How to create a successful collective

Some advice to help you enjoy your time in our student home.

Dear resident! We hope you start to feel comfortable in your student home. Here are some good advice to help you enjoy your time here, and some information on where to find answers to anything you may wonder.

Talk about limits in advance

Do you live with others? Arrange a meeting and talk through the following things:

  • What does it mean to be a good roommate?
  • Is it ok to borrow things without asking?
  • What about parties and gatherings?
  • Kitchen routines / cleaning routines

Let everyone speak, and come up with a solution that works for everyone. 

  • Why? ‒ Because people grew up with different routines and have different boundaries for what is okay and what is not. For some it may be natural to borrow things without asking, while others are used to keeping their stuff to themselves. Talk about these things in advance so you know what the others tolerate.

  • Ask ‒ Rather once too much than once too little. Most things are solved with a simple question, and your roomates will probably appreciate it. Not everyone likes to lend you their private things, and it is nice to ask to prevent anyone from getting annoyed. Feel free to share and show generosity. There is a good chance that others will imitate you.

  • Talk about it ... Communication is the source of all good. Try not to get annoyed over things, try to avoid a huge explosion by talking calmly about it. If you feel your mind start to bubble, take a few minutes to calm down before talking to the person in question. You rarely get anywhere with anger.

  • ... but let things go. Really, try to let small things go. Choose your fights. And if you first bring things up, bring them up in a proper way, and make sure you leave the room feeling ok.

  • Some rules are nice to have though. 
    If you have a common set of rules it is easier to solve conflicts in the long run. Example: Make cleaning routines where you share the work. Use a checklist to keep track of who did what.

  • Common project 
    A common project can also strengthen the community feeling. Examples:
    • Save all the money from recycling bottles and use them on a common pizza night on a Saturday.
    • If this suits you: arrange a common cleaning day once a week. Play some music, clean for an hour or so, and finish with a coffee break.
    • The most important is to do something that everyone can take part in. It doesn`t have to be a huge event, just a setting that easily lets you talk about other things than duties and tasks.

  • Put private stuff in your room
    If you don`t want anyone to borrow it, put it in your room. It's harder to keep track of who owns what in the common areas, so if you do not want anyone to borrow it, put it away.

  • Invite!
    Are you hosting a party or gathering? Consider inviting your roommates along! They are guaranteed to be happy about it. It is a common student home, and the atmosphere will be better if you help making everyone feel welcome in their own home.

  • Joint dinner
    Try to do something nice together once in a while. You are almonst like a small family for a while now. Your everyday will be much easier if you all get along, and to have a joint dinner during the week can do a lot for the community feeling.

  • Be generous
    Living with other people can be challenging. Not everyone shares your perception of what is okay and what`s not. So talk about it, make agreements, and be generous. It will be much nicer.

Reach out to Studentinord

In our housing guide, you will find contact information and important information for those who live in our student homes. We encourage you to rather ask once too much than once too little.

The conflict stairs

The conflict stairs can be a useful tool for understanding conflicts. It highlights the different levels of conflict and illustrates how conflict can develop from a small disagreement to hostility. At each step there is the possibility of either going up or down the stairs.

Siv Hilde Meen
Fotograf Karoline O. A. Pettersen
Student are talking