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College Roommate Tips

The Ultimate New Apartment Checklist

By Alicia Geigel

Let’s face it guys, getting your first apartment is a big deal. Whether you are paying for it completely on your own or getting help from your parents, having a real place with a roommate or two is one of the first ways to officially categorize yourself as an adult. After all, whether you moved out of your parents’ house or moved out of a dorm, having an apartment is a completely different ballgame.

The responsibilities of living in an apartment are completely different than living at home or in a dorm. While being at home or in a dorm requires a certain amount of independence, having a place to yourself (even if you’re living with roommates) in an apartment requires more of you as there are a variety of things to manage.

Living in an apartment for the first time is a beautiful and eye-opening experience that comes with great freedom and great responsibility. When planning a move into an apartment for the first time, keeping track everything and determining what to have in your place can become overwhelming. If you are about to move into an apartment and need some help, this comprehensive guide will help you figure out everything you need from the living room to the kitchen!

 

 

What to Do Before Moving In:

Moving into a new apartment isn’t exclusively about the cost of rent or what your electric bill will be. There’s a lot to take into consideration as well as what to stay on top of. For one, create a budget detailing the costs of moving in, including deposits, moving costs, purchasing items for the apartment, etc. to give you an idea of what money you need. Additionally, here are a few more things to do to ensure your space is ready to move in!

○      Change the locks

○      Check for bugs and rodents/call an exterminator: Before you do all the work to move in furniture, be sure to check for creepy crawlers and rodents. You don’t want to have to go through the hassle of moving everything again if an exterminator needs to come out!

○      Design the layout of your space: Measure the square footage of the area and try to come up with a general idea of where you think your furniture will go. This will make things a lot easier and less overwhelming once you start the physical part of the move.

○      Get your multi-plugs figured out: A blogpost by Unpackt notes the importance of this, writing to, "attach multi-plugs to power outlets in the areas you will need them before your stuff gets in the way."

○      Clean, Clean, Clean!

When You Move In

Now that your move-in day has come and the process is happening, it's easy to get lost in the chaos of unpacking and figuring out what to do with all of the stuff you’ve accumulated. Before you dump out all of your boxes and plop of the couch to take a power nap, there are a few things that can make your life easier!

○      Document Your Space: Before you fill up the apartment with your items, be sure to document the condition of the space first. Adrienne Breaux of Apartment Therapy writes, “If your landlord has asked you to fill out a condition report, do it as soon as you’re able to, and follow their instructions on whether you’re to drop it off to them or send a digital file, and include photos if you can. Also, make plenty of notes and photos to keep yourself.”

○      Put your boxes in their corresponding rooms

○      Introduce yourself to neighbors

○      Work on one room at a time

Furniture

When moving into your first apartment, you may be compelled to want to get the best furniture that’s out there. Luxury style couches, recliners, and other nice furniture may come across your mind as things you need to have in order to have a nice apartment- but that couldn’t be further from the truth! You don’t have to spend a fortune on furniture for your apartment to be both stylish and comfortable. Rather, you can save a lot of your money and make the process of getting furniture a lot smoother in the process.

There are a few ways you can get furniture on a budget, like getting older and unwanted items from friends or family, for instance! A lot of times, people like to get rid of furniture they have been holding onto for years, and this is a perfect opportunity for you to see if there’s anything you could possibly use! Couches, chairs, tables, desks, dressers, bed frames, etc. that people get rid of are all things that you could use in your new place. Additionally, getting used furniture at a store like Goodwill or even at a local yard sale is a great option because the prices are cheap and affordable.

For the Living Room

The living room is perhaps one of the most important, if not the most important, areas of your apartment. It is the common area where you will most likely spend most of your time or where your guests will congregate when you’re hosting a party. If you’re moving into an apartment on your own for the first time, you definitely won’t have loads of money to spend on an expensive coffee table or luxury wrap-around couch, and that’s ok! As stated earlier, you don’t have to splurge for your place to look nice and put together, all it takes are the right items that can make for the right feng shui. For your living room/area, these items can give you both functionality and balance.

●      Couch: A necessary item for seating not only yourself but any guests who come over!

●      Coffee Table: A coffee table is nice, but not necessary, to put small items like plants, the remote, or drinks on!

●      Lounge Chair(s): When the couch is taken up, an extra lounge chair can help seat an extra person.

●      Floor Lamp: If you have overhead lights, sometimes a floor lamp can provide more warm and cozy lighting!

●      Table lamps: Similar to floor lamps, table lamps are both decorative and functional.

●      Bookshelf: Are you a bookworm? Perhaps a collector of old VHS tapes? A bookshelf is perfect to not only have a place for these items but also to show them as well!

●      TV, with stand or fixtures to hang on the wall: Not everyone has a TV in the living room, but it’s definitely great to have when you don’t feel like being in your bedroom or if you want to have a group movie night at your place.

●      Desk and Chair: The open area of a living room is the perfect place for a mini-office set up with a desk and chair.

●      Alternative seating: When you don’t have a lot of money to spend on chairs, alternative seating like bean bags or couch cushions can do the trick!

 

For the Kitchen

Some of us love to spend our lives in the kitchen, baking and cooking all kinds of recipes, while others stay as far away from the kitchen as possible. Whether or not you have a good relationship with your kitchen, you need it to serve a functional purpose in your home. Even if you eat ramen noodles every day, there are still basic, necessary items you need to have! You don’t need to have everything on this list, and you can continue to stock up and grow what you have in the future!

○      Pots and Pans: A large frying pan, a medium and a large pan are perfect for just starting out.

○      Dishes: No need to go crazy on dishes, a set of four (two plates, two bowls) is great.

○      Flatware Set: Include forks, spoons and butter knives.

○      Drinking Glasses: Four is fine!

○      Mug: For those days when you need a hot cup of tea or want to enjoy some coffee. I suggest having two or three!

○      Coffee Maker: How can us adults function without some coffee?

○      Crockpot: Not necessary, but it can come in handy for busy days/weeks in preparing meals that can last a few days! You can get a crockpot for less than $20 at Walmart.

○      Microwave

○      Measuring Cups and spoons

○      Cutting Board

○      Knife set

○      Cooking Utensils

○      Baking Sheet

○      Oven Safe Dish

○      Oven Mits

○      Dish Towels

○      Dish Drying Rack

○      Garbage Can

Remember that you don’t need to spend a ton of money on fancy, high-quality dishes or a set of pots and pans. Goodwill is an excellent option to get several of these items, as well as places like Walmart or Ikea!

For the Bathroom

Unlike the living room, you probably won’t be spending most of your time in your bathroom (at least, I hope not)! While your bathroom isn’t a highlight of your new apartment, you will definitely use it, as will guests, so it's important to have some essentials for both functionality and comfortability. You don’t have to get all of these items right away, but its good to have a guide to evaluate what you need now versus what can wait!

○      Shower curtain and liner

○      Bath mat

○      Bath Towels

○      Hand towels

○      Hand soap

○      Trash can

○      Plunger, toilet brush, toilet cleaner

○      Mirror

○      Storage containers

○      Toilet Paper

○      Toothbrush/toothbrush holder

○      Toiletries (deodorant, hairbrush, perfume, face/body wash, etc.)

