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When Things Go Wrong: Roommate Conflicts and How to Move Forward

By Victoria Robertson 

 

Living with another person is not always sunshine and roses. Especially in situations in which you have met for the first time, living with a roommate requires a large amount of compromise, patience and understanding, all of which can be difficult in a stressful, college situation.

Roommate conflict, though never fun, is very common in college, so much so that resident advisors and other individuals in the dorms are more than prepared to settle disputes between residents.

Given the abundance of roommate conflict and the lack of experience for most students in this department, here are ten common conflicts as well as how to move forward.

 

 

1. Cleanliness


All too common in college dorm rooms, or even apartments for that matter, conflicts that arise due to cleanliness are perhaps the most common. Typically, you will end up in a room with an individual that is different than you in terms of their organization and cleaning style. For this reason, conflict can easily arise in these situations.

The conflicts typically involve a roommate that prefers everything to be clean and one that doesn’t care about cleanliness. No matter which individual you are, the conflict is likely to arise at some point.

The best way to deal with such arguments is to simply think about the other person and what they need from you. If you’re the roommate that is a bit messier, work a little harder to keep your side of the room clean. Conversely, if you’re the cleaner roommate, have a little more patience with the individual you are living with.

You can’t change another person, but you can change the way that you act and react to a situation, so make those changes and these conflicts will be cleared up in no time.

 

2. Sleep

 

Another common conflict that arises is related to sleep. Each roommate will have a very different schedule, which typically means that their sleep schedule is also different. This can certainly cause issues, especially if you’re living in close proximity, i.e. a dorm room.

Perhaps one of you goes to bed too early or stays up too late for the other roommate’s comfort. Or maybe one person needs the TV on to sleep and the other can’t sleep when it’s on. There are plenty of minor conflicts that can arise when it comes to sleep, and given the importance of sleep, these conflicts can also escalate rather quickly.

The best way to manage sleep-related conflicts is again to think of the other individual. Compromise is going to work the best in these situations, so figure out a way in which you can both get what you want.

For instance, if one of you needs the TV on, have that person play Netflix or stream TV shows through their laptop or phone with headphones. That way, it’s quiet and dark for the other individual and both people can get the sleep they need.

In addition, if you’re a bit of a night owl and your roommate isn’t, be courteous and do something that isn’t too loud/distracting so your roommate can get some sleep. You can also always go somewhere else to give them some extra quiet time.

 

3. Food

 

Especially in apartment living, food-related conflicts are abundant. Most roommates have a shared pantry/fridge in which their food is accessible to everyone. Some roommates go shopping together and split everything while others shop separately and mark their food items with their names.

Either way, there is always the potential of one roommate monopolizing the room in the shared space, eating someone else’s food and/or not pitching in enough money for the groceries that they are using.

The opportunities here for conflict are endless, which is why it’s so important to come up with a plan amongst your roommates that works for everyone. For instance, if you plan on sharing food, make sure that you all share food equally. In other words, don’t take more than your fair share. If you plan on buying food separately, mark everything with your name and don’t take anyone else’s food.

Basically, just be courteous and understand that shared food plans can be a cause for conflict, so go out of your way to ensure that doesn’t happen.

 

4. Homework

 

It’s college, which means there is going to be plenty of homework involved. Both you and your roommate will have homework to complete, but the amount that you have as well as the time it will take you to complete that homework is where the conflicts are going to arise.

One roommate may find that they have more homework than the other all the time, and these situations can mean one roommate is watching TV or something else distracting while the other is trying to work. There are going to be noise related conflicts here, one time or another, so it’s important to get ahead of the problem.

If you know you will have more homework than usual, or you know you need silence to complete your work, don’t do it in your shared space. Instead, go to the library or another quiet location in which you can complete your work.

It’s unfair to put the burden of silence onto your roommate in their own room, so make sure you’re being courteous and polite by removing yourself from the equation in these situations.

 

5. Company

 

You may have similar or shared friends, or you may have different groups of friends than your roommate, but having company over is another cause for conflict in some situations.

There are situations in which one roommate doesn’t like the other’s friends or vice versa, which can cause serious problems in a living situation. In addition, many college students have visitors that spend the night, which can also be a point of conflict in living situations.

The best way to deal with these types of conflicts is to communicate with your roommate. If you’re planning on having company, let them know. And don’t wait until the last minute. Give your roommate enough notice that they can make other plans if wanted.

In addition, be courteous as far as noise goes when you have company and you know your roommate is working on homework etc. The more you think about the other individual, the less likely a conflict is to arise in these situations.

 

 

6. Bills

 

Of course, there are always conflicts surrounding money, and paying your bills is no different. One roommate may be consistently late in paying their bills, someone may not contribute at all or someone may always end up paying more than anyone else.

Money conflicts aren’t unique to college, but given the shared bills, they are more likely. With that being said, there are very simple ways to avoid such conflicts.

The first way is to split up the bills fairly and evenly. Make sure everyone is paying their fair share and that no one individual is unfairly paying more than others. In addition, make sure there is a schedule and/or clear method of payment.

Set a schedule so that, by a certain date, every individual knows their bill is due. This way, there is less likely to be delays and/or problems related to late payments etc.

 

7. Thermostat

 

A minor conflict, but one that will probably come up, thermostat related conflicts are common in college. It may sound silly, but it’s absolutely true.

Some individuals are always cold, some are always hot. This is a problem that comes up in many shared spaces, but with roommates, it can cause some serious conflict. Either conflict comes up about the temperature itself or about the bills associated with using the thermostat. Both conflicts are avoidable, but require communication on everyone’s end.

The best way to avoid these conflicts is to have an agreed upon plan for usage. For instance, always having it set to a certain temperature will help avoid problems in which people are changing the thermostat. In addition, agreeing upon when to use and not to use the heat/air will help immensely in avoiding conflicts later on.

Come up with your plans ahead of time so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to thermostat usage. If you do that, the conflicts can easily be avoided. Communication is always key!

 

8. Shared Bathrooms

 

Sharing a bathroom with someone else is always a pain point, but when you have the same schedule as your roommate, it can become a much bigger issue.

Some roommates will take longer in the bathroom and prevent their roommate from using it when they need to, some will be messier than the other and cause problems, one may monopolize all of the space in the bathroom or use the other’s things - the possibilities for conflict here are endless.

Avoiding conflict here isn’t as easy as you would think, but again, communication is going to be your best method. For one thing, make sure that you split the space evenly. If you have more things than your space allows, keep them in your room to avoid taking over your roommate’s space.

In addition, only use the bathroom for as long as necessary. If you know your roommate has class at the same time as you, be quick and don’t spend too much time in the bathroom. If you can get ready in your room, do that. Monopolizing bathroom time is never a good thing, so keep that in mind. Just think of the other individual in these situations and you will be just fine.

 

9. TV Time

 

Some roommates will have TVs in their own rooms, which avoids this conflict entirely. However, for those sharing a TV, arguments can ensue about what to watch. Again, it seems minor, but it can create bigger problems in a living situation.

One roommate may monopolize the TV all day and night, both may not agree on a show to watch or one could monopolize the DVR and prevent the other individuals in the room from taping their shows.

Sharing a TV can be problematic, but being fair and splitting time evenly is the easiest way to resolve these conflicts.

For one thing, everyone can get the same amount of time with the TV so that the time spent is even. You can split this up however you see fit, but ensure that everyone gets their fair share of time. Second, if there is more than one person in the room, agree on a show before turning it on. Don’t monopolize the TV. Finally, make sure everyone is able to record the shows that they want. If they can’t compromise.

