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7 Ideas for a Roomie Date Night In

After several months of spending all your time at home, you may be going a little stir crazy at this point. And if you live with roommates, you may just be getting a bit tired of being around them all the time.

Since you might not get the chance to go anywhere else any time soon, you and your roommates should come up with something new and fun to do together to change things up. What to do? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered here.

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1. Do a movie night.

This is a classic that never gets old. With so many different streaming services out there, from Netflix to Hulu to Disney+, you won’t be running out of movies to watch any time soon. (Plus, as a student, you can sometimes access these streaming services at a discounted or free rate!) Make some popcorn, grab any other snacks you love, and curl up on the couch with your roomie for a few hours of entertainment -- horror, comedy, romance, you name it.

2. Cook a fancy meal together.

This can be a lot of fun, whether you and your roommates are expert chefs or novices. If you have a specific dish you’ve been dying to try your hand at, go for it! If not, there are tons and tons of different dishes you could attempt to make, the recipes for which you can easily access online. Choose a specific dish, figure out what ingredients you need, and take a (safe) trip to the grocery store to pick up what you need.

If you can’t easily access a grocery store or would prefer not to go out at this time, you can totally switch this around and attempt to make a dish with the ingredients you already have at home. This may be a little more challenging, and it may not necessarily yield a great meal, but it can definitely be a fun process!

3. Blast some music and clean the apartment.

Okay, so maybe this isn’t the ideal fun thing to do for a night in, but it can be fun (and certainly productive) if you’re in the right mood. Besides, this gives you the chance to blast some of your favorite music -- you and your roommates can each take turns or, better yet, create a playlist of your favorite jams together -- and clean out your whole apartment. By the end of the night, your place will be sparkling clean, and you’ll be able to go to bed feeling accomplished.

4. Go on a mini-adventure.

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Traveling far and wide is not the smartest idea right now, but if you can swing a socially distanced mini-trip with just your roomie, you should totally go for it to stave off your boredom. That could mean driving over to a hiking trail and going for a hike together or taking a walk in a local park or neighborhood, all while limiting your run-ins with other people as best as you can. After spending so much time indoors, it’ll be good for you and your roommates to get out in the fresh air for a little bit.

5. Have a game night.

If you and your roommates love to play games, then a game night is perfect. Break out the board games and decks of cards, and play to your heart’s content! If you don’t happen to have any games with you in your apartment, you can order them online. It may take a while to arrive, but this way, you’ll have something to look forward to.

6. Have a crafts night.

Whether or not you and your roommates are artistically talented, a crafts night can be a lot of fun. Sites like Pinterest and Etsy offer a lot of interesting craft ideas and projects that you can take on, so you should have no shortage of inspiration. From knitting, sewing, and crocheting to drawing to painting, there are a lot of different crafts you can do to keep yourself occupied -- and you’ll have something cute to show off when you’re done.

7. Bake!

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Everyone’s doing it now -- even people (like me) who never, ever bake (so far, I’ve made an overdone cheesecake and a batch of brownies that turned out to be a really large cookie). There are tons of baking recipes you can choose from online, so don’t hesitate to pick something fun and get your bake on! To make things even more interesting, you and your roommates could do a bake-off and see whose product turns out better!

While you may be longing for the days when you can go out again, you can certainly make the best of your current situation and do something fun with your roommates.


10 Types of Roommates You Have in College

By Alicia Geigel 

Having one or multiple roommates is a standard part of the college experience. Whether it is during your freshman year in a dorm or post-college in an apartment, living with your new roommates may be either a dream or a nightmare, depending on the kind of person they are and how well you click together.

Everyone knows of at least one horror story involving a roommate, whether they were too messy, partied too much, or never left the dorm room. There are so many types of roommates out there, and if you’re not sure what to expect, you can become overwhelmed fast.

Are you about to move in with a roommate? Nervous about what to expect? Here are 10 types of roommates you can meet in college and how to deal with them!

1. The Neat Freak: Everyone typically likes their space tidy. The word ‘tidy’ may mean something different to someone depending on who you talk to, but generally, most people like a space that isn’t overwhelmed with trash or clutter. Then, there is the neat freak. As a roommate, the neat freak cannot stand to see a sign of dirt, trash, or clutter anywhere. They are constantly cleaning surfaces, Swiffer-mopping the floor, and might even ask you to take off your shoes at the door. Neat freak roommates can leave you feeling like you can’t keep up, do enough to satisfy them, or like you’re the embodiment of a mess.

