Communal living

Hints and tips for living together

Philosophy and politics student Mandi gives advice on what it's like to live in halls of residence at Essex.

1. Show a little respect

Try to remember that we are all different and following these simple steps will help you to create a happy and harmonious household:

  • No one likes a noisy neighbour, so remember that quiet hours are in place between Midnight and 8am (24 hours at exam times)
  • Help each other and us out by tidying and cleaning up after yourself
  • Try not to be a space invaider, knock and wait for an answer and don't listen in on phonecalls and private conversations
  • Make sure you attend the flat meeting with your RA and contribute to your flat agreement
  • Only leave notes if they are friendly
  • Remember, our staff need access to your flat to clean and room for maintenane at certain times, so make sure it is free of clutter and exits aren't blocked
  • Socialise with each other by taking a walk by the lake or having a BBQ, check out one of the SU venues or catch a film in Cine 10

2. Communicate

We all know that bad communication is the cause of most problems, so make sure you get to know your housemates by name; share your languages and your cultural experiences and offer some help to our international visitors that might be a little overwhelmed. They may be experiencing the same anxieties as yourself but without the benefit of immediate family and friends.

Take a step back if things get a bit heated, then try to re-connect once everyone has calmed down. Remember, it is good to talk!

3. Having a guest to stay

You can start having a guest to stay two weeks after your autumn term contract has started. Occasional stays of up to three nights duration. You do need to seek permission by contacting the Student Services Hub. Please let the team know the name and gender of the person staying, as well as their contact details and how long they are staying for. If you want to request for your guest to stay longer than three nights, then speak with the team at the Hub (children under the age of 16 are not permitted to stay in the accommodation).

4. Noise, again?

Ok, just to clarify, noise can really travel so we thought an extra segment on the subject would be a good idea. Lack of sleep can be a considerable source of stress and anxiety, so no noise should not be heard from outside your room, which includes from any electronic equipment (such as televisions or stereos) plus remember sub woofers are not allowed.

Noise from chatting and the use of communal areas, as well as late arrivals etc. should be kept to an absolute minimum and no parties or loud gatherings are permitted (sorry).

5. Still got a problem?

If all else has failed and you and your flatmates are struggling to understand and communicate, then seek the help of Residence Life. The on-call RA's details are on the noticeboard in the kitchen. They can help you approach the situation in a different way or take action to help resolve it as flat.

6. Terms of residence

If you want to check exactly what the rules and regulations are, then read our Terms and conditions of Residence.