The more effort you put into ensuring the shared TV time is fair, the less likely any conflicts are to arise.

 

10. Lifestyle Differences

 

Last, though not least by any means, there are likely to be lifestyle differences between roommates, which can cause major problems in terms of roommate conflicts.

One roommate may like going out with large groups during the week while the other likes quiet nights in alone. One may be a couch potato and the other might be very active. There are so many differences in terms of lifestyle that can set you and your roommate apart and cause problems.

The best way to avoid such conflicts is, again, to be patient and understanding. You’re likely not going to get someone as a roommate that’s exactly like you, so go into the situation knowing that. You are unique, and so are they. Work together to get along and understand the other person to avoid any future conflicts.

Again, roommate conflicts aren’t fun, but they are common, which means that you’re more than likely going to experience them at least once in your college experience. With that being said, there are plenty of ways to resolve them and move forward, and hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of just how that can be done.

Moving forward from here, make sure that you show a certain level of patience, kindness and understanding, and know that a roommate conflict is common and therefore not the end of the world. Just focus on your studies and you’ll be just fine! 


How to Handle Your Roommate Moving All the Furniture Constantly

By Danielle Wirsansky 

Roommates—you either love them or hate them. They are your best friends or your worst enemies. In college especially, roommates are a huge part of your experience and you do not want them to be responsible for making or breaking your experience.

Oftentimes, roommates come with their little quirks and quibbles. They might like to do their laundry at 3 AM or they might not be able to stand having dishes in the sink. College is also a very stressful time, and people deal with stress in different ways. Your roommate will probably handle and deal with stress in a way that is different from how you would. Different is not always bad, something you need to keep in mind when dealing with a stressed-out roommate.

One common way that people deal with stress is by moving furniture around. Constantly moving furniture around is often a sign of anxiety. PanicAway says, “Someone who fears that things will be out of control may constantly arrange and rearrange furniture or objects in the home.”

Perhaps your roommate is one of these people, and when they move around furniture, they not only move their own furniture but the furniture in the common spaces as well, which can be frustrating for you. So, what do you do when your roommate does this? Read on to learn some tips on handling your roommate moving all of the furniture constantly.

 

 

Be Understanding

Like mentioned before, it must be remembered that just because something handles a situation differently than you would does not mean that it is bad. And even if it is not the most positive way to handle things, you must be careful not to cast judgment because that can oftentimes make a situation worse. You should not judge someone for handling things differently than you, and if someone is not handling a situation well, get them help instead of judging them.

Most importantly, be understanding. Your roommate is probably not moving the furniture in order to frustrate you or because they actually enjoy moving the furniture. It is more of a compulsion. They often feel they need or have to move the furniture in order to stay in control of their own lives. This might not seem like a clear correlation to you, but it is incredibly meaningful for them.

So, if they must move the furniture, try and be understanding of that and try to work with them or find ways to make the situation more manageable.

Set Boundaries

So, your roommate has a compulsion to move around the furniture in your common spaces. You are already making the first step, by being understanding that they need to do it in order to find relief from stress. You understand that they have to move the furniture. However, just because they need to move the furniture does not mean that they can just do so willy-nilly. You can be understanding, but within reason.

You have to set boundaries so that your roommate does not go too far and upset you with their actions, even if inadvertently. If there is something that would really bother you, like having your belongings moved or touched, or if they move the one chair in the apartment you actually like sitting in, you need to let them know. You have to tell them the things that they are not allowed to do so they know that if they do so, they will actually upset you. They need rules so that they do not overstep their bounds. Doing so will give them more structure when moving the furniture and stop them from doing something that will upset you, which would probably stress them out more, and so they are more likely to follow the boundaries you set.

Set Curfews

Lastly, even if you have been understanding and even if you have set boundaries, there is one more step to keep your relationship with your roommate harmonious even if they insist on constantly moving around the furniture is to set a curfew. Maybe it is fine. Their furniture is not a big deal to you. You understand their compulsion and appreciate that they respect your boundaries. However, what you cannot tolerate is your roommate deciding to rearrange all the furniture at 3 AM when you are trying to sleep.

There is nothing like being woken up in the wee hours of the morning to the screeching sound of a couch being tugged and pulled across the floor, scraping its way as it goes. Be clear about when the quiet hours in your apartment are and when it is an acceptable time for your roommate to be moving the furniture. They should be observant of your requests in order to keep the peace.


Why A Chore Chart Is A Necessity When Living With Roommates

By Alyssa Laffitte 

 

When living with roommates, it’s difficult to make sure everyone does their share in keeping the room (or apartment) clean. The solution to this problem is to create a chore chart. In this chore chart, you and your roommates can agree on who does which chores and when they do them.

A chore chart will make everyone’s responsibilities clear. There will be no arguments about who has which responsibilities, because they will be clearly spelled out in the chore chart. Also, a chore chart will ensure that not just one person does all the work. It’s way too easy for all the cleaning responsibilities to fall on one roommate, but that’s not fair! A chore chart will prevent this from happening. Finally, it will ensure that your place stays clean. If everyone does their share, there won’t be a chance for the place to get dirty. And you can easily make a chore chart, too. Here are a few reasons why a chore chart is a necessity when living with roommates.

 

 

It makes everyone’s responsibilities crystal clear

A chore chart clearly indicates everyone’s responsibilities: who must do which chores and when they must do it. Without a chore chart, it’s easy to argue your way out of having to do a chore because there is no way to keep track of who did which chore. Someone can easily say, “I shouldn’t have to do the dishes today because I did them yesterday,” even if they did not do the dishes yesterday.

However, when a group of roommates has a chore chart, everyone’s responsibilities are crystal clear. There is no room for argument. For example, no one can say that it’s someone else’s turn to do the dishes when it isn’t, because the chore chart will clearly dictate who needs to do the dishes. The chore chart will indicate that it is A’s turn to do the dishes, so she can’t claim that B should do them today. No one will forget what chores they need to do, and when they need to do it.

 

It ensures that one person doesn’t do all the work

Many times, when a group of roommates doesn’t have a chore chart, one person is left doing all the chores. Sure, it’s a good arrangement for the roommates who aren’t cleaning up after themselves, but it is extremely unfair to the one who is! In order to be fair and to have all the roommates do their equal share of chores, you should make a chore chart. The chore chart will equally assign chores to different people, so that all the chores can get done without putting the entire burden on one roommate. Chore charts ensure that one person doesn’t have to do all the work.

 

It will prevent roommates from becoming resentful toward each other

It seems silly, but when one roommate is constantly leaving messes, the other roommates could get irritated with her. If it goes on long enough, they could even become resentful toward her. A chore chart, if everyone respects it, will make sure that everyone cleans up after themselves, and will keep you all from getting irritated with each other. It will stop many fights before they even start.

 

It invites conversation about cleanliness standards

Different people have different expectations about how clean they want their place to be. When you and your roommates make a chore chart, it invites a conversation about peoples’ cleanliness standards. You will need to discuss how often things will need to be cleaned. Are all your roommates neat-freaks who want the room to be cleaned daily? Or are they okay with cleaning only on the weekend? (Okay, that’s a little exaggerated, but you get the point!) This conversation will help you understand your roommates better and will show you what to expect when you live with them.

 

It ensures that the place stays clean

Finally, when you have a chore chart (and if all the roommates complete the chores that are assigned to them!), your apartment or room will stay clean because you will be on top of your chores. Without a chore chart, it might be hard to keep track of when the place was last cleaned, and you don’t want that!