Solution: Try your best to compromise with your roommate on tidiness, after all, it is the both of you that share the space and therefore you get a say as well. Establish a basic set of guidelines for cleanliness of the room, and abide by them. If your roommate wants to spend their time meticulously cleaning their side of the room, let them! Ensure that if you have a mess, it doesn’t encroach their space and give them the freedom to clean the shared spaces of your dorm if their heart deems it necessary.

2. The Slob: The polar opposite of the ‘Neat Freak’ roommate is the slob. For the slob, cleanliness is out the window. Tidiness? Never heard of it. As a roommate, the slob will generally not care about the state of the dorm room, leaving old graded papers, McDonald’s wrappers, and any kind of trash on the floor, in their bed, on their desk, in practically any space that can be occupied. Additionally, they don’t clean, so you can expect dirt and grime to build up on the floor, strands of hair on the floor or in the sink, etc. No one is absolutely perfect when it comes to having a clean space, but the slob throws that concept out of the window.

Solution: Living with someone is all about compromise. Similar to the ‘Neat Freak’ situation, try to compromise with your roommate on tidiness. Establish a basic set of guidelines for the cleanliness of the room, and ensure that you both abide by them. To make things simpler, you can alternate between who cleans what, and when. Set up a schedule where you and your roommate can clean certain areas of the room on a weekly basis. This way, the work gets divided up and your roommate doesn’t feel like they’re doing all of the work.

3. The Invisible Roomie: Part of what is so great about having a roommate is getting to know them, forming a friendship, and ultimately having them be someone special in your life for years down the line. For some roommates, however, forming relationships and being social is not something they are interested in. The invisible roommate is someone you know you live with, you’ve definitely talked to them and seen them before, but on a daily basis, you hardly ever come across them. Perhaps your schedules are that different, or maybe they really just aren’t interested in getting to know you. Either way, this type of roommate can be a bit of a head-scratcher.

Solution: If you appreciate your alone time and don’t mind being by yourself in your dorm most of the time, the invisible roommate isn’t too bad. But if you’re someone who likes to be social, make new friends, and get close to others, this might be hurtful and make you feel lonely. Ultimately there is nothing you can do in terms of changing your roommate’s habits or personality, but you can change what you do in the meantime! Try to visit your friends more, get out of your dorm, and go on adventures across campus, do things that get your mind off of the fact that your roommate is ghosting you.

4. The Hermit Homebody: After a long day of classes, work, and extracurriculars, there is nothing better than coming back to your dorm and unwinding with some TV or a good book. Enjoying time in your dorm is normal, but when it becomes a lifestyle, that’s when you are a certified hermit. This type of roommate rarely attends class, binges every series on Netflix, and is probably behind on all of their assignments. You wake up? They’re there. You come back from class? Yeah, they’re there. Coming back from a party at 1 am? You guessed it, they’re there. Hermit roommates never leave the room and rarely socialize with others, whether be in class or on your dorm floor.

Solution: Unless you are in desperate need of some privacy, the Hermit roommate isn’t too bad. Sure, sometimes you want the dorm to yourself, but at least they keep to themselves and don’t bother you! Try inviting your roommate to the cafeteria to have lunch or dinner with you, or invite them out to a small get together with some of your other friends to get them out of the dorm and socialize a little. Check up on your roommate routinely to make sure they’re ok and not struggling with depression or anxiety, which could keep them from wanting to go out or go to class.

5. The Party Animal: One of the best parts of going to college is socializing and having fun by going to parties. After a week of mountains of assignments, essays, quizzes, work, and other obligations, it's fun to let loose, hang out with friends, and go to a couple of parties! Unless, you’ve already done that multiple times, Monday through Friday. Yes, the Party Animal roommate doesn’t wait until the weekend to have fun, they do it at 11 am on a Tuesday or 4 pm on a Thursday, it doesn’t matter. Whenever you turn around, they’re either coming back from a party or trying to start a party of their own in the dorm. For someone who is focused on getting work done, getting decent sleep, and not trying to clean up your roommate’s drunk messes, this can be a bit of a problem.

Solution: Listen, no one wants to be labeled as a ‘party pooper’, but there is a line that has to be drawn when the fun antics of your roommate interfere with your lifestyle and your academic work. Like everything else in terms of conflict with a roommate, try and compromise. Establish some rules regarding partying, having people over, and drinking. Maybe you can set hours in the morning or nighttime that are reserved for being quiet. Set boundaries on the times they invite friends over, and the number of friends they invite as well. If push comes to shove, talk to an RA, or look for another roommate situation!