For the Bedroom

The bedroom is the space you can call your own at the end of the day when you’re settled after work or when everyone leaves after a weekend party. It’s your own little getaway, so it's important to have the essentials, but also indulge a little bit if you can.

○      Mattress: Like I said, if you can indulge a little bit, go ahead and get yourself a comfortable mattress because sleep is a coveted necessity in adult life. If you have a tight budget, a futon or an air mattress is cool too!

○      Sheets

○      Pillow

○      Comforter/Blankets

○      Lamp

○      Storage, such as a dresser, under the bed containers, or plastic organizers

○      Hangers

○      Hamper

○      Trash can

○      Mirror

○      Nightstand

Cleaning Supplies

As much as some of us wish we could avoid it, cleaning your apartment is necessary for your health and cleanliness. Some people like to go all out, scrub their floors every day, spray the countertop every hour, etc., while others are a bit more laid back about the upkeep of their apartment. Regardless, you’re going to clean your space at some point, and in which case, you’ll need some supplies to help get the job done.

○      Vacuum

○      Broom and dustpan

○      Feather duster

○      A mop of some sort, the Swiffer Sweeper is great!

○      Disinfectant wipes

○      Laundry detergent

○      Sponges

○      Paper towels

○      Dish soap

○      Bathtub/tile cleaner

○      Rubber gloves

○      Trash bags

Miscellaneous

Yes, there’s a category in this list for stuff that doesn’t have a designated space. Sometimes there are little things here and there that aren’t super important, but you know you’ll be lost without them.

●      Flashlight

●      Batteries

●      First aid kit

●      Extension cords

●      Light bulbs

●      Lighter

●      Pen, paper, to-do list

●      Phone Chargers

●      Electronics chargers

●      Internet Plan

Food

When moving into your apartment, the first thing on your mind is usually getting all of your furniture and necessities into the place, like couches and bedroom sets, tables and lamps, etc. But once all of that is done, you don’t want to be left with no food in your apartment and an empty kitchen! Though it seems obvious, it can be easy to forget that you need to stock up on food to have in your apartment as well as with everything else! Here are some items you need:

●      Rice

●      Bread

●      Flour

●      Sugar

●      Coffee/Tea

●      Cereal

●      Oatmeal

●      Pasta

●      Nut Butter

●      Condiments like ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise

●      Cooking Oil

●      Butter

●      Canned vegetables

●      Canned fruit

●      Pasta sauce

●      Spices like salt, pepper, etc.

●      Snacks like chips, cookies, etc.

●      Milk

●      Cheese

●      Eggs

Living in an apartment with a roommate for the first time takes a great deal of responsibility, but you also get to learn a lot about yourself along the way. Though they may seem silly now, you will look back at this whole experience, especially all of your “firsts” and remember how well you did on your own for the first time and the great memories that came from them. During the move-in process, remember to ask for help when you need it and coordinate with your roommate, using this checklist as a guide to help you along the way. As always, good luck!


How to Coordinate Furniture and Décor with Roommates

By Brittany Loeffler

 

It’s exciting moving into a new place with roommates, especially when it comes to decorating your new home. Not only do you have more options for décor and furniture to choose from, but you also get to plan out the vibe your space will give off with your roommates. Before moving into your new apartment, it’s important to get together with your roommates and coordinate what you already have, what you need to get, and how you will decorate your new home.

 

 

Pick a Theme

The first thing you and your roommates should do to coordinate furniture and décor is to pick a theme for the common areas. It’s best to pick a neutral palette so it is easy to find furniture and decorations that will all go together. You can choose to add a splash of color here and there to pull the room together.

A theme doesn’t always have to be a color palette, though. You can choose to have an actual theme such as your school’s mascot and logo or a shared topic you and your roommates absolutely love. This allows you to get creative and have fun decorating your new home.

Make a Checklist

To stay organized while coordinating furniture and décor with roommates, it’s helpful to have a checklist of who is bringing what items. The best way to coordinate is through Google Drive or another cloud-based program so you and your roommates can update the checklist in real-time and you will all be on the same page.

Creating a checklist will also keep you and your roommates from bringing duplicates of items, such as area rugs, televisions, coffee tables, etc. With a checklist, you’ll be organized and know exactly who is bringing what.

Be Flexible

Living with roommates can mean you have to compromise a lot. It’s important to go into coordinating furniture and décor with an open mind when it comes to working with your roommates. You may have a completely different vision than your roommates. Sit down with your roommates and talk about how you envision your new home looking. Listen to what they have to say as well and work together to create a vision that everyone approves of.

Sometimes, you may have to give in to certain things that you do not approve of. However, to keep the peace and a good relationship with your roommates, it’s worth it.

Go Shopping Together

If you and your roommates live near each other, spend a weekend going shopping for items for your new apartment. This will help you get excited for moving into your new home and you can talk about the items with your roommate before purchasing them.

If you do not live in the same area, create wish lists on Amazon or add links to your checklist. This allows you and your roommates to have input on what is being purchased for the apartment.

Set a Budget

It’s important to set a budget when it comes to buying furniture and decorations for your apartment. It’s easy to get carried away with buying things that catch your eye. If you are on a tight budget, don’t be afraid to ask family members if they have any furniture they are looking to get rid of. While it may not be the most attractive pieces, you can always find ways to make them match your desired theme. For example, buying a couch cover is much more affordable than buying a brand-new couch.

When purchasing items for the apartment with your roommates, make sure to talk about who will have it when you all move out. Sometimes it is easier for someone to buy one item and the other person to buy another item so that it does not get complicated when it’s time to move.

Make the Space Comfortable

The one thing that makes a house feel like home is comfort. You don’t want to create a space where you and your roommates feel uncomfortable, whether it’s the furniture or atmosphere. So, work together with your roommates to make your new home comfortable for everyone. Since you will be living there for quite some time, you will want to be able to walk into your house and feel relaxed and comfortable.

Coordinating Furniture and Décor with Roommates

Coordinating furniture and décor may be the ultimate test when it comes to living with roommates. Create a space that is comfortable for everyone and work together to decorate it by going shopping together and creating checklists to stay organized. You’ll have to plan out who is bringing which items, talk about themes, and make inevitable compromises. Just remember that no piece of furniture is worth fighting over and ruining your relationship with your roommates so early on into your lease.


Before and After Feelings About Your Freshman Year Roommate

By Kailey Walters

 

Another academic year has come and gone, and with that often comes reflections of all that transpired. Particularly if you’ve just finished your freshman year of college, you’re probably looking back on everything that happened this past year, comparing your feelings and first impressions to your current feelings on the classes you took, the friends you made, and even your roommate.

After all, your freshman year roommate is someone special in many regards. Even if you won’t be rooming with the same person come next fall, there are some things you can’t help but reminisce over now that freshman year has come to a close. Read on for some before and after feelings that you may have experienced at some point relating to your freshman year roommate.

 

 

Before: You can learn everything about your roommate on social media before you meet them in person. After all, their pictures and announcements of what they’ve done in the past do a pretty good job of showing who they are, right?

