A friend became a flatmate

Story: Anni Pajari | Photo: Mari Mansikkamäki

Although most students these days want to live in their own studio apartment, after moving to Finland Maria Marouli wanted to live in shared apartments to get to know other students. She has already gained experience from several apartments and new flatmates. However, she knew her current roommate Myrto Kyriazopoulou already before they became flatmates: she was one of the first new people Maria got to know in Jyväskylä.

“It was easy to move in with a person I already knew. We clicked right away, and we share the same values. We are both open and accept each other’s ways. Finally, I have a feeling that I can really call my apartment a home”, Maria says.

Myrto, on the other hand, has lived in a studio apartment before, but says she is happy to have a flatmate, especially during these exceptional times.

“I miss the normal student life on campus, meeting people and having everyday conversations with other students”, Myrto explains.

New ways of being together

Maria Marouli moved to Finland in August 2020, so she has no experience of the student life in Jyväskylä before the corona pandemic. At the moment, there are no lectures on campus, no events and thus no encounters with other students.

According to Maria, having her own small group of friends helps, and friendships have only grown deeper during the exceptional circumstances. Myrto also describes herself as a very social person.

“The situation has affected me a lot. Group activities have always been very important to me, and now I’ve had to come up with new hobbies and pastime activities by myself”, she explains.

Students have tried to find alternative ways to get together. When the restrictions allow, they have met in small groups and organized remote game nights, for example.

Relaxing with the flatmate

After moving to Finland, Maria lived in another landlord’s apartment for a month, but soon she wanted to apply for an apartment in the Kortepohja Student Village. She was particularly attracted by the nature and the free services for tenants: common areas and study facilities, a restaurant, a gym and the great location close to services and the university.

“When I wanted to change apartments inside the Village, the whole moving process took four days. The service was flexible, and I felt that the needs of the tenants are really taken care of.”

Maria has both good and bad experiences of living with a roommate. When living under one roof with a person you don’t know yet, one must challenge their own perceptions and learn to be flexible and adaptable. Maria believes that these characteristics will become useful also later in life.

“Problems can come up if people are not used to this lifestyle. Patience, good attitude, and an open mind make living together smoother. Genuine respect and interest in the flatmate’s culture go a long way.”

Maria Marouli

The text has been previously published in tenant magazine Kylä 1 / 2021.

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