 

6. The Catty Roommate: No one really likes confrontation, but some definitely deal with it better than others. Being in college, you are considered an adult, which means you are expected (and should) handle things with maturity and dignity. This can be for something as small as a piece of trash left on your roommate’s side of the room or forgetting to turn off the light because you were studying late. While this is not a big deal to handle for most people, the catty roommate will deal with things of this matter passive-aggressively. You never really know what is going to bother them today, but you can expect to find post-it notes telling you what you did to annoy them. Words are never spoken and tension always exists because there’s no verbal communication.

Solution: At the beginning of the semester or whenever you move in with your roommate, establish specific rules and guidelines as to how you both want to live and what you expect from each other. Mention or include things like study/work schedules, cleanliness, when to have friends over, what to share vs. what not to share, etc. Doing so at the beginning should make things a lot easier in terms of knowing what to expect from your roommate. If a passive-aggressive note floats around your dorm, ask your roommate about it and talk it out.

7. The Roommate with a Boyfriend/Girlfriend: When in college, it is expected that you will date a few people. Given that you are socializing with others, meeting new people in classes, etc., dating and/or having a significant other isn’t something that anyone doesn’t expect. When you start to lose your sense of privacy and space because your roommate can’t seem to get enough of their significant other, then you are in for a unique situation. The roommate with the significant other is usually so obsessed with them that your roommate is around them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There isn’t a time when you can’t catch them staring deeply into each other's eyes, kissing, or going on about how much the other means to them. Love is fine, but when it suffocates you all the time, it gets exhausting.

Solution: You don’t want to see your roommate break up with their significant other, but you do want your space back. Kindly ask your roommate to consider alternating between your dorm and their significant others, so that you can have some space but aren’t kicking them out completely. Stress the idea that the room is also yours, and you have to study, work, or want to unwind without having to worry about what is going on between the two of them. Trust me, I think your roommate will understand.

8. The Borrower: Are you ever chilling in your dorm when you realize you’re missing your favorite sweatshirt? Or searching through your drawers you notice your box of cereal is half gone? I hate to break it to you, but there’s a strong probability that you’re living with the Borrower roommate. Their intentions may be good, but the Borrower roommate has no concept of personal space or belongings, and has the “what’s mine is yours, what’s yours is mine” attitude about nearly everything in your room. From clothes to food to shampoo, your roommate will use or borrow anything without asking, because that’s what roommates do right? Though it can be frustrating to deal with them, there are a few ways to get them to quit it.

Solution: All it takes to break through to a Borrower roommate is to have a conversation. Set clear boundaries as to what is yours and yours only, such as the food you buy, your clothes, toiletries, etc. Once you tell your roommate that there are certain things they can’t borrow or use, they will lay off and get the picture.

9. The Late Night Owl: Everyone has different schedules for the day since none of us are the same, we all handle the day differently. In college, most everyone runs on a similar schedule, as classes take up the morning to mid-afternoon. Because of this, going to bed at a decent hour and waking up on the early-end of the morning is a must, unless you’re the Night Owl roommate. When you’re falling asleep at midnight so you can get up early to study for an exam the next day, the Night Owl roommate is just starting their night. While they aren’t partying, they are most likely microwaving food, listening to music, taking a shower, chatting with friends, or wandering aimlessly around the dorm. All of this can put a strain on your sleep and make you want to pull your hair out.

Solution: Try compromising with your roommate and be vocal about what is bothersome to you at night. Is their music too loud? Are the lights too bright? All of these are important concerns to bring up to them. Additionally, a sleeping mask and earplugs can help too!


10. The Soul Mate: If you’re lucky, you can find the perfect roommate that clicks with you on everything. Your personalities mesh together, and its a win-win situation. My freshman year, after my first roommate moved out, a girl that I was friends with moved in with me, and it was the best roommate experience ever! We were on the same page, had fun, understood each other's habits and boundaries, and had an awesome roommate relationship, so much so that we are best friends to this day, far after we got our diploma!

Dealing with roommate problems isn’t always easy, but if you communicate effectively by vocalizing what bothers you and can find a middle ground, nearly all of your problems can be solved! As always, good luck!