After: By the end of the year (and hopefully well before it), you’ll realize that social media doesn’t paint a complete picture of who your roommate truly is. If you take the chance to get to know them, you’ll discover that your roommate is so much more than just their photos on Instagram or the posts they wrote on Twitter several years ago.

 

Before: There won’t be any conflicts or disagreements between the two of you.

After: You may end up getting along perfectly fine with your roommate, but there are still bound to be some bumps in the road. Maybe you two have drastically different schedules and sleep habits, which can potentially lead to conflict (e.g. if one of you consistently stays up until 3 a.m. while the other person is trying to get some shut-eye). Or perhaps one of you prefers listening to music while studying, and the other person can’t stand it. Thankfully, those minor disagreements can turn into valuable lessons that help you and your roommate figure out how to compromise. By the end of the year, you can hopefully look back on the dynamic between you and your roommate and realize that you were able to turn potential conflict into opportunities for growth and communication.

 

Before: Getting along with your roommate will be a piece of cake.

After: In some situations, this may be true, especially if you and your roommate happen to click as soon as you meet each other. However, as with most interactions and relationships, getting along well with your roommate requires showing respect and sometimes compromising. It’s always important to listen to your roommate, be honest with him or her, and treat him or her with respect.

 

Before: Your roommate will be your best friend, and the two of you will stay up late having deep conversations about life, binge on Netflix and ice cream together, and share clothes all the time.

After: Your roommate, quite simply, may or may not be your best friend at the end of the year. It’s easy to go into college thinking that the person you’ll be living with will be your closest companion, but only time and circumstances can tell. In many cases, you and your roommate would probably get along reasonably well and even spend time hanging out and bonding, at least in the beginning. You may end up becoming friends, but not the closest of friends. In some cases, the two of you might not even get along very well. And, in other cases, you may actually become best friends. The beauty of looking at the year in retrospect is that you can look back on the development of your relationship with your roommate and appreciate it for how it turned out, regardless.

 

Before: You may expect that your roommate will be very similar to you, whether culturally, economically, socially, etc.

After: Your roommate could very well be similar to you in all those ways, and perhaps the likelihood of such similarities is greater depending on the location and type of college you attend. However, in some circumstances, your roommate could turn out to be very different from you or from what you expect. Maybe they are a different ethnicity than you and come from a cultural background that you consider foreign. They could have a different sexual orientation. Or they might even have been raised with a different background and values. Whatever it is, this is a chance to embrace and celebrate your roommate’s differences by accepting them and taking the opportunity to learn more about them.

No matter how you feel about your freshman year roommate then and now, remember that the time you do or don’t spend with them is a chance for growth in many ways.


Mistakes to Avoid When Transitioning from Living at Home to Living With Roommates

By Alyssa Laffitte


Living at home with your family is one thing, and living with a roommate is another. Both have their pros and cons, but they are undoubtedly different. For many people, when they start college, they make the transition from living at home to living with a roommate. This adjustment can be challenging since the roommate relationship requires much more communication. In this article, we will discuss the mistakes students make when transitioning from living at home to living with roommates. Read on to learn about these mistakes and how to make sure you don’t make them!

 

 

Not cleaning up after yourself

Messiness is one of the worst qualities a roommate can have. This is especially true if the messiness extends to the common areas and is not limited to their individual room, since they will then need to deal with your mess, too. When you live at home, you can ask a family member to help you clean up. But on the other hand, you are usually (not always!) on your own when it comes to cleaning up after yourself. Your roommate will not be pleased to come home to a stack of your dirty dishes in the sink, your things scattered around the floor, or crumbs on the living room couch. Your roommate will not be happy with you if you do not clean up after yourself, and this can easily escalate to big roommate conflicts.

Instead, get into the habit of cleaning up after yourself. A good rule of thumb is to leave “no trace behind”. Make sure your place, especially the common areas that you share with your roommate, shows no trace that you cooked in the kitchen, ate at the dinner table, or snacked on the couch (come on, we all like to eat snacks and watch TV!).

Another way to deal with messes in your shared apartment is to split chores evenly. If you and your roommate create a chore assignment system, neither of you will have the entire burden of keeping the place clean individually. You and your roommate should consider creating a “chore wheel” or “chore chart” since this will make sure the chores are divided evenly and it will help you keep track of who is responsible for cleaning what. It might sound cheesy, but it will definitely get the job done. If you need some inspiration, do a quick search on Google, Instagram, or Pinterest for templates.

In short, do not make the mistake of not cleaning up after yourself when you live with a roommate, as this will surely irritate them. Instead, ensure that your place is clean, especially in the common areas you share.

 

Disrespecting your roommate’s possessions

Another mistake someone might make when transitioning from living at home to living with roommates is not respecting their roommate’s possessions. When you live at home, it’s easy to share different things with your family members. For example, it’s easy to share food and kitchen supplies with your family when you live at home. On the other hand, roommates don’t share as much. If you are used to sharing things, you might need to adjust to keeping things separate.

As roommates, you both need to respect each other’s possessions. Of course, there are some general rules, such as using someone else’s things without their permission. But there are more specifics, too. What do these specifics look like? Well, that depends on the set of roommates. One person might be completely fine with sharing things like clothes but not kitchen items, while someone else might be okay with sharing their kitchen items but not their clothes. Because these preferences vary depending on the person, you should have a serious, sit down, conversation with your roommate. During this time, discuss which possessions you will be willing to share and which are off-limits. Also, discuss if there are conditions to borrowing things. For example, do you need to ask every time before you borrow something? Are you only allowed to borrow clothes if you return them washed? Should you return things exactly where and how you found them? This conversation will prevent any misconceptions or miscommunications concerning sharing things.

Clearly, it is important to respect your roommate’s possessions, and for her to respect yours.

 

…Including their food…

Just as I mentioned in the previous point, it is easier to share things when you live at home with your family. However, when you have a roommate, you could decide to not share as many things with them. One particular type of possession you should discuss sharing (or not sharing) with your roommate is food. Your roommate might be fine with sharing her things with you, but not her food, and vice versa, so it is important to have a discussion with her about this. When you sit down with your roommate to discuss sharing or not sharing your items, ask her specifically which food items you two will be willing to share and what items are off-limits. You should also discuss whether you two will label with your names the foods you will not be willing to share since this will help prevent confusion.

In addition to respecting your roommate’s possessions, you should also respect their food. The best way to do this is to always ask if you can share.

 

…Or their privacy

Along the same lines, roommates need to respect each other’s privacy. Yes, the space is yours and you are allowed to feel at home there, but it belongs just as much to your roommate. They also deserve to feel safe and at home. For this reason, you and your roommate need to give each other privacy and space. This could mean making sure you lock the door all the time, giving them time alone at the apartment (everyone enjoys having the space to themselves for a little while), and limiting the number of guests (and the amount of time they spend at the apartment). Doing these things will keep you and your roommate comfortable and safe in your place. Not respecting your roommate’s privacy is a big mistake.