 

If you live with roommates, it might be tricky to keep the apartment (or room) clean. But if you and your roommates design a chore chart, it will make your lives much easier. For starters, everyone will know when it’s their turn to clean up. It also ensures that everyone chips in, one person doesn’t have to do all the chores by themselves. Finally, if you and your roommate follow the chore chart, it ensures that your place will stay clean. For these reasons, you and your roommates should make a chore chart. It’s quick, easy, and will save you from many fights and problems.


7 Ways to Promote Better Communication Between You and Your Roommates

By Julia Dunn

Living on campus can be extremely challenging for college students. They’re away from their families and friends at home, and now they must share a small single room with people they only know from the university Facebook group. You might not know your roommates at all before move-in, but communicating with them will only be challenging if you allow it to be; here are seven ways to promote better communication between you and your roommates.

 

 

1.) Create a group chat

Need an easy way to check in with roommates and let them know about details related to your shared room? Start a group chat! Depending on what you and your roommates prefer, you can use text messages or Facebook messenger to create a group that works for everyone.

 

2.) Learn more about their communication styles

This is one of the best ways to strengthen your bond with your roommates. Before you get too deep into week one of the semester/quarter, suggest to your roommates that you go out for coffee and chat about what each of you needs from one another in order to coexist peacefully. If one of you prefers in-person communication and another prefers using media (texting, email, even writing a letter), you should know that as early as possible. Understanding your roommates’ communication preferences can prevent misunderstandings or issues down the line.

 

3.) Leave messages for one another

An article by apartmentratings.com suggests two ways to communicate for roommates who might not all be in the same room together very often:  “A sticky note is a friendly way to leave a reminder and get a task started. For example, if a roommate doesn’t proactively clean, post a note like this, “Hey, I’m going to mop the floor today, want to tackle the bathroom? Text me!”

A dry erase board is [also] a fun way to share things; maybe one day it’s chore-duty and the next is an invite to your friend’s happy hour. If you want to get creative, there’s chalkboard paint that can be found at any hardware store.”

If you choose to go the sticky-note and whiteboard route, make sure your messages don’t come off as dismissive or angry. Some roommates really dislike coming home to their room and finding a note taped to their desk that calls them out for forgetting to take the trash out (again). The tone of a message can significantly affect the content, so use caution and talk to your roommates about whether they’re okay with these types of messages.

 

4.) Spend time together

The closer you are to your roommates, the easier it’ll be to communicate with them. Try to go on regular outings and adventures—get to know their interests and dislikes, pet peeves, and personal needs. For instance, you may not know right away that your roommate struggles to get homework done if it’s noisy in your room. Knowing what your roommates need is essential to living together with minimal discomfort.

 

5.) Make a habit of being direct

Never pretend everything’s okay if it isn’t. It only makes things worse—both for you and for your roommates who might be on the receiving end of any passive aggression you might be dishing out. If you express yourself right away when things turn sour, you can work as a team to generate a sustainable solution to the problem.

 

6.) Hold regular roommate meetings

It might sound a little silly, but holding the classic “family meeting” with your roommates can be a useful way to improve your communication. There’s nobody forcing you meet for an extensive amount of time--it could be 5 minutes--and it’s always helpful to check in even if things are going well. Things you might bring up at a roommate meeting:

●      “Is it okay if my friend Marie spends the night on Labor day?”

●      “Can we all remember to check that the fridge is closed all the way after we open it? It has trouble closing sometimes.”

●      “Where should we go to celebrate Halloween together?”

Checking in is never a bad idea!

 

7.) Reach out for support

Sometimes, conversations with your roommates might not go as planned. You might find that the presence of a third party could help facilitate your conversations. If you’re living in the dorms, you should have what’s called a Resident Assistant (sometimes called Community or Neighborhood Assistant)—a student leader whose job it is to maintain a healthy, happy community on your floor.

 

Usually, conflict resolution is a huge chunk of their job description, and that person should be well-trained in active listening and mediation. You can even choose to just consult with your RA one on one to prepare for a challenging confrontation with your roommates. RAs can be great sources of support and advice even if they don’t physically sit in on a particular roommate conversation.

 

Ultimately, the key to roommate communication is simple: be clear, be direct, and be compassionate for one another.


13 Fun Extracurriculars to do With Your Roommate

By Kailey Walters


For many people, the “college experience” is about so much more than just slogging through days, weeks, and months crammed with classes and hours spent studying in the library. Rather, college is also about the relationships you build with others and the new, interesting things you get to do on campus.

One person you’ll probably end up spending a lot of time around is your roommate. After all, the two of you (or maybe there are more of you!) come back to the same room every day, spend time studying and doing homework there, and sleep next to each other at night. Whether you are super buddy-buddy with your roommate or the most you ever say to them is “good morning” and “good night,” there are many opportunities on your college campus to bond with your roommate in a fun way. Even if you are a little hesitant at first, give it a try! Your roommate will most likely appreciate the effort you are putting into getting to know them better, whether it’s the very beginning of a new semester or the end of an entire school year together.

Read on for a few ideas on fun things to do with your roommate.

 

 

1. Explore the campus.

If it’s the beginning of the year and you and your roommate aren’t completely familiar with the campus yet, exploring the campus together might be a good idea. You can kill two birds with one stone: not only will you both know the campus better by the end of your outing, but you’ll also know each other better. Walking around together will give you time to familiarize yourselves with the locations of certain buildings and talk about things that you have in common. For example, maybe you happen to come across the chemistry building and realize that both of you will be taking a chemistry class together.

2. Hit the gym.

Taking advantage of the gym on campus is a great way to bond with your roommate. Whether the two of you are bona fide fitness junkies or novices, the gym is a good place to explore and have fun together. Encouraging each other to work out – maybe twenty minutes on the treadmill one day, an ab workout the next day – could be a wonderful way for you to spend more time with your roommate, get to know him or her better, and cultivate healthy habits together.

3. Take a fitness class together.

If neither of you is particularly suited for figuring things out on your own when you go to the gym, you might want to sign up for a fitness class instead. A class will help you narrow down what kind of exercise you want to do and provide some structure to your workout. Your college is sure to offer a variety of fitness classes at the campus fitness center – from yoga to dance to kickboxing. Take advantage of these free classes and get your sweat on with your roommate.

After all, going to a class with someone else is usually more fun and less intimidating than showing up alone. The two of you will be able to have fun trying out the class together. Especially if it’s something new and different that neither of you has ever tried before – say, Brazilian jiu-jitsu – you’ll be by each other’s side trying it out for the first time, laughing with one another, and lending each other moral support.

4. Watch a show being offered on campus.

Many colleges have theater and arts programs showcased on campus that are open for students, faculty and staff, and the general public. Often, these programs include theatrical performances such as plays and musical concerts, which students can get into for free or at least for a discounted price.

Taking advantage of these great opportunities could be a wonderful way for you and your roommate to have some fun together and be exposed to new and different forms of culture in the arts.

One benefit is being able to see stage performances for cheap right on the comfort of your own campus, which elsewhere would probably cost you an arm and a leg.

You also get to attend the performances to support your friends and fellow classmates, who have probably worked extremely hard to perform well in the plays, orchestra concerts, jazz ensembles, and whatever else the school offers.

What’s more, attending these functions allows you to find out more about what your roommate likes and doesn’t like. Maybe he isn’t the biggest fan of musicals, but he loves wind ensemble concerts. Ultimately, going to a performance together will give you the chance to figure each other out a little bit … and maybe even discover some things you have in common.   

