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Etiquette and Tips for Living in Student Halls of Residence

If you are living in halls of residence, then it is important to understand that there will be etiquette rules that you need to consider. It is likely that you and most of the others will have moved out of home for the first time meaning that most of you will not be used to sharing with strangers. You will therefore need to realise that you may need to be more considerate but also more understanding of others as you can get away with different behaviour when you are with family.


You need to consider that any noise that you make is likely to be overheard. So when you are playing music, chatting and laughing with others or just walking along corridors and upstairs, consider how loud you are being. In the day time people may be trying to study and in the evenings and nights they will be sleeping and so you need to think about this. You may also need to get used to the noise levels yourself. If you are used to a quiet home then you may have rather a shock at how loud it might be. It may even be tempting to be extra loud just because everyone else is inconsiderate, but if everyone does this it will just be unbearably loud and it is always wise to set a good example and others may follow.

Shared Bathrooms

Although most people will be used to sharing bathrooms with their family, sharing with strangers is a different matter altogether. You may not bother to clean up after you have used the bathroom and relied on others to pick up your towel, clean the ring off the bath and wash the scum off the shower door. When you are sharing with others, you need to do all this so that it is left clean for the next person. You may find that when you go in, it is not that clean, but that is no reason to leave it nasty when you leave. If you clean it up before you use it, then make sure it is clean when you finish too and you may find that other people will start to do the same thing as well.

Shared Kitchens

Kitchens can have the same problems as bathrooms in that when lots of people are sharing there can be a build-up of mess. It can be really annoying when you see everyone else’s mess and you may not feel like clearing it up. However, still make sure that you clear up after yourself. Do not leave dirty things lying around; you will only regret it when you cannot find anything clean. If you put food in the shared fridge you may need to label it and do not leave too much as it may just get taken by someone else.

Laundry Room

You will find that there is a communal laundry room where you can wash and dry your clothing. These can get quite crowded so you may want to find a quiet time to use it, perhaps early in the morning on the weekend. You can leave your things, but if the cycle finishes before you return, you may find that someone has removed your items so that they can use your machine and they may just dump them on the floor. Therefore it may be best to sit with them, perhaps reading a book. You will usually need token or coins to operate the machines, so make sure that you have lots before you start.

Lock your doors

Most of us do not normally lock our bedroom doors, but in halls of residence it is wise to do so. If you nip out to the bathroom or kitchen or pop in to a neighbour’s room, then lock the door. It is always a possibility that someone may pop in a steal things while you are not there. Although it is not nice to not trust people, it is always wise to be cautious. If you have left things unlocked, then you will not be able to claim on your insurance and if you lose a laptop or phone, it could be a big expense to replace them that you may not be able to afford.

Be Tolerant

It can sometimes be difficult living with so many other people that you do not know. You will need to be tolerant of bad habits, mess and dirt as well as noise and bad behaviour. Many people will not be used to this freedom of being away for home and will take advantage of it without thinking of others. It is wise to tolerate this and not get angry if people’s behaviour upsets you as it will just make living with them unpleasant. It is also wise to remember that your behaviour might be different to what others are used to as well and they might actually have to tolerate you too.