How to Amicably Restrict Your Roommate's Visitors

By Madison White

We all know that we are living in unprecedented, uncertain, and difficult times. When our lives are still somewhat, if not completely, confined to our homes, some people may be struggling not only with the effects of quarantine itself, but with dealing with a difficult roommate too. While some people take the precautions very seriously, others may be less apt to follow the rules and prioritize things like their social lives over safety. If you are living with someone who is trying to bring people over despite the dangers, how can you politely but firmly ask them to stop? With a few helpful tips, you should be able to have a productive conversation that leaves both of you feeling better.

 

 

1. Approach the topic calmly

Many of us have never lived through an experience similar to the shutdowns due to Covid-19. Because of this, many people are reacting differently, and with varying degrees of restriction. Some of what is true about the disease changes every day and remains somewhat of a mystery. Depending on where you get your news from, you may have different ideas about the scale of the problem. While you may have very strong feelings about keeping safe during the pandemic, you want to approach the topic calmly. If you bring up the situation like it is the end of the world and nothing can be done, it will be easier for your roommate to blow you off and act like you are just being dramatic. Bringing the topic up with reasonable background knowledge and open to new information is a better way to approach the subject.

2. Talk about your reasons

While some things are still unknown about the virus, it is now common knowledge that the virus can be transferred through air particles, on surfaces, and via asymptomatic carriers. Some people will be quick to say that the people they are hanging out with feel fine, but that might not be enough. Discuss with your roommates how having people over to your shared space affects your safety too. You may want to talk about all the surfaces someone would touch while coming over—doorknobs, walls, couches, chairs, sinks, toilets—and how it would be nearly impossible to clean all these surfaces after they leave. Furthermore, if you have pre-existing medical conditions that make you more susceptible to the virus, you may also want to bring those up as well. Talking about exactly why other people coming over makes you uncomfortable is a better conversation than simply telling them no without any reasoning. They will be more likely to understand where you are coming from and listen to your point of view.

3. Show empathy

As most of us know, the mental effects of being trapped inside have been very challenging for most people. If your roommate is an extrovert who thrives on human interaction, this is probably an especially difficult time for them. When you talk about this issue, make sure that you are showing empathy for them. This is likely one of the ways they are trying to cope with the pandemic and showing that you understand or can empathize with their feelings can go a long way.

4. Offer other options

Having friends come over may have been their normal socializing before the pandemic so your roommate may have not thought about all the other options there are to get their interaction fix. You could suggest that instead of meeting inside your home, they meet either on your front or back porch. This could be a compromise so that both of you feel like you get what you want. You may also suggest that they meet up with their friend for a walk in an outdoor space like a park. There are also plenty of options for hanging out with people digitally whether it be through FaceTime or other programs like Zoom. There are loads of fun games that people can play in groups over the internet that are nearly as fun as hanging out in person! Helping them brainstorm other ideas may make it easier for them to give up the idea of having people over.

Roommate difficulties can definitely be heightened due to spending way more time together and because of the anxiety that a pandemic causes. Hopefully, you and your roommate will be able to understand each other better and reach a solution that benefits both of you. Don’t forget to be understanding and honest with each other about what is going on. A roommate can be a very important support system when it comes to trying times like these. It is much better to lean on each other rather than becoming enemies during a time like this.


Fun At-Home Workouts To Do With Your Roommate

By Danielle Wirsansky

If you are in quarantine due to the pandemic but still want to get your workout on, then this is the article for you! And if your roommate wants to join in on the fun, even better. Being stuck in the house for weeks on end can be pretty draining and it can be hard to find ways to work out or even stay motivated to work out. So if you and your roommate can get on the same page, working out together, even just at home, might be enough to help snap you out of your funk or keep you on track until the gym is a safe spot to return to.

You most likely do not have a lot of gym equipment at home, but you can use your partner to get the most out of your workout instead. Read on for some fun at-home workouts to do with your roommate!

Wheelbarrow Squat Pushups

This exercise titles might seem a little bit daunting but it is actually a lot of fun if you can stay focused on the exercise rather than laughing about your position. Each of you can take turns in the different positions so that you all get the full workout.

This exercise is nice because both partners are doing something a little bit different at the same time and no one has to wait around to wait for the other to finish their rep. It will not work unless the partners are in sync because they have to rely on each other to get the stretch done.

Partner A gets into a plank position, with their arms holding them up high. Partner B stands behind them by their feet. When Partner A is ready, Partner B grasps their ankles and hold them up in a wheelbarrow position. Once that position is attained. Partner A will bend their elbows into a push-up. At the same time, Partner B will do a deep squat, keeping Partner A’s legs level. About 10 reps will be enough to help you feel the burn.

