Sharing with flat mates can be difficult for any student. However, sharing during lockdown can throw in obstacles you never even thought about. With not much escape if things go wrong, as most classes are online, it is even more important to try and befriend those who are in your lockdown bubble.
In this article we have compiled a list of ideas on how to bond with your flatmates; creating unforgettable moments and life-long friendships (hopefully).
If you have a sitting area where you can gather around and watch a favourite film then that’s great. Grab some snacks, some fluffy blankets and cosy down for a Movie Night In. But what movie do you watch? This is quite possibly going to be the most difficult question and could potentially cause some debate; there is nothing worse than someone insulting your favourite movie. Pick something safe and enjoyable for all. A PG or 12 is usually best, to avoid areas of embarrassment. Choose something safe and simple, like ‘MAMMA MIA!’ or ‘Shrek’, for the first night and then you can get to know each other's interests and choose different films from then on.
Board Games are a good way to spend a night in, especially during Winter. Though, things can get heated during the games so choose something where there is not going to be any sore-losers. The old-fashioned classics, like ‘Snakes and Ladders’ and ‘TiddlyWinks’, have easy rules but also there is no chance of heated debate. Avoid Monopoly at all costs!
If you have a Wii, or some other technological device, then JustDance is a great option, bound to get the group giggling.
If you are sharing a flat with friends, or even strangers, try and cook together once a week. You are bound to all have different recipes that you love, so take turns to teach each other how to make them. This is a great way to learn about each other’s cultures and backgrounds. You can even make it a weekly tradition! Perhaps a Sunday evening supper? Set the table with some nice tableware, play some music and chat about your week.
Go Out and Explore
As a flat, go somewhere that is nearby for a walk. If you are an RGU Student, there is the River Dee and Aberdeen Beach which are popular amongst students. This is a fantastic way to get to know your flatmates, break up your week and also get to know more about the area that you are living in. If it’s nice weather you can always pack a picnic blanket and a picnic. This will give you a break but also a good chance to have a chat and make some memories with one another.
A Cup of Tea
It may sound simple but you can always just reach out for a cup of tea and a chat (it obviously can be another drink, of course- whatever you like). If you can, get some delicious bakes in (even just donuts are enough) and ask your flatmates if they would like to have a chat about their week. We are all human, and if you say you are homesick the likelihood is that they will chat with you no bother. Alternatively, why not bake the treats together beforehand and then chat whilst you make and eat them?
Overall, there are lots of exciting ways to get to know your flatmates more. Once you have done a couple of activities together, it gets easier and you will become great friends. A lot of the time, they are just as homesick and nervous as you, so just reach out with an activity suggestion and see what happens.
For those who are struggling, especially with their mental health, please reach out to either the Union or a lecturer. We are all here to support you and you are not on your own. Don’t struggle in silence.