 

Having too many expectations

When you live at home, you know what to expect. However, when you are transitioning to living with a roommate, you might not know what to expect. Your roommate relationship might be strained if you or your roommate have unmet expectations of each other. For example, if you expect your roommate to be a night owl like you are, you might be disappointed to discover they need you to keep the noise level down after 10 p.m., or if you learn they are a neat freak when you are not. Clearly, these unmet expectations can be damaging, so it’s best to avoid them. The best way to avoid unmet expectations is by communicating effectively, which brings us to our next point…

 

 

 

Not communicating effectively…

As we said before, the best way to avoid unmet expectations is by communicating openly and asking questions. Here are some things you should communicate effectively about, in order to avoid unmet expectations.

●      Cleanliness- is your roommate a neat freak or messy? Or somewhere in between? It can be stressful if you two have different organizational preferences.

●      Having guests over- does your roommate plan to have people over or not? How often? Will they stay overnight? If not, how long will they stay? Either way is fine, just make sure you two are on the same page about this, since disagreements in this area can cause huge problems.

●      Daily schedules- are you a night owl or early bird? Will you need your roommate to keep the lights dimmed at night or keep their alarm quiet in the morning? If you and your roommate have conflicting schedules, you will need to coordinate and work things out, which is totally possible.

●      Sharing items- as we discussed earlier in the article, it’s critical to discuss which items can be shared and which are off-limits. Be sure to also discuss if there are any conditions for borrowing an item (such as an item of clothing can be borrowed if it will be washed before it is returned). Be sure to discuss sharing food, too.

●      Alone time in the apartment- again, everyone likes to have at least a little bit of alone time in their place. You can coordinate some time every week with your roommate for each of you to have even some alone time in the apartment. With this time, you can get some studying done.

●      Significant others- how long are significant others allowed to stay in the apartment? Will they be allowed to stay overnight? For how many days? Will you want privacy when significant others are over? If significant others overstay their welcome by remaining the apartment for days on end, your roommate will likely have a problem. It’s also not fair to your roommate to have an extra person who doesn’t pay rent staying over for a long time.

When you ask your roommate these questions, you have a better idea of what to expect when you live together. This will prevent disappointments, unmet expectations, and potentially big problems.

Additionally, it would be a good idea to write down the answers to these questions and turn it into a roommate agreement. A roommate agreement is a contract with some rules where you and your roommate agree to abide by. Of course, it is best to do to this at the beginning of your time living together, but it will still work later on in the roommate relationship.

 

…Especially about finances

One thing we didn’t mention is finances. Along with everything in the list above, you and your roommate should definitely discuss finances. More specifically, how will you split the bills? Who will be responsible for what, financially? This is an area in which you and your roommate absolutely must be on the same page. It’s also good for you both to know when each bill is due and about how much each bill will cost, so each of you can produce the right amount of money at the right time (and avoid late fees!). At home, you might not need to discuss finances in such detail, but with a roommate, it is essential to come to a financial agreement.

 

Being passive-aggressive

If you do encounter an issue with your roommate, you might be tempted to be passive-aggressive rather than facing the issue head-on, in person. Rather than leave a sticky note on the bathroom mirror, talk to your roommate in person about the issue. Be sure to catch them when they are available, not right when they are about to head out the door for the day or are studying.

 

Being difficult

When you live with another person, you need to be flexible. There is always a give and take, so do not be difficult with your roommate. This does not mean you should be a doormat, but try your best to work with your roommate. For example, let them borrow something if they ask. Honor their request if they ask you to turn down your music. If you are difficult with your roommate, the relationship will not be good. It is important to be flexible with your roommate, because one day, they will need to be flexible with you.

 

In conclusion, it is definitely a transition to go from living at home to living with a roommate. Still, it is a doable change that you can adapt to. As a roommate, you need to learn to communicate well, manage your expectations of each other, and respect each other’s possessions (including food). Living at home and living with a roommate are both great, they simply have their differences that we need to adjust to. If you follow the tips listed in this post, you will be able to avoid the mistakes students make when making this change. I wish you the best of luck in your transition from living at home to living with a roommate.

 


Things You Can Expect from Living with a Roommate

By Lorena Roberts

 

Living with a roommate, whether it's in college or afterward, means there are certain things you can expect to happen in your daily life. When you first move in with someone (or more than one someone), you'll be ecstatic. You're saving money on rent, you have someone to keep you company, and you dream about "family dinner night" and taking turns cooking for each other. You spend your Saturday mornings washing your dishes and vacuuming the floors, taking in all the niceness that having your place means. But about six weeks in, you'll begin to notice things that you didn't notice before. Six weeks into living with roommates, you'll begin to realize that you might be better off living by yourself.

 

1. Your level of cleanliness isn't their level of cleanliness.

Sure, you talked about how often you would clean. You discussed the idea of a "chore chart," where you switch off tasks like taking out the trash and vacuuming the living room. Maybe you even discussed permanent jobs: "I'll always do the cooking if you always wash the dishes."

But after six weeks of living with each other, your chore chart stops working and one of you starts dedicating more time and energy to the cleanliness of your apartment than the other. Suddenly, you're coming home from work every day to a sink full of dishes (though the dishwasher is empty and located right next to the sink). Your Saturday mornings go by quickly because they're filled with taking out the trash, Swiffer-ing the floors, and dusting the bookshelves. You want to have people over later, so you're cleaning up every nook and cranny, stocking the fridge with drinks, and rewinding the shared Netflix account to your favorite episode of "Friends."

You might be excited to live with a roommate -- and you very well should be. But give it about six weeks, and then you'll start realizing you're much cleaner than the person you chose to live with.

2. Lifestyles can vary drastically.

You're the type that gets up on Saturday mornings and is instantly productive. You want all of your laundry to be done by noon, the dishes to be washed and put away, and by the time you get home from the grocery store, you want to have a mental list of your dinner plans for the week.

Maybe you thought you chose your new roommate strategically, but then you find out that your lifestyles couldn't be more opposite. You've moved in with someone who sleeps in on Saturdays, staying up late partying with friends on your patio. The smell of their activities creeps through the vents and you're fuming with anger that they're keeping you awake. You had a Saturday morning plan that was productive, but they're ruining it by keeping you up until all hours of the night.

When you move in with a roommate, you can expect that your lifestyles won't be the same. Here's hoping you've picked someone who lives somewhat close to the way you do.

3. You can expect the unexpected.

Before you know it, there will be uninvited guests crashing on your couch, friends coming over to do their laundry, and sob stories about "finding the cutest puppy ever on the side of the road so they just had to have it." Within just a few weeks, you're living with an additional person and another dog, with practically no warning.

Living with roommates means you have to be ready for the unexpected -- at all times. You don't have any control over the behaviors of others, only your own. Therefore, anything is possible.

4. Your styles will clash.

Your idea of a calming living room is greenery and earthy tones, while your roommates want to throw in the trashiest couch they can find and hang mismatching tapestries on the walls. You might think you've found the right people to live with... until it comes to decorating the common areas.

You'll have to make some sacrifices. You might get to decorate the living room, but you'll have to give up control of the dining and kitchen decor. Living with roommates means being flexible and letting go of all your "ideals."