5. Take advantage of other free programs your college offers.

In addition to theater performances, your college may also offer a variety of other free programs such as concerts showcasing contemporary bands and performers, comedians, hypnotists, and educational talks, just to name a few. These kinds of events are also really great to take advantage of, since – again – you can probably get tickets for free or at least much cheaper than they normally would be elsewhere. Attending these events can be a great way to spend a Friday or Saturday night with your roommate. You can go together, have a good time during the show, and still have something to talk about afterward.

6. Take an art class.

One of the free programs your college offers may be art classes. Even if you or your roommate is not particularly artistic, checking out a class might be worthwhile. If anything, you can both have fun creating something new, and at the end will have that creation to keep and remind you of the great time you had together.

 

 

7. Check out some on-campus functions.

You probably get a whole slew of emails daily to your college email account, notifying you of this and that event happening on campus. During the week as well as weekends, your school is likely to be buzzing with activity and energy thanks to all of the scheduled events going on. From school formals to on-campus farmers markets to late night movie screenings, there are plenty of fun and exciting events to check out. Plus, they are all the more fun when you have someone to come along with you! So as soon as you hear about an event that sounds interesting to you, grab your roommate and pay a visit. You may end up being pleasantly surprised.

8. Go to a sporting event.

This may or may not be for you (or for your roommate) depending on how much either of you enjoys sports. But even if sports is not really your thing, going to a game or a match can certainly give you something to do on a nice weather day, especially on a weekend afternoon. Depending on the season, you have a whole array of sports to choose from – for example, football in the fall, basketball in the winter, lacrosse in the spring. Simply showing up and being surrounded by people on your campus with lots of pep may just help get your school spirit up too! Then you and your roommate will have the chance to spectate at the game and cheer on your school’s players in a pumped up, exhilarating atmosphere.

9. Join a club.

One of the most effective ways for students to get involved on campus and make the most of the extracurriculars being offered is to join a club. No matter what kind of club it is – whether a dance club, a cultural club, etc. – being part of one is sure to make you and your roommate feel that you belong there. Especially if it’s a club that meshes well with your personal interests, you are likely to feel welcomed into a community of like-minded people.

Volunteer and community outreach clubs are also great clubs for you and your roommate to join together on campus. Even when it seems that there may not be other common interests you and your roommate share, a community service club could be a good option. Not only do you get to spend time making friends and working alongside others to give back to the community, but you also get to add the experience to your resume. You can kill two birds with one stone!

10. Join an intramural sport. 

One option among the many clubs you can join is an intramural sports team. If you and your roommate happened to play sports in high school but perhaps didn’t want to play at a high level in college, an intramural sports team is perfect for both of you. (Even if you didn’t play sports before, an intramural team is still a great way to be introduced to the sport in a welcoming, relatively low-stress, low-pressure environment.) Take advantage of the different club sports your college offers and bring your roommate along with you. And even if you both decide you didn’t like it and never want to go back, at least you can say you tried it – and you will have another great memory to look back on.

 

 

11. Plan a trip and travel with your roommate.

Something you can do with your roommate, separate from school, is travel together. Planning trips with friends is always fun and is a fantastic way to get to know them better.

Get together with your roommate and decide where you want to travel. The destination could be somewhere in the United States or, if the two of you already know each other fairly well and are feeling a bit adventurous, somewhere abroad. Think about your itinerary – what you want to do, where you want to go, and on what days. Planning when it comes to traveling is super important, as you want to make sure you’re not stepping on anyone else’s toes. In this sense, planning a trip with your roommate will help you learn more about his or her preferences, as well as allow you to work collaboratively with him or her to plan something that both of you can thoroughly enjoy.

12. Attend a student activities fair.

Perhaps an extracurricular in and of itself, a student activities fair is an excellent place to learn more about what the university has to offer in terms of clubs, organizations, and other things to do in your free time. As you and your roommate walk around the fair, you will each get your own ideas of what looks interesting and what doesn’t. Simply exploring your college in this way can open a lot of doors for further conversation between you and your roommate, as you both figure out what you want to become involved in.

13. Decorate together.

With the two of you living together at school, you are bound to be spending a lot of time in the same room. That means you will both need to be happy with the way the room looks – and what better way to ensure that than to decorate it together?

Talk to your roommate about how each of you wants the room to look. If there’s a certain aesthetic the two of you are going for, discussing it will make it that much easier and will allow you to work together to achieve that look. If you aren’t gunning for a specific look, simply coming to an agreement will suffice. You can help each other decorate by hanging up pictures on the walls, rearranging furniture, hanging up lights, etc. Doing so might just bring you closer as you help one another and discover more about each other’s decorative preferences.

Ultimately, there are many fun things you and your roommate can do together whether on or off campus. Talk to your roommate, pick something that looks interesting to both of you, and enjoy!

 


7 Types of College Roommates You're Likely to Experience

By Lorena Roberts 


Having to deal with the complexity of college roommates is a part of a huge life transition for most of today's college students. Every fall, thousands of college freshmen move into their new home with a stranger, transitioning their life on multiple levels all at the same time. College is completely different from high school in many ways -- but the most drastic difference between these two times in a student's life is that college means living with someone that you've likely never met before. Maybe you did your fair share of "stalking them" on social media. Maybe you even took the plunge and started messaging them in the middle of the summer.

Or maybe you took the liberty of finding a roommate on your own. Finding a quality roommate can be really tough, but in the end, might be worth it.

Regardless of how you and your roommate ended up together, the space you will share is probably the smallest area you'll ever share with someone else for a long period of time, meaning there's quite a bit of adjustment to do. One of the biggest transitions in college is learning how to live with someone you don't know.

 

 

Resident Assistants (RAs) are upperclassmen who are hired to live in dorms to help the process of this transition, as well as to keep an eye on rowdy college freshmen. RAs will try to encourage roommates to talk to each other - discuss the hard stuff. I remember my freshman year college roommate contract included questions like:

How often will you have guests spend the night?

Do you prefer to shower in the morning or the evening?

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being extremely clean, how clean do you consider yourself?

RAs were trying to get us to have conversations with our new roommates that would help us solve issues down the road. Of course, there's a pretty big learning curve when it comes to living with someone else. So our "roommate contract" didn't solve everything. But my freshman year roommate was just the beginning.

As college students progress through their college years, it is likely that they'll have to continue living with people. Living on your own is extremely expensive. And student loans are already weighing down today's college students, so saving money on rent is even more important than ever.

During college, you'll likely experience many different kinds of roommates. You'll also discover what kind of roommate you are in the meantime. Here are the 7 types of college roommates that everyone will likely experience at some point in their college career:

 

1. The Roommate Who's Still Attached to Their Parents

While everyone experiences a different kind of transition when going to college, it's hard to live with someone who's still really attached to their parents. It's one thing to call your mom on the first day of class to let her know how your professors seem, but it's a completely different ball game when you're asking your parents to help you with your homework and make your decisions for you.

Don't get me wrong, there were multiple times throughout college that I asked for my parents' advice. Whether it was advice on how many hours to take during summer school, or financial aid advice, that's what parents are there for! However, it's completely different when you look to your parents to make your daily life decisions.

Living with someone in college who depends on their parents this much is incredibly frustrating. It'll begin with their parents staying for a few days at the beginning of the semester. They'll use the excuse that they "just want to make sure their student is settled in." While it might not sound like that big of a deal at the moment, just wait until you've attended your first "pre-semester party" and you wake up extremely hungover to your roommate's mom putting away your roommate's clothes.

If you end up with a college roommate who's still extremely attached to their parents, chances are, you'll be extremely frustrated within a matter of days.