Partner A needs to use their core to keep their body straight throughout the exercise. Partner B needs to do their part to keep Partner A’s body straight too and keep their back straight as they do their squats.

High Five Squat Jumps

If you and your exercise partner want to do the same kind of stretch in an exercise together and want one that will bring some positivity to your workout, then the high five squat jumps are for you.

This is a pretty simple exercise. If you know how to squat and how to high five, then you have already got this exercise down. Both partners should stand side by side facing the same direction. Leave a little bit of room between you. When you are ready to start, both partners should get down in a deep squat and then use this position’s momentum to jump upwards. As you jump, each partner should lift the arm closest to the other partner and high five. It will keep you and your partner in sync too because you have to high five each other at the same time. This exercise might also help you work on your coordination, because high fiving each other can sometimes be a struggle all on its own, never mind the deep squats in between them like in this exercise.

If you really want to bring some positivity into this exercise, you and your partner can say something positive to each other every time that you high five, like “You got this!” “We are so close!” and “Nailed it!” You can keep going until you lose your breath and can no longer say your positive mantras. But aim to do at around 20 reps if possible.

Clapping Side Plank

Another great partner exercise is the clapping side plank. The side plank is where you lay on your side and then elevate yourself to bear your weight on one arm and stretch your body out, with your top foot stacked on top of the other one. It is important to keep your core tight. Get into your side plank, but the partners should be back to back.

The hand that is free should come forward to wrap around your torso to clap your partner’s hand behind your back. Then stretch it up straight and high. Get some momentum as you move your arm and rotate it around so that you can high five your partner up in the air as well.

Use all this time at home to better bond with your roommate and keep yourself accountable with your health and fitness goals despite being stuck at home. Have the best time you can with these fun, at-home workouts!


Getting To Know Your Future Roommate Virtually If You Can't Meet Up In-Person

By Danielle Wirsansky

 

Keeping yourself on an even keel while in college can be difficult. It can be hard to find the right balance between all the different elements of your very busy college life. This can include your schoolwork, going to classes, homework, going to work, extracurricular activities, your family, your social life, and even your living situation. However, your living situation can often be the most important element of all. This is because what happens at home in your living situation can affect all the other elements. If you do not have a happy home it is short to come out in other areas. If you are having a stressful time at home, then it will be harder for you to succeed in the other areas of your life.

And within that element one of the most important parts about creating for yourself a happy home life is making sure that you can connect with and mesh well with your roommate. However, oftentimes in college, whether you are living in a dorm or off-campus, you may have to be assigned a random roommate.

When you live in a dorm, they often assign you a random roommate and this will be based on a questionnaire that you fill out. Yet we have all heard the horror stories and know that those questionnaires don’t always help connect the best-suited roommates.

When you live off-campus, is more likely that you will be able to choose your own roommate. However, if you are unable to find someone that you would like to live with many apartment properties or complexes will match you with other students that are also looking for roommates and that way you can all have separate leases but still share an apartment. This is because most college students cannot afford the lease for an entire property on their own. Rental properties maximize their profits and the likelihood of students renting from them when they offer this service. Some properties offer a questionnaire just like the dorms do but others just put people who are interested in the same kind of property together without paying any attention or paying heed to what those people are like.

Regardless of where you are living or why, a college student will often not know their roommate in person ahead of time. Perhaps they have a busy school schedule, or you have a very difficult work schedule to maneuver around, or perhaps one or both of you are not staying in your college town until it is time to move in. This means you have to take the time and effort to get to know your roommate on your own time.

And one way to do so is virtually. So if this is the case and you need to meet or get to know your roommate virtually, there are many different strategies that you can try so that you can get to know them and make sure that your living experience together is the best possible outcome that it can be. Read on for tips on getting to know your roommate virtually if you can’t meet up in person!

 

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Video Chat

The next best thing after meeting in person is, of course, seeing each other through video chat! If you are interested in video chatting, there are many different platforms you can try and use to do so.

If you want to go old school, you can go through Skype. Most people have a Skype account or they can get one and it is free and easy to use. However, many people in the younger generations no longer create or have a Skype account. If this is the case, you may want to use a platform that you already have an account with.