5. Game nights you didn't plan on.

When you live with other people, there are simply things you just cannot control. You might come home from a long day at work/school, only to find your living room filled with people you don't know -- drinking and playing card games like they're going out of style. On evenings when you simply want to relax, you can expect quite the opposite if you live with roommates.

You can avoid this by discussing nights that are "off limits" when you first move in together. Maybe you have a night class on Tuesdays, so you have to get your best rest on Monday nights. Therefore, Mondays are off-limits for having people over to the apartment. It's simply a discussion you'll have to have.

However, just because you've had the conversation doesn't mean your roommates will respect it. Expect to come home to company and a completely filled living room on your hardest nights -- because surely, at some point, it'll happen.

6. Your food will be eaten and your detergent will be used.

Regardless of how many conversations you have about respecting each other's stuff, at some point during your time living together, one of your roommates is going to use your stuff - usually without asking. Sometimes they notify you after the fact: "Hey I hope you don't mind, but I used one of your Tide pods to do my laundry earlier because I forgot that I ran out."

You might even find yourself going back over the rules about respecting each other's belongings six months after living together. In fact, you might even find yourself locking your door when you leave the house, doing anything you can to keep your roommates out of your stuff.

No matter how well you think you "laid down the law" when you moved in together, your roommate(s) will use some of your stuff at some point.

Living with roommates is certainly not fun (after the first few weeks). Nothing seems to go according to plan and you start dying to live by yourself. By the time fall semester comes to a close, you'll be looking for one bedroom apartments to move into. Before you decide to move in with people while you're in college, be sure to consider what could happen while living with roommates.


How to Decide to Live With Your Best Friend or Not

By Alicia Geigel

Figuring out who to live with for the duration of your academic year can be tough. On one hand, you don’t want to jump right in to living with someone random, but you also don’t want to spend forever searching for someone and let time waste. One option to consider is living with your best friend if they are around and are looking for a roommate as well.

Having your best friend as your roommate sounds like a dream, and sometimes it can be! However, there are a few things to consider and discuss beforehand to avoid a World War III-type disaster. Are you looking for a roommate? Thinking about asking your best friend to be your roommate? Be sure to read these four things to discuss with your bestie before moving in together!

 

 

Things to Discuss Beforehand:

  1. Having Guests Over: One important thing to discuss with your BFF before diving into being roommates is how each other feels about having guests over. You may be on the conservative side and not prefer to have guests over more than once a week, with appropriate notice. Your best friend, on the other hand, might be more open about inviting people over and enjoy doing so spontaneously. This is important to discuss as it pertains to you and your potential roommate’s comfortability with privacy. Krista Diamond of StorageFront.com writes, “Figure out what works for both of you when it comes to having significant others over, hosting parties and inviting family members to crash when they’re in town.”
  2. Cleanliness: A major point of contention for roommates, best friends or not, is cleanliness. Everyone has different lifestyle choices and how they do things, and this doesn’t exclude cleaning. You and your best friend obviously don’t live together (yet) so there would be no way for you to know if you could tolerate their level of cleanliness. You might be more on the laidback side and don’t worry about a few dishes in the sick, while your best friend might be a clean freak. Establishing each others levels of cleanliness is super important in establishing whether or not you two should move in together.
  3. Sharing Items: Some people love sharing every aspect of their possessions, whether it be shampoo or a bag of Cheetos. Another important thing to discuss with your best friend before moving in together is how you both are in terms of sharing things. You might not care about sharing all of your things with your best friend, even down to a pillow off your bed or your leftover pizza. Your friend might be more possessive about their things, and there’s nothing wrong with that! However, you and your potential roommate should be aware of these things that could cause a problem sometime in the future.
  4. Budget: One super important element about living with someone is figuring out how to split up living expenses like rent/amenities/cable & internet. Taking on adult responsibilities and figuring out how to effectively split bills can be difficult but it will definitely save you any kind of money-related trouble in the future. If your bestie likes to splurge on grub hub every day and is forgetful about paying bills on time, that would be something important to discuss before moving in together. Likewise, if you have trouble balancing payments, you should talk to your potential roomie about this. Leslie Tayne of Credit.com notes, “A major key for keeping the peace is making sure bills are organized. Figure out when and how bills will be collected and split each month, how they will be paid, and who is responsible for paying what amount. While this may sound obvious, too many times roommates will wait until the last minute, causing stress, tension and possibly late bills.”

 

How to Keep the Peace:

  1. Communicate: You have probably heard about keeping the doors of communication open over and over again in your life, but I can promise you that this is incredibly important, not only in roommate relationships but in all relationships- especially with your best friendNo matter what, you want to make sure that you and your best friend are communicating effectively. There is nothing worse than having a problem with your roommate, aka your closest friend, and just letting their actions get under your skin. It is infinitely more beneficial to confront your roommate with your problems than let the tension build for no reason.
  2. Schedule a Roommie Date: You and your potential roommate were best friends prior to moving in together, and it should stay that way while you’re living together. Between endless papers, labs, extracurricular activities, and jobs it’s hard to maintain a strong social life in college without driving yourself crazy! It’s especially hard to find time to actually hang out with your roommate because you’re so used to seeing them all the time. As a way to keep the vibes good in your living situation and stay close with your bestie, set up a day or night for you two to hang out.

 

Image via Pexels

 

Moving in with your best friend can be a blessing or a curse. Depending on how well you two get along and how well your lifestyle choices go together, you guys might thrive together or burn each other into the ground. Before moving in together, make sure to discuss important things like having guests over, cleanliness, sharing items an


The Pros & Cons of Getting a Randomly-Assigned College Roommate

By Amanda Cohen


Whether you’re a rising freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, and so on, you probably will encounter the following decision: choosing who to room with. There are so many different ways to go about deciding who you’re going to live with. You can shamelessly post a “get to know me” wall post in your university’s Facebook group, you can try to meet people during orientation (if you’re a freshman or transfer student), or you can choose to get randomly assigned a roommate.

 

I know it seems scary to leave your living situation in the hands of your university because it is scary, but it can also be pretty amazing to let your school handle it.  However, I am going to try and see both sides of the situation by giving you the pros and cons of getting assigned a random college roommate. If you’re a rising freshman or a transfer student, make sure you pay close attention because this is most applicable to you since older college students already met people that they will want to room with. Read on if you want to make the decision as to whether or not you will get assigned a college roommate an easier and less stressful decision during an already tumultuous time.

 

 

Pro: You Eliminate the Stress of Having to Decide Between Roommates

 

Yes, making the decision of whether or not to have a random roommate is a hard decision, but it’s not as hard as having to choose between multiple roommate options that you meet online or during orientation. There are already so many decisions and emotions you have to work through when preparing to go to school, so why not eliminate choosing a roommate (or roommates) from the equation. If you are an already indecisive person (nothing to be ashamed of, I’m quite indecisive about many things), then leaving the fate of your roommate situation in your university’s hands instead of yours is the definition of ideal. I know plenty of people who have had success when being assigned a random roommate and they didn’t have to craft any funny posts on their social media!