What's the best way to handle this kind of roommate? Detach yourself from them. Make your own decisions. Distance yourself. Just because the umbilical cord hasn't been cut from their tummy, doesn't mean yours hasn't, either.

 

2. The Roommate Who Never Cleans

I'd say this is one of the more common roommate situations for today's college students. Living with someone who doesn't know how to clean up after themselves is a total pain. You'll constantly feel like you're the "mom," picking up after them, cleaning dishes, vacuuming, and taking out the trash. It's frustrating, and you start to resent them.

When you live in a dorm room as a freshman or sophomore, it might not be as obvious. But when you start sharing an apartment with someone who doesn't clean, it becomes really obvious. Finding an apartment is tough in and of itself, but finding the perfect apartment and the perfect roommates to go with it is really tough. If you have roommates who never empty the dishwasher, leave their dirty dishes in the sink, never vacuum, and leave their wet clothes in the washer for days at a time.. you're going to be stressed before the semester even begins.

If you get stuck with this kind of roommate: suggest a cleaning schedule, or splitting up chores. It's probably best to set these boundaries in the beginning, but if you don't, there's still time. Instead of making your roommate feel like they're a lazy piece of crap (though they very well might be), tell them that you feel like splitting the chores is the fairest thing to do, as roommates.

 

3. The Roommate Who's Really High Maintenance

Roommates who are "really high maintenance" require a ton of attention. Every second that you're in the room together, they're talking to you, asking you questions, or getting your advice on their latest relationship drama. Roommates who are high maintenance can wear you out pretty quickly.

Typically, these roommates are incredibly insecure. They need your advice/opinion on every single decision they're faced with. They're struggling to make the transition to college.

How should you handle living with this type of roommate? Much like the other examples, distance yourself. Encourage them to make decisions for themselves. Every time they ask for your opinion, follow up with "what do you think about....?"

Encouraging them to think for themselves will help them with their transition. Remember that not everyone does so well with this major life transition.


4. The Roommate Who Wants to be Your Best Friend

Sometimes you get paired with someone who wants to be your roommate and your best friend. Sometimes this is good -- but sometimes it can get annoying. Roommates are good company when it comes to studying and staying up late listening to music, but if you end up living with someone who's also your best friend, more than likely you're going to get pretty annoyed/frustrated with them pretty quickly.

The best way to deal with this kind of roommate is: to distance yourself a little. You'll have to interact with them often enough just living together. So if you can, consider just being "roommates" with your roommate. Draw your own boundaries. Otherwise, I promise it won't take long until you're about to explode with frustration and annoyance.

 

5. The Roommate Who Never Has Any Fun

Maybe you've figured out the balance between studying and partying -- and maybe you haven't. Regardless of your own situation, if you're living with someone who's a complete stick in the mud, it might be hard to adjust. If you're always coming home to your dorm room and your roommate is there, it's probably going to get pretty annoying.

It's tough to live with someone who never gives you "alone time." And it can be totally exhausting to feel like you're always entertaining someone, or at least entertaining conversation with them.

At some point in college, you'll have to live with someone who's a totally home-body. The best way to handle a roommate like this: is to bring up the topic of when they'll be visiting family for the weekend, or suggest they get involved in some clubs on campus. Suggesting social activities may push them to make some friends and put some events on their social calendar, which will mean you'll have the room to yourself every now and then.


6. The Roommate Who Came to College to Party

This is likely one of the more rampant types of roommates on a college campus. When high schoolers transition into their new college life, they're overwhelmed with the number of distractions that are available. Pretty soon, they have a tough time getting themselves to class, and instead, spend the majority of their time at parties all across campus. Sure, they're making tons of friends and memories, but they're also probably pretty deep in debt with pretty terrible grades.

It's hard to live with someone like this, because it's tough to keep up with your studies when you're constantly tempted to go out and have fun with them. More than anything, living with a roommate like this means you run the risk of "looking like" the nerdy one. When they bring people over to pre-game and you're waist-deep in your Chemistry assignment, it'll look like you're a stick in the mud.

But what's important about learning how to deal with this kind of roommate is: know that you're being the more responsible student when you choose to study over going out all the time. Your studies are way more important than a few nights of "fun." And once you get into the routine of going out often, it's hard to get yourself back on track. It's much easier to just stay focused and not risk your academic success, in my opinion.

If you get stuck with a roommate who likes to party more than you do and it makes you uncomfortable - know that you're completely within your rights to request a room transfer. This happens at colleges all the time. Especially with freshmen. Especially within the first few weeks of college. It's tough to "match people" up without knowing who they are. So don't be too hard on the housing department and gently request to be transferred at the beginning of the following semester.

 

7. The Roommate Who Isn't Considerate At All

More than likely, at some point in college, you'll have to live with a roommate who seems to have no respect for other people at all. They'll bring people over without asking. They'll play music loudly in the middle of the night. They'll make tons of noise when they come in while you're sleeping.

It's tough to live with someone who doesn't seem to have any consideration for other people. The best way to deal with this type of roommate: is to avoid trying to make them be considerate. You can't change other people. You can only control your own behaviors. So instead, approach them (gently) and tell them what bothers you. Set some ground rules. Tell them you'd really prefer if they let you know when they're going to be having people over.

College roommates can be tough -- but they can also turn into some of your very best friends. People hold their college roommates in high regard, even inviting them to their wedding, or having them involved in their children's lives later on down the road. Friendships from college should be cherished. If you don't end up being life-long friends with your college roommate, that's okay. You'll surely make plenty of other friends you'll want to keep in touch with over the years.

If you feel like you keep running into problems with roommates, it might be time to analyze what kind of roommate you are. Maybe you hold people to really high standards. Maybe you're a perfectionist and you're overly worried about the actions of others. It's easy to be frustrated with people who aren't like you. It's easy to be frustrated with other college students who don't seem to be as mature as you are. Remember that you are in control of your own life. If you need to live alone throughout your college years, that's okay. Bite the bullet, take out the extra student loans, and make sure you're in an environment where you can be the most successful.


4 Things to Know Before Moving In with a Roommate of the Opposite Sex

By Christine Ascher 


Living with roommates almost always requires some compromise and effort on all sides in order to make the space comfortable for everyone. When living with a roommate of the opposite sex, this becomes even more important. You may each have different things in mind for what constitutes a good living situation, as well as a good roommate situation, so you’ll have to keep some things in mind when moving in for the first time with a roommate of the opposite sex. Though having a good relationship with your roommates is definitely a two-way street, there are some ways that you can prepare yourself to ensure that you do your best in making the relationship work. To make sure you get off to a good start with your new roommate, check out this list of things that you should know before moving in with a roommate of the opposite sex.

 

 

1. You Might Have Different Expectations    

While this can apply in many situations, it’s especially relevant when living with a roommate of the opposite sex: you may have different ideas in mind in terms of how close you want to be with each other. You might be going into your new living situation with the expectation that you and your roommate are going to be best friends, while they’re simply looking for someone to split the rent with.

Most importantly, make sure you keep your feelings in check; if you start to fall for your roommate but they’re not interested, the situation could become awkward and even painful, so if you feel like you’re developing feelings, it’s a good idea to get some distance.

 

2. There May Be Differences in Communication

One thing that you should definitely be aware of before moving in with a roommate of the opposite sex is that each of you may communicate differently. For instance, if you’re used to living with girls, you might be used to talking through everything, from the rules and guidelines you want to have for living in the apartment to the responsibilities of each roommate in keeping the space clean and tidy. Guys, on the other hand, may favor just going with the flow, rather than talking out every potential issue that could arise.