Another option to try to video chat through is Google Hangouts. Most people have a Gmail account, or if they do not, are interested in making one. You need one in order to have other accounts like a YouTube account so it’s very likely that your potential or future roommate does have a Gmail account already. This means you also have your future or potential roommate’s email address at the same time.

If speaking or video chatting through Google Hangouts is not an option, then you can always try the video chat feature that Facebook Messenger has to offer. Most people today have a Facebook account. Messenger is easy to use because it can be on their phone or use through a computer desktop or laptop. This makes it especially convenient to use for video chat. And this way if you are chatting with each other ahead of time which many roommates do and you are using Facebook you can keep a record of all your communications in the same place.

If you want to go a more professional round, you might want to try Zoom. Zoom is a video chat software for professionals that has really boomed over the last two years. And after the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, it is especially in high demand. In fact, Zoom has now opened its platform so that anybody may make a free account. However, these free accounts will only allow you to chat for 40 minutes at a time before kicking you off. If you want to splurge you can pay a monthly fee to be a member of the platform, then you can have unlimited video calls. The connections are usually better than other video chatting platforms and you can also conveniently give yourself a background that hides whatever your actual background is, so you don’t have to worry about finding a picture-perfect spot to make a good impression.

You and your roommate will have to choose what’s best for you.

Connect on Social Media

Another way to get to know your future roommate virtually if you cannot meet in person is to connect on social media. Most people have at least one account on social media, no matter which platform it is. And there are definitely a lot of different platforms to choose from. The most basic social media account you can connect with your future roommate through his Facebook.

Most people have Facebook though the younger generations tend not to use it as often as other social media platforms. Even if they don't use it that often, you can usually still learn something about your roommate and use it for messaging and video chatting purposes. If they are engaged with their Facebook, they will also usually have some of their likes and dislikes listed on their profile as well as pictures or old posts that will allow you to learn a little bit more about their personality.

Another great option to try is Instagram. Younger people tend to use Instagram more often than Facebook. Using Instagram to get to know your future roommate, you will be able to get literal snapshots into their life. You can see what they look like, the things they like to do, the kinds of people they surround themselves with, what their hobbies and interests are, and more.

If you were looking to connect with your future roommate and learn more about them in a more intimate way, you can also connect through Snapchat. Snapchat will also give you literal snapshots into their lives. You’ll get to see them being themselves, being more comfortable in their own skin, and seeing what they do in their own time.

Some people may not want to connect through Snapchat immediately until they get to know you better, as it is a more intimate social experience. Be sure to ask your future roommate if connecting through Snapchat is OK before you just add them.

There are plenty more social media platforms for you to try and connect through if none of these seem like quite the right thing for you and your roommate. Find the one that works best for both of you and that helps you get to know each other best, pending on your personality. You also want to be aware of what you post and how that might come across to your own future roommate.

 

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Ask Questions

In order to get to know your future roommate well, even if you have to communicate virtually at first until you meet each other for the very first time, you have to ask questions. The questions that you need to ask your roommate are the same kind of questions that you would ask them if you were meeting them in person. Asking these initial questions is a very important step in getting to know your roommate. They will give you invaluable information that will help you to deal with this person better and make sure your living situation is copacetic.

If you are not sure what kind of questions you should be asking your future roommate, here are a few examples:

●      Do you smoke?

●      Do you have any pets?

●      Do you like to cook?

●      Do your friends come over often?

●      Do you ever have trouble paying your rent on time?

●      How often do you like to clean?

●      What is your schedule like?

●      How often do you like to go out?

●      Do you have any allergies, food or otherwise?

●      What temperature would you like or prefer for our living space to be?

●      What do you like to do on the weekends?

●      Are you still friends with any of your former or past roommates?

●      Are you in a romantic relationship?

●      What time do you like to go to bed?

●      What are your pet peeves?

These questions, and questions like these, can help you get a lot of insight into your potential roommate. They can help you to know what to expect, help you to adjust, help you to make the most of your situation, or even help inform you that this living situation is not a good idea and that the two of you will not do well together. Be sure to think of your own personal and unique questions that you would like to ask your roommate to help you get a better idea of what they are like and if you too can live together well.

Set Ground Rules Ahead of Time

Just as you would if you were meeting your future roommate in person, you need to set your ground rules ahead of time virtually. These ground rules include your cleaning schedule, guidelines for having guests over to the property, and your expectations for courtesy to each other, just as a few examples.

