Navigating Ramadan with Your Flatmates: A Guide for University Students

  |     |   Health & Wellbeing

Living with flatmates throughout Ramadan can be an exciting and also challenging time, whether you are celebrating the period yourself or simply helping those who are. As students that share our living spaces, its essential that we create and foster an inclusive environment for everyone. If you are unfamiliar with Ramadan, this guide will help you to understand the importance of this month, the opportunity it provides for us to strengthen friendships and how it can broaden our horizons to exciting new cultures.

1. Respect and Understanding

Respect towards each other’s beliefs and background is essential for maintaining harmony between yourself and your fellow residents. If your flatmates are practicing Ramadan, you may find that they are fasting from food and drinks for long periods throughout the day. Taking care to avoid eating and drinking around those celebrating Ramadan can be an excellent way to show your respect and understanding of their beliefs. 

Ramadan Meal in the Evening

2. Stay Connected

Ramadan can be a testing time for those that celebrate it due to long periods of fasting and the intense sacrifice it requires. Make sure you speak to one another about your feelings and offer encouragement whenever you notice someone feeling down. Simple gestures like catching up over a walk around town and giving small gifts can really help to boost each other’s mood. 

3. Accommodate Mealtimes

During the period of Ramadan, you may find that your flatmates eat meals early in the morning (Suhoor) and in the evening after sunset (Iftar) which often means that they might be eating alone. By offering to join in during one of these meals, we can help to keep each other company while creating a more inclusive environment. We can also try our best to coordinate our use of the shared spaces around Suhoor and Iftar to make sure everyone’s needs are accounted for.

Ramadan Meal with friends


4. Foster an Inclusive Environment

If you are unfamiliar with Ramadan and its significance, feel free to speak with others. This can be a great way to socialise and show compassion while allowing others to feel included. The more we chat to each other, the more we understand each other’s feelings, challenges and beliefs while also building our understanding of other cultures. By taking this interest in our colleagues, it’s more likely that they will be respectful towards your own beliefs and values. 

5. Offer Assistance

If you have some spare time, helping each other with household tasks and challenges can be a great way to show your support and build relationships with your flatmates. Whether it’s helping with the cooking and cleaning for Suhoor and Iftar or any other household tasks, we can always strive to support one another. This is especially true during exam and assessment periods as many students can feel stressed and overwhelmed in these times.

6. Be Mindful of Social Gatherings

Throughout Ramadan, some residents may use the evenings for prayer. As flatmates, it’s important that we consider this, particularly when planning social events that can lead to excessive noise. By working together and coordinating our shared spaces, we can reduce any disturbances to each another. If you are sharing a space with someone that celebrates Ramadan and you don’t want to sacrifice your own social life, you can consider meeting with friends in public places or at their accommodation instead. 

7. Celebrate Diversity & embrace other cultures

At fresh we’re proud to look after residents from so many cultures, backgrounds and beliefs. We believe that our diversity is special, and it should be celebrated. With so many religious and cultural festivals throughout the year, there is endless opportunities to learn about cultures from all over the world. Take this opportunity during Ramadan to explore aspects of Islamic culture, experience traditional Ramadan dishes and broaden our horizons to other walks of life.

We hope that this guide has helped you to understand the significance of Ramadan for those that practice it and the opportunity the celebration presents for us to learn and embrace other cultures. Remember, Ramadan is more than just fasting, it’s an integral part of Islamic culture that encourages compassion and solidarity. It’s essential that we take steps to accommodate everyone whilst living in such a diverse community and we hope that these steps will help you to connect with your flatmates and build stronger friendships with one another.   

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