In addition, when conflicts do arise, you might find that your roommate has a different way of communicating about them. Guys do tend to be more upfront about issues, and might confront you about it directly—so try not to be offended if your roommate tells you flat-out that you’re annoying him. Girls might be less upfront, so you may have to do some inferring if they seem to be upset by something. Overall, make sure you go into your new living situation with an open mind, and accept that your new roommate may have a different way of expressing him or herself. If you’re open, it’ll be much easier to work things out in the future!

 

3. Know Their Deal-Breakers

Everyone has different preferences and expectations in terms of what they want from their living situation, and it’s important to know what your future roommate is and is not willing to put up with before you move in together. Find out the areas that are deal-breakers for your roommate; for instance, if they’re not okay with living in a messy apartment, you’ll have to keep that in mind once you move in together.

You should also make sure that you discuss your daily habits, to avoid annoying or uncomfortable situations. For instance, take note of what time you each wake up in the morning, when you like to use the bathroom, and how often you use the kitchen. When living with a roommate of the opposite sex, you should also broach habits that might make one of you uncomfortable; for instance, if you tend to leave your laundry lying around or if you like to walk around without a shirt on, make sure your roommate is aware of and okay with that.

 

4. Know Their Relationship Status

The danger of living with a roommate of the opposite sex is that if your relationship statuses aren’t clear to each other, things can easily become complicated or awkward. It’s a good idea to be upfront about any existing relationships as soon as you move in together, so that you’ll know exactly where you stand if any feelings develop. This can definitely help you avoid some uncomfortable situations later on down the road. In addition, both you and your roommate should know if someone’s significant other will be hanging out in your dorm or apartment.

If you’re dating someone or you know that your roommate has a significant other, it can also be helpful to set some ground rules when you first move in, especially in terms of when it’s okay to invite your significant other over and etiquette for having them spend the night. Since both you and your roommate will want to feel comfortable in your new living situation, it’ll be a huge benefit for both of you if you can talk these things out.

Roommate relationships can be tough, but with enough attention, they can grow into something great. While living with a roommate of the opposite sex may have greater potential for awkwardness, as long as you’re both upfront and know what to expect, there’s no reason for you both not to love your living situation.


How to Decide If You Should Continue Living with the Same Roommate

By Brittany Loeffler 

 

Finding a good roommate is difficult. So, if you have one already, keep them! It’s rare to find the perfect roommate, especially if they are your first. Not everyone gets along as roommates, even the best of friends. Living with someone can be challenging, especially if you have different lifestyles.

 

If you are considering changing your housing situation here are some factors to consider if you should continue living with the same roommate.

 

 

 

You Enjoy Each Other’s Company

The best feeling at the end of a long day is coming home to someone you genuinely enjoy spending time with. You and your roommate can sit and talk for hours in the living room or kitchen. You both don’t hide in your bedrooms the entire time without seeing each other for days.

 

When you enjoy hanging out with your roommate, you have more fun overall. A good roommate is like a live-in best friend! If you love your roommate’s personality and enjoy their presence, then you should probably live with them again.

 

They Positively Influence Your Life

Do you like your life better now that your roommate is in it? Do they positively influence your life? Maybe you picked up some cool habits like working out more or eating better from them. If you feel that you are a better person or living a better life thanks to your roommate, you probably want to keep them around and feed off of their positive influence for another year.

 

They Are Respectful

Respect is a major factor when it comes to living with a roommate. To be a good roommate, you should respect each other’s space and requests.

For example, if your roommate has a friend who tends to eat your food when they come over and you don’t appreciate that. You are able to tell your roommate that you are upset and they will talk to their friend and let them know they cannot do that.

 

When you respect each other as roommates it creates a harmony within the household. Respect means giving each other space, asking to use something that belongs to the other, and being considerate of each other’s feelings.

 

You Have the Same Friends

If you and your roommate have the same friends, then it is probably easy to live together as your place will be the social hub before going out on a Friday night or to have brunch on Sunday. Having the same friends means you’ll know mostly who is coming in and out of your home.

 

This is nice, especially if you have lived with a roommate who you don’t know very well and you find random people in your home. It can be a little uncomfortable at times. Having the same friends will make you feel right at home and comfortable in your apartment.

 

 

 

You Have Similar Lifestyles

If you and your roommate are in sync with the way you like to live your life, then don’t let them go! When you find that you mesh with someone so well and share the same values and lifestyle, then it’s a match made in heaven.

This makes schedules, hosting events, and even decorating easier. If you and your roommate are both night owls, then it will never be a problem when you are up until 3 o’clock in the morning.

 

The same goes for the cleanliness of your apartment. Some people like having a super clean apartment. Others don’t really care. Chores are one of the top arguments that roommates have.

 

You Have Good Times Together

A good roommate doesn’t always mean that you are friends. If you and your roommate are friends, then you probably have some pretty great times together. You can sit and talk all night long on the couch or go out to dinner for a roommate date.

 

Living with a roommate should be fun, so if you and your roommate have a good time together no matter where you are or what you’re doing, then it’s a good idea to keep living with them.

 

You Can’t Imagine Living Without Your Roommate

There are times when you meet someone you just can’t imagine your life without. If this is the case for your roommate then you know you’ve landed a good one. Your roommate provides positivity to your life and has had a great influence on it. You enjoy spending time together and doing menial tasks around the house together. You love coming home after a long day and seeing your roommate.

 

If you experience these things with your current roommate then you should definitely keep them around. It’s difficult to find a roommate that you mesh well with who doesn’t cause any stress in your life.


25 Traditions to Start With Your Roommate in Your First Apartment

By Brittany Hawes

 

Everyone wants their roommate to be their best friend. This is especially true when you’re looking for your first apartment. It’s not only tough trying to find the perfect apartment; it can be difficult to find a roommate that’s right for you. When you do find that perfect roommate, you’ll probably want to make the most of your days together. After all, this is an exciting time! You’re moving into your very first apartment and you want to have the time of your life.

To make this dream a reality, why not talk with your new roommate and see what the think about starting a few traditions? Not only will traditions help you to break the ice with your roommate, it will also provide you with the chance to get to know your roommate a little bit better (if you don’t know them already).

With that thought in mind, I’ve created a list of 25 Traditions to Start With Your Roommate in Your First Apartment. It’s my hope that these ideas for traditions will culture a friendly and open relationship between you and your new roommate and that you’ll have a great time trying these things!

 


1.     Movie Nights

Movie nights are literally the best nights. What’s better than coming home to a margarita and a dose of hilarity from your favorite Netflix and Hulu shows? Nothing, I tell you! Find out what shows your roommate likes to watch and share some of your own. Make plans to try out a few of your favorite shows together and take a break from classes. To make a movie night even better, it’s a good idea to bring out some buttery, hot popcorn and your favorite alcohol. It’s also a good idea to pick the funniest shows you can think of. Nothing blows away the stress after the first week of classes quite like a good standup comic. Remember: it’s always a good night for a movie night!

2.     Pool Days

I didn’t have close access to a pool before I moved to a new city to work on getting my Bachelor’s degree. Suddenly, I went from being surrounded by forestry and wildlife to dwelling near apartment complexes that boast blue, chlorinated pools. It was like a dream come true. I love going to the pool and relaxing. If you do too, try to get your roommate in on the fun. After all, if you’re going to pay rent, you might as well make the very most of your beautiful amenities!

3.     Gaming Tournament

Okay, I take it back … Nothing beats a great night of gaming and cracking jokes with your friends. If you’re into video games and have a console at your apartment, invite your roommate to join you a few nights out of the week. Get a tournament going with your friends.