You need to make sure that you both have an understanding and are on the same page. It is far better to make sure that you are on the same page in advance before you move into the property together. This helps to make sure that you are not a poor match and will be unsuccessful roommates once you have moved in already and it helps you and your roommate stay objective rather than defensive so that no one feels to surprised or ganged up upon once they are already moved into the space.

For example, if you are allergic to cats and your roommate has a cat, that might not be a good match. Or if you are a homebody, and your roommate likes to drink, party, and have guests and romantic partners over to the apartment all the time then it might not work out either. This is why setting ground rules ahead of time helps stop bad situations from occurring once you are finally moved in.

 

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Getting to know your future roommate virtually is a very important step, especially if you cannot meet them in person before your move-in date. Do not take it lightly. Make the effort to get to know them and get to know them well. Find out the important things about them so you can be sure to have a harmonious living experience and a positive college or University experience as well. A happy home makes a happy life which is what we all want.


How To Cheer Up Your Roommate When They're Having A Tough Time

By Danielle Wirsansky

Whether you are the best of friends or just casual acquaintances, your roommate is a big part of your life while you are in college. Most college students do live with a roommate or two or three (sometimes even more). And your roommate is important, not just because they pay half the rent though that is an incredibly important element too.

Your roommate is also important because you share a living space, and their mood can affect your mood. If they are mad, you will probably be able to feel it. If they are happy, you will probably be able to tell. And if they are sad, then it can bring down the vibe of the whole apartment.

Everyone goes through tough times every once in a while, so you should try to be supportive when you can. You want your roommate to be happy, healthy, and paying their share of the rent. Read on to learn how to cheer up your roommate when they’re having a tough time!

Take Them Out To Eat

Whose spirits aren’t lifted by a bite to eat? Eating food generally makes one feel better. First We Eat explains, “We’re innately pleasure-seekers, and studies like this one have shown that certain foods—such as sugar, salt, and fat—are potent natural reward-drivers. This reaction occurs because they trigger the release of key ‘pleasure’ neurotransmitters—such as dopamine—more than their healthy counterparts. Ever felt your mouth water at the sight of pizza, but not kale? You already know.”

In addition to the food making your roommate feel better, taking time to sit, eat, and be relaxed and talk to you can help distract them and cheer them up from whatever tough time they may be having. Eating a meal together can be a very intimate thing and it will help to strengthen your bond together. If you can swing it, offer to pay to go the extra mile. But a lot of the time, just the simple invitation to go and break bread can be quite enough. Who knows, it might be just what your roommate needed!

Do Their Least Favorite Chore

We all have a least favorite chore, right? Roommates usually split up the chores between themselves so that everyone does an equal share and no one is overburdened. If you can tell that your roommate is feeling a little overburdened themselves and going through a rough time, a nice gesture might be doing a chore for them.

Most people do not really enjoy doing chores, so doing a chore for them could definitely cheer them up. But if you want the most bang for your buck with this favor, you might consider doing their least favorite chore for them so that they are especially uplifted by and grateful for this action. Do they hate doing the dishes? You can do them today. Do they have trouble lugging the garbage out to the dumpster? You can get it done instead. Does the sound of the vacuum give them a headache? Do it while they are out of the house! Maybe they hate scrubbing toilets—you can do it for them just this once.

If you do not know what their least favorite chore is, then any chore will do. But if you know what it is, then it is highly recommended you try that chore out. Would you be appreciative if they did your least favorite chore for you? You already know the answer.

Give Them Space

Another strategy you can try when your roommate is feeling down is just to give them space. Sometimes, when people are going through a hard time, they want to be by themselves. They do not want to talk about their problems, they do not want anyone to feel bad for them, and they just need to sort it out themselves.

Even if you have the best of intentions, doing nice things for them might make them feel vulnerable or weak or ashamed. The best thing you can do in those situations is just let them take a step back and breathe.

Every person, every roommate, every situation, and every roommate relationship is different, so you have to choose what feels right to you based on your own personal knowledge and experience. You definitely do not want to misstep and make your roommate feel worse or put them in a worse situation. Be sensitive. The fact that one, you have noticed that your roommate is going through a hard time and two, you care enough about them to do something about it already speaks well about your efforts. Just do your best! A lot of the time, it is the thought that counts.


Saying Goodbye to Your Roommate From Afar

By Alyssa Laffitte

As we part with our roommates for the year, it's likely we won't see them again for a while. In this article, we will discuss ways to say goodbye to your roommate from afar.

