Living and sharing facilities with other students

IF you have any particular sensory issues or calming routines it is important to let accommodation and support staff know before rooms are allocated.  Then they can try to meet those needs and avoid future problems.  For example, if you need to jump around, it is a good idea to have a ground floor room!  If you are noise sensitive ask for a ‘quiet’ hall or corridor.

Sharing can be very difficult but most students settle in and have a good time.  There are some key points.  It is important to think about your impact on other people, as well as their impact on you.  So, for example, if several people think you or your music are too loud, it is probably true.  Also if you and other students feel that something is wrong, it probably is.  The hard bit is if only you think something is unfair or wrong, or if only one person complains about some of the things you do or do not do.  For these problems talk to, email or text your Residential Adviser and the person who organises your support too.  An outsider with some authority is needed to sort out these problems. 

Halls of Residence have rules about the time everybody should turn their music down low or use headphones and when everybody should try to move around quietly to let others sleep and study.  Try to follow these rules.  Text or tell your Residential Adviser if others break the rules.

It is important to be able to share and take turns with equipment and service facilities such as the kitchen and laundrette.  Some people are very clean and tidy, others are not.  A general rule that people should try to follow is to clean up their own things and not leave a mess in the way of other people.  If you are clean and tidy and organised, but others sharing your flat or house are not, then it will be very stressful for you.  See the Residential Adviser about it as soon as you can.  It is their job to deal with it cleanliness problems and they do check all kitchens and other communal rooms regularly.  Most Halls of Residence have rules about cleanliness. 

If you cannot share a bathroom, the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)will cover the cost between a standard room and one with en-suite facilities. 

If you cannot tolerate sharing a kitchen then you should apply for a studio flat.  This is more isolating but is necessary for some people.  Again if you need it, because of your AS, then the difference in price between this and a standard room in the same Hall of Residence can be met by the DSA.

Some buildings are better than others for sound insulation.  If yours has poor soundproofing and you have a keen sense of hearing, you might need to move to a room near quieter people or even change halls to an older, less noisy, building.

Changing Halls of Residence or block within the one complex, for a fresh start, can help if relationships break down.  However, you will have to wait for a suitable room to be available.  So it is important to let people know if something is upsetting you.  It is much easier to sort out small problems than big ones.

It really is important to keep staff informed of things that upset you.

Sometimes bullying does happen.  If people do not know it is happening they cannot help you!  Please let staff know.  These things are dealt with carefully. 

If a member of staff comes to you because you have upset someone else, please listen and try to understand.  It might be that you really have upset someone even if you did not know that you had.

If you have a “meltdown”, you will feel better afterwards because the stress is gone, BUT, the  people around you will be feeling shattered.  An explanation about your AS and stress will help them understand.  As long as you do not hurt people or do any damage, the other students will find it less daunting when they understand.

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