I recommend games like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Need for Speed, Mario Kart, and the NBA games if you really want to see the competitive side of your roommate. If you just want to take it easy, you could try a one-player game and swap the controller with your roommate whenever one of you gets a “game over”.

4.     Holiday Parties

I love celebrating the holidays! A great thing to do with your roommate is to bring some holiday cheer to your apartment whenever a holiday that one of you enjoys rolls around. It’s so much fun to go to hit up store after store with your roommate to find Halloween, Hanukkah, Christmas and other holiday decorations for your shared apartment.

5.     Furniture Shopping

When you move into your first apartment together, you’re going to be excited to start decorating. Don’t go it alone! Ask your roommate if he’d like to go with you to pick out furniture and decorations for the house.

6.     Weekly Cleanup

Instead of letting the apartment turn into a giant mess, make plans to clean up once a week as a team. One of you could sweep and mop while the other person vacuums. What’s most important is that you clean together, That way, it feels more like hanging out, rather than completing chores.

7.     Explore the City

Have you noticed some cool places around town that you’d like to go? Ask your roommate if they’d like to go out with you to check some of them out.

 

 

8.     Semester End Road Trip

Celebrate the end of the semester by going on a road trip. Take off from work, get all of your homework and exams taken care of, and then start planning together with your roomie for a trip that you’d both enjoy. Make sure to decide on a place that you’d both be interested in visiting.

9.     Spring Break Vacation

Your roommate and you might enjoy going on a spring break trip together. Spring Break is a time to loosen up and have fun, so this could be a good time for you and your roommate to get to know one another outside of the school’s city.

10. Plan A Ridiculous Day

Ever had a ridiculous day? Well, it goes a little something like this: you and your roommate go out and do something crazy. Something safe-crazy, I should add. Maybe both of you have wanted to try sky-diving or bungee jumping? Go give it a try. Then, next month, go out and try sushi or Rocky Mountain oysters for the first time together. Did you both want to try owning a pet? Give it a test run by fostering kittens or puppies together. A “ridiculous day” is really just doing something fun together!

11. Campus Exercise Class

Most universities hold free exercise classes for their students. Look into some that you both might be interested in and then make plans to go and give it a try. If you both like it, you’ll have something fun to look forward to doing with your roommate every week.

12. Cook For Each Other

Cooking for one another can be an opportunity to share a little bit about yourself with your roommate. Be sure to swap recipes after dinner!

13. Ice Cream Friday

On Thursday night, pick up both you and your roommate’s favorite flavors of ice cream. Don’t forget to grab some toppings, cones, syrups, and a root beer, if someone wants to make a float. Then, on Friday night, put all of your syrups, toppings, and extras out on little plates and set them down in the kitchen. Now, you and your roommate can create your own delicious sundae or ice cream cone to enjoy! You can substitute ice cream for anything else that you may love.

14. Religious Group

If you and your friend happen to share the same religious beliefs, you could look into a religious organization on campus. Most college campuses have a big presence of religious groups and clubs that would love to pick up new members. Some groups even have weekly meetings and serve free food!

15. Sleepover

Nothing beats sleeping over in your roommate’s room and swapping stories all night! Bring a sleeping bag or air mattress to your roomie’s bedroom and stay up late watching movies, eating snacks, and laughing until you feel like you have to pee on yourself.

16. Venting Time

Everyone needs to vent now and then. Unfortunately, you don’t always have time to listen. If that’s the case, plan for a few nights out of the week to contain “venting sessions”. In these sessions, you and your roommate can update each other on what’s going on in your lives.

17. Card and Board Games Night With Friends

Ask your friend if they like card games and board games. If they say no, well … You might want to reconsider your choice of a roommate! If they’re into them, get all of your friends together one night out of the month and plan for a great night full of games. Have everyone bring over the favorite and stay up as late as possible!

 

 

18. Take-Out Night

We’re college students; sometimes, eating healthy just isn’t in the stars for us. When you and your roommate have a hankering for some Chinese, it’s okay to not always fight the urge. Indulge in your favorite meal every so often, say, a few nights out of the month.

19. Have a Chill Night

A “chill night” is a bit different from a movie night. When you get together and chill, it’s a time to lay out like a couple of bedbugs and do absolutely nothing. Sound boring? Not for a college student! Doing nothing, especially in the company of someone else, is a great way to relax and let your mind take a break from worrying about school, work, and whatever other stressors you might have going on in your life. Pick a night out of the week that works best for you both and get ready to do nothing but relax.

20. Split Groceries

My roommate and I liked to go grocery shopping together when we had the time. It was great because it made something like a mundane trip to pick up groceries more fun. It’s nice to have someone to chat with as you pick up the eggs and milk.

One “tradition,” you could call it, that my roommate and I had was to split some of the basic groceries. Basic groceries to us meant eggs, milk, condiments, and certain snacks. It’s a great way to save money!

21. Go Out Together with Friends

Combining friend groups isn’t always easy to do, but if it works, you’ll both have double the amount of friends. That means double the amount of fun when you go out!

22. Study Night

Studying by yourself can get lonesome. If your roommate is up for it, you might ask if they’d like to study with you in the living room a few nights out of the week. You could get together and go to the campus library, armed with plenty of caffeine and snacks. Of course, you could also stay in and study with the help of an awesome, collaborative Spotify playlist.

23. Have a Spa Day at Home

Going out to get a facial and massage can cost you close to a hundred bucks. Sometimes, it may cost you well over that amount. Having a spa day at home, however, won’t cost you more than a few dollars, max. Plus, you’ll be in the comfort of your home and be free to wear whatever the heck you feel like. So, don your furry bathrobes and bunny slippers and plan for one day out of the month to be your spa day. You might opt to do each other’s nails and do facials, or pluck any undesired facial hair. Nothing beats a good foot massage! Once you rub your roommate’s feet, you’re practically best friends.

24. Go to the Biggest Games Together

Going to a giant sporting event with your friend is a great way to let loose some steam and cheer on your school. After a hectic week of classes, yelling at the top of your lungs for your favorite sports team in the world feels amazing! You and your roommate should get decked out in your school’s colors and go to the biggest games you can. Not only will you have fun together, but bonding over sports is one of the easiest ways for sports-lovers to get to know one another better.

25. …Spend Time Together

No matter what else you may do, just remember to make time for one another. There will be times that your roommate won’t be able to hang out and do things every week, especially if they have a job or an internship on top of classes. But the times that you are able to get together, make them count.

That’s all I have for you today. Remember to make the most out of your first apartment! Happy college days, everyone!


Solving the Roommate Equation: A Little Different from E=MC^2

By Amanda Cohen 

 

Whether you’re a rising freshman, a seasoned sophomore, or a post-graduate, dealing with the whole roommate situation is extremely tricky. As a rising freshman, it’s much easier because most people only have one roommate because of university dorm rooms and such, but it gets much more complicated. Yeah, we complain about the fact that we have to live in a dorm room with a random person, but honestly, the university is doing you a favor by making this your setup.