 

Con: You Have Little to No Information About your New Roommate

 

Yes, this can happen with a roommate that you meet via. social media and/or orientation, but it’s much more likely to happen if your university matches you with a random roommate. Depending on the school you’re attending, you could get your roommate assignment on the early side or in August right before you move in. If you get your assignment on the later side, there is a good chance that you won’t get to know your roommate before you move in. Meeting a new roommate is awkward, especially during an already stressful time, so it’s not ideal that you will know little to nothing about your roommate’s life and personality until move-in day or right before. This can sometimes be a more stressful reality than having to choose your roommate yourself, but it really depends on your personality.

 

Pro: You Will Probably Get a Better Residence Hall Assignment

 

I can’t speak for every school, but at the University of Michigan, if you chose not to request a roommate, you were much more likely to stay off the dreaded North Campus (might as well be Antarctica). It may seem like no big deal, but requesting roommates is a hassle for the school because they have to plan everything to accommodate all of their incoming students, which can be in a number in the thousands! If you don’t request a roommate (and if much more people did not request a roommate), the school will be able to easily place you in a great residence hall without having to jump through any hoops or making ridiculous adjustments. Think about it this way: when you fill out your rooming application, you can request a roommate and usually pick your top three locations. The people in charge of making rooming decisions are much more likely to only accommodate one request and not two. So, if you request a better dorm room but not a roommate, you are more likely to get the dorm room. On the flip side, a person who requests a roommate and the better dorm room is more likely to just get their roommate of choice, not both their roommate and residence hall of choice.

 

Con: Your Roommate May Not Be in Your Same Academic Year

 

Even though this is fairly rare, it can still happen. Those who organize roommates and dorm room placements aren’t necessarily worried about if everyone is in the same year; their main focus is to ensure that everyone has a place to live. Yes, they want everyone to be happy, but with the number of people they have to place, it’s impossible to make everyone happy. If your randomly-assigned roommate is not in your same academic year, it can be hard to bond with him/her. If he/she is older, he/she may already have a group of friends and he/she definitely already knows the ropes and most of what you need to know about the university. If you’re younger/an incoming freshman, you won’t be able to commiserate with him/her nor bond with him/her, and this can make you feel quite isolated. In addition, you may have a harder time making friends your age because you and your roommate won’t have similar social schedules nor events, classes, nor activities in your calendars.

 

 

Pro: Just Because you Pick Someone, Doesn’t Mean You Will Get Along

 

Getting assigned a random roommate means that you will go in with lower expectations as to what your friendship/relationship status will be with him/her. If you choose who your roommate is, you will automatically make so many plans with this person about parties, scoping out your class locations together, decorating, and more. This may sound all well and good, but when you make these plans, you build up this expectation that you and your roommate who, even though you picked, you really don’t know that well, are going to be best friends. More often than not, you and your college roommate your freshman year will not be best friends, and making all these plans with him/her will only make you disappointed when it doesn’t pan out the way it does in all of the movies we see. If you don’t pick someone and you allow the university to make the decision for you, you go in with lower expectations, and your relationship with your new roommate will happen much more naturally. Remember, it’s not always the best situation living with someone who you consider to be your best friend, lowering expectations and living with someone who respects your space and vice versa is sometimes better.

 

Con: You Can’t Coordinate How to Decorate Your Dorm Room Together

 

If you meet someone via. Facebook, orientation, etc., you will have more time to discuss potential room layouts, decorations, how you’ll split up certain duties during move-in day, and more. The sooner you know who your roommate is and where you both will live, the sooner you can start ordering items that will fit in the designated space that you have in your shared shoebox (lol). I’m not saying that you have to match, but sometimes it’s fun to plan and coordinate with one another to give your room some sort of cohesiveness and so there aren’t too many clashing colors and/or patterns in your small space. You can discuss how you want to layout the room as well. For example, if you both want to loft your bed, if none of you want to loft your bed, or if one of you want to loft your bed and so on. The sooner these decisions are made, the less stressed out you’ll be, I have no doubt.

 

This list may not cover everything, but as someone who has gone through four years of undergrad and a semester of post-graduate school, I can tell you that it will definitely help you decide in regards to whether or not you choose to get assigned a random roommate or not. The bottom line is that regardless if you choose your roommate, get assigned a random roommate, live alone, live with more than one roommate, and so on, there is no guarantee of a “perfect” living situation. College is hard and living in a small space with one or more people can make it even harder. Since you already have an extensive pros and cons list, let me give you a small list on how to adjust to having a roommate and to living in a dorm room or small apartment or janky house:

●      Set some ground rules so that when problems arise, you can always refer back to them

●      Share your schedules with one another so you can respect one another’s sleep schedule, class schedule, activity schedule, and more

●      Say out loud early on if something comes up and one of you is feeling bothered or frustrated, you talk to one another in a non-confrontational way

●      Be as neat as possible; you don’t have to become a neat-freak, but even the tiniest amount of sloppiness can make a small dorm room feel a whole lot smaller

●      Be courteous if you have friends over; try not to be too loud and maybe even ask your roommate if he/she is fine with you having people over or if he/she needs your living space to be quiet at a certain time

●      Be transparent about how you like to keep your living space, how social you are, your sleep schedule, how loud you are, where you like to study, and so on

●      If you have different intentions as to what it means to be a roommate (i.e. if one of you wants to be best friends and the other doesn’t), talk about it and figure out how you can make the situation work for both of you

●      Avoid bottling everything up because, if you do, you are more likely to get yourself into a big fight; instead, talk about problems as they arise so you can be amicable, kind, and non-aggressive

●      Be mindful of one another’s space and don’t borrow or take anything from your roommate without asking

●      Divide cleaning responsibilities in terms of who will clean what and how you will split the price of cleaning supplies so that everything is equally distributed

●      If you have multiple roommates, try and discuss with one another how to ensure no one feels left out or in the dark (this is especially important if there are three of you because one person is much more likely to be left out in this scenario)

If you have any more questions about how roommates are randomly assigned, your best bet in getting them answered quickly and correctly is by contacting your university directly. All schools are different, so a simple Google search probably won’t give you an accurate answer. In addition, talk to other people who are accepted to the school to see what their thoughts on and what their plans on; maybe these conversations will turn into roommate conversations, maybe they won’t, but at least you are trying to make connections early on so that, when you arrive on campus, you have a small support system somewhat in place and someone to go to the dining hall with.

 

If you’re feeling stressed, remember that it’s only June and you have times to sort your feelings out, start conversations, call your school, read more articles, and do your research. Whatever you decide, just make sure it’s a well-informed decision and not something that you decide on a whim because that’s more likely to stress you out. However, I will promise you this: whether you decide to choose your roommate or get randomly assigned a roommate, you can’t go wrong. I’m not saying it will be perfect, but remember that roommates can be changed if something isn’t right and nothing is permanent. You will figure it out!

 

Good luck, happy summer, and good luck with your roommate decision!


An Introvert's Guide To Living With A Roommate

By Danielle Wirsansky 

For many students, college is seen as a kind of Valhalla. It is a place to be free and independent, to both make and find yourself, and to live as you have always wanted to. But there are some downsides to going to college (at least for some people), like having to move to or exist in a new location, having to create a new community, having a new schedule, and having to talk to and be around a lot of people. For some people, these aspects are also incredibly positive—they are indicative of a new adventure! But for other people, they can seem rather draining.

