With the cost of living continuing to rise, and university becoming more expensive to attend, many students are now choosing to continue living at home while they study, rather than move into expensive uni accommodation on campus.
But suddenly sharing your home with a stay-at-home student is very different to living with your young children.
Students are adults who need their own space and still to gain the independence that comes with higher education – and won’t thank you for treating them like a child, even if they are still under your roof.
So, who washes the dishes? Should you still do their laundry? How do you avoid stepping on each other’s toes?
These 5 simple rules could help you to navigate your new living situation and keep the peace:
- Agree how you’ll split chores
From cleaning the bathroom to taking out the bin, every family handles chores differently. Whether you are used to everyone taking responsibility for their own cleaning tasks, or one family member bearing the load, remember that this is the chance for your student to learn independence. After all, if they lived in a shared student house they’d have to abide by a cleaning rota, and buy their own groceries. Make a list of the tasks they would need to do if they lived alone and agree in advance how the members of your household will split them – but don’t worry if their definition of ‘clean’ is a little more relaxed than yours.
- Talk arrangements over in advance
You’re not a mindreader, and neither are they. Set out your expectations and house rules at the start, and in return ask them their priorities – it’s important to be flexible so you can compromise. For example, it can also be helpful to decide early on whether they will cook their own meals, whether you’ll all eat together, or a mixture of both to suit your schedules. Do you need them to text if they aren’t eating at home, or want some saving for later?
- Discuss money matters
Money management is an important lesson to learn, now more than ever. Discuss their budget and agree what contribution to bills and living costs you expect before term starts. Will they cover all their own expenses, like travel and food? Make sure they know what everything costs, from food to energy bills, so they don’t miss out on this aspect of independent living.
- Remember their bedroom is a study space
According to a survey of 1000 students by Student Living, students spend roughly 13 out of 24 hours in their bedroom – with a huge 73% of studying done in their rooms rather than on campus or in the library. Enable this studying time by staying away from their room – imagine it their own flat which they are responsible for cleaning and tidying, which they can come and go as they please.
- Let them manage their own time
Slept through their alarm and missed a lecture? Stayed out too late and forgot a deadline? Be a kind shoulder to support them, but let them handle the consequences themselves – they are learning responsibility and time management, and don’t need extra lectures at home.
Whether they’re staying at home for uni, a student commuter or flying the nest, stock up on everything they need with Shark’s student discount.