Living with roommates is not all rainbows and sunshine. Here are some tips to make living with roommates better even on your worse days.
1) Clear Communication from the Get-Go: As roommates, you’ll be sharing a small space for a long time, and you’ll need to respect each other’s needs and preferences. What do you know about yourself already? Maybe you expect things to be cleaner than your roommate does. Maybe you like to play music while you study, but your roommate can’t concentrate with it on. Maybe you need some quiet time each morning before starting your day. Don’t assume that your roommate will just figure all this out; communicate these needs, preferences, and expectations as soon as possible! This will save you both a lot of conflict.
2) Your Roommate’s Stuff is Your Roommate’s Stuff: It seems obvious, but this is probably the most common problem that arises between roommates. Don’t just assume he won’t mind if you finish off his leftovers; he probably will. Always ask for permission before borrowing or using anything that belongs to your roommate!
3) Be Cautious About Inviting People Over: You might be an extroverted socialite who thrives in a group, but that might not be true of your roommate. Your roommate may need some quiet time to study, and bringing a group of friends or classmates into your room may be very irritating. Perhaps you can alternate who gets the room and who goes to the library. Talk to your roommate about this, and make sure you don’t overstep any boundaries when inviting others over.
4) Lock Up: Imagine your roommate steps out for a moment to grab a snack, and forgets to lock the door. You come home to find your laptop and stereo have vanished mysteriously. How do you think you’ll feel about your roommate after that? Locking the doors and windows is important for keeping you and your property safe. Remember: it’s not just your own stuff that you’re protecting, it’s your roommate’s as well.
5) You Might Not Be BEST Friends, and That’s Okay: Be pleasant and friendly with your roommate, but respect each other’s space. Trying to force a best-friend relationship will only cause strain and discomfort for both of you. Be friendly, but make sure you each have your own life and your own social circles.