 

 

 

Understanding and solving the “roommate equation” is frustrating and can even lead to drama. However, you have to start out by focusing on what you want from a roommate, or roommates, or no roommates, or whatever. Not everyone is meant to have four roommates each year, but many people also aren’t meant to live alone or only have one roommate. The main question is, how do you know what’s right for you? What do you need to take into consideration when solving the roommate equation? Before I go into the nitty-gritty details, here are some questions you need to ask yourself at the very beginning of your roommate selection process:

 

  • What was your freshman roommate experience? Did you enjoy it? Did you and your roommate/roommates/no roommates work out?
  • What is your daily schedule like? Do you have early morning classes? Do you have later classes? Do you like waking up early/late?
  • What is your social schedule like? Do you like to go out a lot on the weekends?
  • What is your housing situation like for the upcoming year? Are you living in a house? Are you living in an apartment? Do you have your own room? Do you have your own bathroom? What’s the floor plan like?
  • Are you more of an introvert or extrovert? If you are an introvert, do you feel that you will become withdrawn if you live by yourself (I’m not making any negative comments about introverts, as I am an introvert. I find that I can become withdrawn when I’m alone too much, which is why I’m asking this questions)? If you are an extrovert, do you feel you will get overly distracted by having too many roommates?
  • Are you really clean and organized? Do you care about the cleanliness of your living space? Do you get stressed and/or frustrated if you are the only person pitching in with house/apartment cleaning/organizing?
  • What are some of the proven benefits of living alone? What are some of the proven benefits of living with people?
  • Do you think that living with your best friends is a good option? Are you worried that too much time together may ruin your friendship? Do you want to expand your horizons and live with a randomly-selected roommates? Do you want to branch out?
  • How much money can you spend on rent? Does having more or less roommates help with the budgeting of your living situation at all?

 

I know that all of these questions seem overwhelming and, many of you, are probably feeling nervous because you didn’t realize all of the factors that go into answering the roommate equation. Before going into helping you all understand what may or may not be the right roommate equation for you, I want to stress that, regardless of your roommate situation, you will have an awesome life. If you really hate your situation, remind yourself that it’s only temporary and that you can alter your situation depending on your contractual agreement with your landlord and/or apartment complex. Alright, enough buildup, let’s really get into it!

 

For those of you who may be skeptical of my eligibility to write this article, I have been in many different roommate experiences, therefore I am able to speak from first-hand experiences. I moved from a double to a single my freshman year of college, I lived in a sorority house in a quad my sophomore year of college, I lived in an apartment with four roommates my junior year of college (five-bedroom, four-bathroom, I had my own bathroom), I lived in with one other roommate my summer before senior year (one-bedroom, one-bathroom), and I lived in an apartment with one other roommate my senior year of college (two-bedroom, two-bathroom). I’ve pretty much seen and experienced it all, so I promise you can trust me.

 

If you have the luxury to really choose your roommate situation, you need to try and understand what you want and you need to decide how you want to live your life for that year, or so, that you will be living with said roommate/roommates. If you are somewhat of a neat-freak, then I recommend choosing the number of roommates you have based on your living situation. For example, if each of you has your own bedroom and bathroom, you can live with probably 3-4 roommates because you will really only have responsibility for your own room and bathroom and you will all split responsibility of the shared common area.

 

However, if you are living in a place where you know you will have to share a bedroom or bathroom, I would definitely opt for fewer roommates. Usually, if you have more roommates, it makes it a lot more difficult to keep your living space clean and organized. If you are a neat freak, but also someone who wants to live with lots of people, follows some of these tips for staying organized while having roommates!

 

 

 

Another great way to decide how many people you should live with is by basing your decision off of past experiences. For example, even though I loved living in my sorority house, I knew I never wanted to live in a house again and that I needed to live with less people. This experience led me to choose to live with only four roommates my junior year and only one roommate my senior year. However, many of my friends loved living in a house with lots of people, so many of them opted to live in a house again either their junior or senior years. I know myself: I like to wake up early, I don’t love going out, and I love it when my room/living space is organized and clean. I knew that living with only a few roommates (well, later on, one roommate) was the right choice for me.

 

Like I said, I loved living in the sorority house, but I also knew I never wanted to live like that again. The bottom line is, learn from your experiences: for those of you who loved living in a house, keep up the high-number of roommates. For those of you who feel similarly to how I felt, there is nothing wrong with living with only a couple, or one, roommate. If you are living in a sorority house, or a larger house in general, use these guidelines as to how to keep your roommate/living situation drama-free.

 

When it comes to your living situation, you need to have a budget. For some people, budgeting is not as much of an issue, but for others, rent prices can make or break you’re their bank accounts. Usually, the more roommates you have, the lower your rent will be. However, your rent also depends on the location of your living space and the size and “newness” of your living space. Great ways to decrease your rent price is by sharing a room with a roommate or sharing a bathroom with multiple roommates. If rent price is an issue for you, but you also don’t love the idea of living with lots of roommates and/or sharing a room/bathroom, there are ways for you to make the best of your roommate equation.

 

As long as you set boundaries with your roommates and talk with them about your needs as a roommate and their needs as roommates, you will be able to make this living situation work, and you might even learn to love living with more than just one person, or by yourself. Allow your roommates to push your outside of your comfort zone a bit because life will not always offer the picture-perfect living situation. If you need a little extra help navigating your new living situation, read The Introvert’s Guide to Dealing with Roommates.

 

There are some people who love being around a lot of people. If you identify with this statement, you should consider living in a house with a lot of people. Some of my best friends lived in a three-story house (totaling 15 occupants) and had the time of their lives. Even though they were sharing a space, they each respected each other and had so much fun feeding off one another’s energy. With the exception of two girls, everyone had their own bedroom, but they had to split up between five bathrooms. Embrace your love of being around people and look into living with a lot of roommates.

 

 

 

If you love being around people but would rather live in an apartment than a house, you can do what I did my junior year of college and live in a five-bedroom apartment. Not all colleges have this option on their campuses, but it’s still worth doing the research. If your campus doesn’t have this option, but a bunch of you want to live together, but in apartments, consider living in the same apartment complexes and just dividing up who lives with who. You may even be lucky enough to all live on the same floor!

 

Last, but certainly not least, there are some people who prefer to have no roommates at all. If you opt to live alone, remember, you are not anti-social, you are not a loner, and you are not weird. Some people live alone because they want to, or maybe there are mental health or health reasons. Regardless of why you choose to live alone, this is still a fantastic option. You will still hang out with your friends, but on your own terms, and you get to come home to a living space that is 100% catered to you and your needs. Never feel strange for wanting to live alone. I know many people who live alone and they absolutely love it.

 

Like I always say, you need to stay true to yourself, and if staying true to yourself means living by yourself, then I say go for it! Whether you live in a single dorm room, a studio apartment, or a one-bedroom apartment, you will be happy to come home to an empty living space and decompress after a long day. Psychology Today published an article entitled “Best Things About Living Alone – For People who Mean it”, and I think everyone, even people who don’t want to/don’t like living alone, should read. If you didn’t want to live alone, but wound up living alone, read this article to lift your spirits because living by yourself is fantastic!

 

I wish the roommate equation was as simple as the equation 1+1=2, but it’s not. However, with the help of my article, as well as some internet research and advice from friends and family, I promise that you will have success in determining the number of roommates you want to live with. Do not forget what I said earlier, your roommate situation can always be changed… nothing is permanent. Finally, remember to stay true to yourself and don’t ever feel pressured to join a roommate situation that you’re not entirely comfortable with. You should try to go outside of your comfort zone a little bit, but you know yourself better than anyone and you know, deep down, how you want to live, who you want to live with, and the number of people you want to live with.

 

Whether you live with 100 people, two people, or no people, there is no right or wrong way to live. Good luck with choosing your roommates, my friends, I wish everyone a fantastic summer and year ahead! If you need more advice on the roommate equation, you should also talk to other people your age dealing with the same questions and maybe even the housing office of your university!