Seven ways to deal with your housemates during deadline season as a Notts student

Because the deadlines themselves are a struggle enough

Nobody likes deadline season. Whether you’ve got exams, coursework, practicals or a combination of the above, stress is bound to be at an all-time high. In Notts, most students tend to live in accommodation in first year, or in houses from second year onwards. Therefore, pretty much everyone has to share their space to some degree, but when stressed people share their spaces, it can lead to more tension as people have a shorter tether (at least that’s what I’m like). Here are some tips to help keep the harmony.

1. Set boundaries

This shouldn’t have to be said, but setting boundaries is an immediate way to make sure you live harmoniously. Letting your housemates know about any deadlines you have, or asking them to try and leave you to your work during certain hours of the day is a sure way to maintain some mental peace. If you study in a common space in the house, of course your boundaries will have to be different- it is hard to expect silence in the kitchen all hours of the day. But simple boundaries are definitely important so you can get your work done without drama.

2. Be respectful of others

Naturally, these boundaries go both ways. If your housemate has a 9am exam the next morning, you need to make sure to be nice and not stomp around until 3am. Different degrees will have very different schedules, with some people having zero exams and some people solely having exams, so you need to respect people with different schedules. If you don’t give respect, you won’t get it back.

3. Respect your space

“Tidy space, tidy mind”. In a shared kitchen, the stress and busyness of deadline season can mean a buildup of mess, especially when it’s coming from multiple people. Keeping it clean is a simple way to keep it nice for all of you. Make sure you are being respectful and keeping your things clean, clearing up after yourself if you’ve made a mess, and just keeping things generally put together.

On the flip side, make sure not to get on at other people if they aren’t so good at this. Nagging your already stressed flatmates gets you absolutely nowhere, so if you are asking them to tidy up, be gentle and respectful with it if you know they are trying. (Of course this doesn’t count as a tip if they are legitimately disgusting). I find when my bedroom is clean it is so much nicer to live in, especially when writing my essays in there for long periods of time.

4. Dedicate quality time to your housemates

An easy way to not feel isolated from your house, whilst also having space to do your work, is to intentionally spend time together. Blocking out time together- having dinner, going on a walk, even going to the library together can mean nobody feels isolated when you have to be alone when work is so vital.

5. See other people

It’s not me, it’s you! Actually, it is you. When you are taking a break from revision, try getting out of the house. Make sure to spend quality time with your housemates, but also with people outside of your house. Student houses aren’t renowned for spaciousness, so taking some space will be much needed. Getting out of the house is so important, especially if you study in your room, so why not do something fun with people you don’t always see.

My gorgeous friends from welcome week, for example.

6. Alone time is key

Living with other people, especially in a bigger house, can sometimes feel, well, a bit much. Spending time with friends can be a great way to relax and socialise, but it is also important to recharge in your own space. Whether it’s having a movie night alone, having a self care afternoon or just putting on your favourite podcast and going on a food shop. It doesn’t need to be for a long time, but ensuring you get alone time (outside of studying) is great when you need a recharge.

Wollaton park was my go-to place for alone time in first year!

7. Look after yourself, and others

Sometimes, stress takes its toll and people can struggle. Check in on your housemates and friends to ensure the stress isn’t too much, and also check in on yourself. If things get too much, there are plenty of resources provided by student services which you can make the most of so you can feel your best, and therefore do your best.

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