then all universities, within the Uk at least, have a welfare section who can help you deal with home sickness including getting you to see a Councilor for free (you won’t get that out of uni!)

This post was written with some of my friends and families experience in mind as well as my own. I know of people who have dropped out of uni or moved uni’s because of feeling so homesick.

I hope this helped. 

What to expect when you live in halls

What to expect when moving into halls

Missing food.
In every halls of residents there is a food monster, who sneaks into the kitchen when nobody is about and takes your food. At least this is the only explantation I have come up with to explain how food goes missing and people’s stuff gets used without anyone in the flat knowing where it goes.

Some Halls provide a padlock on the cupboards to only allow you to get your stuff. This is great and should stop the monster!

Sex is all around you.
University is known for being based around sex, drinking and possibly drugs. So it probably isn’t a surprise that you will hear some excitement from the room above/next door/below. However when you are trying to get to sleep or having friends round it can be a little cringe.

Party rock is in the house tonight!
Living in a house with a number of other people all studying different courses you will no doubt have a clash of timing every now and then. So while you are trying to study or write an essay you room mate may want to have a party or loud sex (try not to write SEX SEX SEX EWWW in your essay!)

Things that go bump in the night.
I don’t know what it is about the designers of student halls but they have managed to make a building where 99.9% of all the rooms will be able to hear everything that goes on by the main entrance. This basically means that every night you will be able to hear the door banging shut and people shouting as they come back from whatever club had a big night that night.

A knock at the door
Once you have become friends with your flatmates they will come knocking on your door at anytime they know you are in!