Living with a roommate can be difficult, no matter your personality type. But for introverts, having to live with a new, perhaps random, roommate can be especially difficult. Urban Dictionary defines an introvert as: “An introvert prefers to spend time alone in order to recharge their inner being. An introvert may appear to be shy to others, but that is not necessarily an accurate label. Being among groups of friends, family and even strangers can be wonderfully stimulating and joyous occasions. Interacting with people and attention to multiple sources of stimuli tends to draw down an introvert's energy causing them to eventually withdraw to spend time alone to re-energize. Small talk and pointless conversations tend to draw down an introvert's energy rapidly.”

Understanding what an introvert is can help delineate why it can be hard for introverts to live with a roommate. But understanding is half the battle and there are strategies any introvert can employ to make their living situation as smooth and stress free as possible. Read on for an introvert’s guide to living with a roommate!

 

Get To Know Your Roommate

If your roommate is either a randomly selected on or someone that you know (but maybe not that well), take the time to actually get to know them. The moving in process is rough, the first week of school is tough, the whole semester will be tough. It might be easy to keep pushing off getting to know your roommate until you are less stressed or busy because the getting to know someone process is already draining enough on its own.

But making getting to know your roommate a priority as soon as you move in will help to decrease stressful situations that could be caused later down the line if you do not. You do not have to be the best of friends and you certainly do not have to know everything about them or even talk to them all of the time. But you should be able to communicate openly and clearly with them. You should set a positive vibe and dynamic between you in the apartment. You should clearly decide, agree on, and lay out rules and guidelines to keep your cohabitation harmonious.

So get to know your roommate, even just a little. It will be a lot less stressful in the long run.

 

Separation of Space

As an introvert, you usually need time to yourself in order to recharge. So do not be afraid to create a separation of space between you and your roommate so that you know that you have a safe space to retreat to when you need it. You are not shutting your roommate out. Sometimes you just need a quiet, peaceful time and place to yourself.

Your room is often your best bet. Some people like to keep their bedroom doors open or to have their friends and roommates come hang out in their rooms. Maybe that will not be the best plan for you though. You can be friendly and sociable in the common spaces like the living room and kitchen. But you can make your room off limits so that you have a space that is solely yours and is not to be invaded.

 

Emerge From Your Room

When you do not know your roommate very well, it can be easier to just retreat into your room and not come out. That way you are at peace and can feel less drained. But the apartment is yours too and you should not have to give up your claim on it to feel at peace.

And even if your room is the place you need to recharge, it is not healthy to spend all of your time in it. Emerge from your warm cocoon of solitude and remember to embrace the world.

College is hard, but you can make it easier rather than harder if you are an introvert following this guide. Take care of yourself but be sure to try and push your own boundaries as well—finding a good balance while in college will help set the tone for the rest of your life.


5 Tips for Studying With Your Roommates

By Madison White

Your plan worked! You and your roommate(s) have successfully signed up for the same classes. You start dreaming of sitting by each other in class, sharing notes, and pushing through nights in the library together. Stop there. Yes, studying with roommates can be a dream, but it can easily turn into a nightmare.  Here are a few steps you should take to ensure successful studying.

 

 

1. Discuss your study styles

Before you get started studying with your roommate, you should have a discussion about how you already like to study. Just because you and your roommate may have similar personalities or living styles doesn’t mean that you will have the same study style. There are lots of different questions you should discuss with each other such as, do you like to study at home or somewhere else, do you like quiet or background noise, do you like to take frequent breaks or push through, do you prefer reading or taking notes? If you have some differences in answers, that doesn’t mean that you can’t study together at all. You may still be able to work on some specific things but leave general studying to be done on your own. Whatever you figure out, just make sure it should work for all people involved, not just one.

 

2. Coordinate times and make a schedule

If you think that your roommates will be able to sit down whenever and study together, you’re probably wrong. Without a dedicated time and place, it is unlikely that the studying time will actually happen. You all should think about when you like to study, whether it be in the morning, during the day, or at night. You should also think about when you are likely to be the least busy. Obviously, you won’t want to plan to study while one of you is at work or in class. You should probably also avoid social-heavy nights like Fridays and Saturdays (unless you know that you’ll be staying in).

Once you have figured out what will probably work best, put it in your calendars! Make it something that you have scheduled so that you neither of you will plan things over it. Depending on how much time you want to put it, you could make it a weekly occurrence.

 

3. Act as the teacher

One of the best ways to learn something is to try to teach it to someone else. If you’re really familiar with a topic, or even kind of struggling with it, offer to act as the teacher and try to teach it to them. You can utilize homework examples to illustrate a certain method. You could have your “student” write out their steps to getting an answer. Have fun with it! Trying out different methods of learning almost always helps someone understand the concept better than they did originally.

You can try this with a concept you’re really familiar with in order to solidify your understanding of it. You could also try it out with a concept you aren’t that confident in to try and tease out where you are lacking knowledge.

 

4. Get creative

When you think of studying, are you thinking about sitting quietly in a library? Maybe someone next to you has a cup of coffee to get through the session. Not all study sessions have to be this way! Having a roommate, or multiple roommates, to study with is a great time to get creative with your studying time. You can try out lots of different things from quizzing each other to making Jeopardy-style games, to reading aloud, to making up songs to help remember things. You’d be surprised how much easier it is to remember something when you came up with a creative way to study, plus, it's way more fun!

 

5. Be honest with each other

When it comes to academics, we all want to feel good about ourselves. However, when you’re directly comparing your grade to someone else’s, it can be difficult. You may want to act like you know everything when in reality, you’re struggling.

When studying with your roommates, or anyone really, you should be candid about what you do and don’t understand. Saying that you get something when you don’t doesn’t help you in the long run. You’re missing out on a chance to really learn something and potentially do better overall. It might feel embarrassing to ask for help on a certain topic or chapter, but in the end, it is usually worth it.

 

Studying with roommates can be seriously rewarding, resulting in quality time and even better grades. Make sure that you’re always honest when something isn’t working, and try your best to communicate and help each other. Remember that your friendship comes first and no prospect of a better grade should come between that.


What To Do Before Leaving Your Roommate And Apartment For The Summer

By Ashley Paskill 

The end of a semester is a joyous time, especially if it means summer break and you get the summer off. However, before you pack up, there are a few things you need to do to ensure that everything is set and that loose ends are tied up. Whether you are graduating or returning, there are things that need to be done to wrap things up. Preparing throughout the semester will help you not be as stressed out while you deal with final exams and projects at the end of the semester.

 

 

Apartment

Leaving a place you called home for a semester or even a year can be difficult. You likely had memories that will last a lifetime and had a lot of things happen during your time in the apartment. If you are moving to a new apartment next semester or if you are leaving, the last moments in your apartment from this year can be bittersweet.

Sublet Your Apartment

If your lease is not up but you are going home for the summer, ask your landlord about subletting your apartment. Many students take summer classes and need somewhere to stay. However, check with your landlord or your contract to make sure you can sublet it. If you can, set up a meeting with your landlord to find out what to include in the sublet contract and to find out what the process is for setting up a sublet. Even if you are not living in the apartment with the person who is subletting your apartment, if something happens, you are responsible for any damage or broken rules.

