Communal living in uni - my experience

Here I am in Doha airport waiting for my connecting flight back home. It’s February, which is a strange time for me to be going home. As I got to Heathrow airport, that feeling of nostalgia tangled up with anxiety hit me. Flights are hardly my favourite thing, does anyone really like them?

The thought of leaving my second home, Guildford, tugs on my heartstrings. But it’s not so much the place that I love, it’s the people I live with. Packing up my bags to go back to Singapore reminded me that eventually, we will be graduating and moving on with our lives.

I’ve been told that Uni days are the best days - this statement I cannot refute. In the span of 3 years, I’ve seen so much of Europe, travelled to America for the first time with a group of people I really enjoy. 

Denim jacket, Adidas california t-shirt, Corduroy skirt from Urban Outfitters // Chelsea walkers from H&M

Those who know that I live with 4 other guys are often curious what this communal living life is like. When we’re not working, we’re playing games -- and I do mean all sorts of games -- from counter strike to PS4 games to basketball, like actual hoop basketball in the house.

My flat mates (minus the two on the right)

Though there are quiet days in the house, where everyone is just hiding in their rooms doing their thang, or unpleasant days where you have to clean up messes, communal living really taught me to be more selfless and not be calculative. It is super helpful to be reflexive of your actions so you don't inconvenience people you live with, which is the key to happy communal living!

There are so many tips I have learned through living with others, some more basic than others.
  1. Always clean up after yourself, seriously, just. do. it.
  2. Never take/use someone else’s things without permission
  3. Always communicate well to reduce misunderstanding
  4. Never leave food that have gone off in the fridge, it will make the other food go bad.
  5. Sometimes you should volunteer to clean the communal areas that isn’t anyone’s duty to clean
  6. Keep your volume down after midnight, or when someone is sleeping.
  7. Empty the bins whenever it’s full. Just. do. it.
  8. Keep your mess within your room and not into the communal spaces.
  9. Offer practical help to your house mates… cos they will do the same for you when you need it!
  10. Be patient with someone’s flaws,  no one changes overnight.

Over these past months, I’ve witnessed how gracious and selfless my housemates are to me and it makes me want to do the same for them, i.e. go out of my comfort to do stuff for them. It’s a huge blessing to have amazing housemates that you can count on for the good, bad and ugly and I really hope that you will find these people that I’m talking about. And that you'll grow to miss them when it is all over.

Sending love from Singapore back to my second home in the UK.

Rachel Wong

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