When you’re living with other people, be it at university or otherwise, it can be… frustrating. People have different schedules, different habits, and all of them suddenly affect you. What you thought was a fun quirk that your friend had, now means you have to hear them whistle whenever they shower at 3 am. To help survive this, one of the most important things to learn is how to tell your flatmates to be quiet at uni, and luckily for you, we’ve got some tips.
1. Just ask
Sometimes, people aren’t actually aware of how noisy they are. If you have a flatmate that you’re relatively comfortable talking to, and they’re being a bit noisy, you can try just asking them. Head over to their room, knock on the door and just ask if they could turn the TV/music down, or lower their voices. A lot of the time, if you’re on good terms, this does the trick.
2. Post in the group chat
If you’re not as comfy with your flatmates, or perhaps don’t want to directly call out one of your flatmates, or maybe you’re not even sure who is making the noise – the group chat is your hero. Every flat has one, from halls to third year, even MA and PhD students have flat group chats. Just pop a little message into the chat saying “Hey guys! Could whoever is INSERT ANNOYING NOISY THING HERE please keep it down a little? Thanks!”. And voila, problem solved. Or at least, the problem may be solved. If, after that, they still don’t shut up, keep reading for more tips.
3. Don’t wait too long
As soon as your flatmate starts being too loud, do something about it. Otherwise, you’ll get all this pent up frustration, and what could be a simple WhatsApp message or chat in the hall turns into a passive-aggressive brawl between two housemates. Definitely worth avoiding. Talk now, you’ll thank us later.
4. Bring it up at a convenient and neutral time
Whilst you shouldn’t wait too long to tell your flatmate that they’re being too loud, you also don’t want to bring it up at a poor time. For example, if you go to check on them and the reason they’re blasting My Chemical Romance at the top of their speaker volume is that their Nanna passed away, maybe don’t ask them to be quiet. Likewise, if you bring it up in an argument, that’s a sure-fire way to get them to be louder if anything.
5. Don’t be ridiculous
If you’re going to all the effort of complaining to your flatmate about their noise levels, make sure you’re being reasonable. Don’t tell them they were clattering the pans too late last night if ‘too late’ is 6 pm, or that on a Saturday night they and their friends were laughing together until 11 pm, and that’s not okay. You’re at university, you’re all adults, and whilst your schedules might clash, you’ve still all got to live and enjoy yourselves under one roof. So don’t be ridiculous.
6. Don’t involve other flatmates
Unless both you and another flatmate have an issue, try to avoid ganging up on the noisy one. Even if there’s a few of you who agree, designate a person to speak up about it. Otherwise, you risk alienating the person you’re asking to change and that is not conducive to a positive outcome!
7. Sprinkle a little guilt
Rather than “I’m angry because you’re noisy”, try to approach this as “I’m not doing so well at uni or work because of the lack of sleep I’m getting… Could we try to keep the noise down after 11 pm?”. This turns it from being a ‘you’re doing something wrong’ to ‘I just need your help’, and people generally respond better to the latter.