Leave a note for the next tenants

Ask your landlord if you can leave a note for the next renters about the apartment. For many, writing is a great way to deal with the emotions that come with change, such as leaving a place that has become a home away from home from you while you are at school. Write about the diner next door where you and your roommates would eat at during late study nights. Tell about the memories you have had, such as parties or friend visits. Provide tips for the next renters about hidden gems of the apartment and things that are not as pleasant that they should know. Think about what you wish you knew before moving in a write about that. This will help you deal with sad emotions that come with changes while helping to provide tips to new people.

Have one final party

Throw an end of semester party or get-together in your apartment. If you were known as someone who constantly had people over, there is no better way to end your time in your apartment than to do just that. Have a celebration after finals are over to rejoice in another semester or even year complete. If your guests spent a lot of time at parties in your apartment, ask them what their favorite memories of the apartment are. If you opt for a smaller get together, have your guests sit in a circle and go around the circle, sharing stories and memories of the apartment.

Thank your landlord

Be sure to thank your landlord for allowing you to live on his or her property. Your landlord had no obligation to choose you and your roommates for the room. Also, your landlord probably helped you out when something needed a repair, even if it just meant calling someone to come in to fix it. Although it is not expected, at least send your landlord a thank you card or letter. It'd you can afford it, send them a gift card or another small gift for all they have done. Have your roommate pitch in. When you have the final walkthrough, give the note and gift to your landlord.

Notify your landlord that you are moving out

If you are not moving back into the apartment once your lease is up, give your landlord notice that you are moving out. Check with your local laws or lease contact to ensure you do not face legal or financial penalties. Write a letter stating your intentions. If you need to leave before your lease is up, check with the contract and contact your landlord as soon as possible to figure out what can be done. As mentioned before, you can sublet your apartment to someone taking summer classes.

Clean and repair your apartment

Make sure the apartment is clean and that any necessary repairs are made. Many contacts spell out what needs to be done in terms of cleaning and repairs. Also, some landlords have a fee for cleaning the apartment after you leave. During your final walkthrough with your landlord probably, see if you can get some money back based on your cleaning and repairing efforts.

Schedule a final walkthrough with your landlord. This will be used to determine if the apartment is clean and damage has been taken care of. If possible, have your landlord come to your apartment before the final walkthrough to see if there is anything that needs to be taken care of. That way, you have a set list of things to do and you can be as prepared as possible.

Reflect on your time in your apartment

Take time to reflect on the lessons you learned while living in the apartment. If it was your first apartment, every first experience with the apartment was new. In the days leading up to your departure from the apartment, write down things you experienced for the first time and lessons you learned from things that happened. This will help you in case something similar, like something breaking, happens in a future apartment. Before you leave for the last time, take a deep breath and look back at your apartment once more.

Remove your belongings

Make sure you move all of your belongings out of your apartment. Once you hand in your keys, it can be next to impossible to get something you left behind back. This is especially true if your landlord hires someone to come in and clean between tenants. If there are things you do not need or are unable to move all at once, you can either sell them or put them in a storage facility until you can take them to where you are living. Many times, there are things that you do not need to take with you since you can buy them later.

When moving out, there may be things you do not want or need, or that are not logical to take with you. If you are looking to get rid of things you are not taking with you, have a yard sale. You can even get other students who are moving out involved so they can get rid of their things as well. There are even ways to sell stuff online, such as various Facebook groups or eBay. If you know someone who is moving into an apartment and is looking for something you are getting rid of, you can give them the item for free.

 

 

Roommate

Chances are, if you are graduating or studying abroad next semester, you and your roommate will probably go separate ways. Even if you well both be on campus in the fall, there is no guarantee that you will be roommates again. Before you go your separate ways, even if it is just for the summer, plan to stay in touch and have a memorable past few days together. Hopefully, you will be able to see each other over break or at least keep in touch often.

Plan a fun night in

Plan a fun night in for after finals and before moving out. Whether it is a spa night, game night, or movie or Netflix marathon, having something to look forward to after finals will make things less stressful. One last hoorah will give you something to remember when you are missing your roommate over the summer. Make it memorable and take photos of the occasion. Be sure to include time to talk about the time you spent together. If you choose to do a movie night or a craft night, make a scrapbook or a photo frame that include photos of you and your roommate. That way, you have something tangible to hold on to when you miss each other.

Exchange home addresses

Make sure you exchange home addresses. That way, you can visit each other. Also, you can be pen pals and exchange snail mail over the summer. If you go on vacation, you can send each other postcards from your journeys. While emailing, texting, and communicating through social media is quick, receiving mail that is not a bill is fun and special.  Even if you write every other week or once a month, it is something to look forward to. If you see something while shopping online or in-store that reminds you of your roommate, having the person’s home address makes it easier to get it to them.

Compare schedules for next semester

If you know that you are both going to be on campus next semester but are not rooming together, exchange schedules and arrange to meet up at least once a week. Going from seeing each other at your most vulnerable moments to only seeing each other sometimes will be an adjustment, so having a set time to meet up will give you both something to look forward to. If you have GenEd classes that you both need to take or are majoring in the same thing, see if you can take classes together and be study partners.

Make plans to visit each other

Over break, try to make an effort to see each other. If you live near each other, make a point to see each other once a month at least. However, if you live across the country or around the world from each other, it can be more difficult. Save up your money to go on a vacation somewhere together or to see each other’s hometowns. If you are unable to squeeze in going to each other’s homes in one break, alternate breaks. Communicating through digital devices or even snail mail keeps you in touch, but nothing beats being able to see each other face to face.

Plan for your next apartment

You and your roommate may be planning on living together again, especially if you have become close friends. However, you may be moving to a new location where the apartment has a completely different setup from your old apartment. Look at photos of your new place and figure out the living arrangements and furniture. Decide if you want to keep the same décor or if you want to change it up. If you decide to stick with the same décor, move your current items into a storage unit near your new apartment. If not, find a way to sell them.

Have a genuine talk about your experience

If you have a roommate, you might not be able to tell if you are being annoying and they may not know the little ways they get under your skin. Even if you did not get along, it is important to sit down and discuss your experience honestly to figure out how each of you can be a better roommate. It is possible that you both had a great experience, and the discussion is all about pointing out how good of a roommate you are. This is also useful information so that you know how to continue being a great roommate if you get another one in the future.

Tell your roommate that you are subletting

If you are studying abroad or going home for break and your roommate will continue living in the apartment, you may decide that you want to sublet your part of the apartment to help save on rent. As soon as you make this decision, tell your roommate. Make sure you include them in finding the person who will sublease the apartment since your roommate will be living with them. Also, include them in creating a sublease contract so you cover all of the rules and costs of the apartment.

Leaving campus for the semester is more than just finishing your final projects and exams. You have to make sure your apartment is squared away and that you leave your roommate on good terms. It can be stressful to deal with everything all at once, but if you take care of things throughout the semester, you can be prepared.