Image via Isorepublic.com

Text Them

Texting is one of the easiest, most convenient methods of communication today. You can quickly send a message to your roommate at your convenience, and they will respond whenever they have the chance. Texting a good way to have a quick conversation with your roommate, but it is limiting. Your roommate might be busy and can't respond for a while. Plus, some conversations can be difficult to have over text. Deeper, longer, more serious conversations can be held over the phone, where you can hear the other person's voice, and they can respond right away. For that reason, you can keep in touch with your roommate through text, but you should save longer, more serious conversations for a phone call when you both can give the conversation your full attention. Texting is a good way to say goodbye from afar to your roommate and to stay in touch with them.

Video Chat with Them

Although texting is an easy method of communication, it is also easy to stay in touch with people who live far from you through video chatting. Video chatting is better than a phone call because you can actually see the other person. In addition to hearing the other person's voice, you can also observe their body language, which is an important part of communication that gets lost through text or a phone call. You can use one of many video chatting platforms, such as FaceTime or Skype to see your friends face to face while still keeping your distance from them. When you video chat, rather than text or phone call, it's more like an in-person conversation because you two are face to face. Video chatting is the best way to say goodbye to your roommate from afar.

Multi-Person Video Chat

What's better than video chatting with one person? Video chatting with many people! If you have many roommates or mutual friends with your roommates, you can video chat with all of them at the same time. You can use the same video chat platforms you would use to chat with one person, but you could also use platforms like Google Hangouts, Zoom, or House Party since they are conducive to having multiple people video chatting at the same time. You will be able to see and hear everyone at once, and they will all be able to see and hear you and each other. You can coordinate a time for everyone to get on a call or on a video chat room, and you can all talk to each other there. In other words, you can say goodbye from afar to multiple friends or roommates at the same time by using a multi-person video chat.

Write Them a Letter

Writing a letter and sending it via snail mail seems old fashioned, but it's still a good option to say goodbye from afar. You will be able to write them a letter, it will be like having a pen pal! Plus, your roommate would probably enjoy receiving a letter in the mail. Unfortunately, it's not as quick as a text message or a video call, so it's not the best option for an urgent message. However, it's a good way to send a meaningful message that your roommate can keep. Sending letters back and forth could be a fun way to spend your time away. If you and your roommate want to do a fun, pen pal-like project, you can consider writing them a letter to say goodbye from afar.

Send Them Something

Along the same lines as sending your roommate a letter to say goodbye from afar, you could send other things to them, too. For example, you could send them a food delivery, like a pizza. (Of course, it's a good idea to let them know to expect something, but they'd surely be happy to receive something from you.) Sending your roommate something is a sweet way to say goodbye from afar.

See Them Through a Window

If you and your roommate live in the same city, you could say goodbye to them in person through a window. This is a good way to say goodbye if you want to do it in person. It would also be a good opportunity to drop off anything you might want to leave for them (like a note or food). As long as you stay outside of your roommate's place, and they stay inside, it should be okay to say goodbye to them through a window.

If you want to say goodbye to your roommate, but you can't see them physically, you can do the things in this article.


12 Fun Things to Do With Your Roommate Before the End of the Semester

By Kailey Walters

It may seem as if the semester just started, but -- believe it or not -- you’re at least halfway through the semester at this point, and the end is fast approaching.

There are probably a lot of things that you’ve realized you need to do to finish off the semester successfully: catch up on all your homework assignments, study for upcoming exams (including finals!), or go to the gym more often, just to name a few. But another thing you might not have thought of is spending more time with your roommate. You’ve most likely been living with this person for almost a whole academic year (or longer possibly) -- and if you enjoy their company, it’s time to start brainstorming and putting into action the fun things you can do with them before the semester ends.

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1. Create a fun Spotify playlist together and listen to it for the rest of the semester (and even after the semester is over).

If you and your roommate have similar tastes in music -- and even if you don’t -- creating a Spotify playlist together is a great way to have fun and laugh a lot. During my junior year, my roommate and I made a “throwback” Spotify playlist full of songs from the early 2000s up to 2014. It led to several hours of laughter and good memories, and I still listen to that playlist to this day.

It can be loads of fun to come up with songs and throw all your suggestions together into one giant playlist -- the product of your hard work! Plus, if you and your roommate like different kinds of music, this can still be a valuable experience. Maybe you can each learn something new about each other and try listening to different music for once.

2. Clean your dorm/apartment together.

Alright, this might not sound like the most fun activity to participate in, but it can honestly turn out to be a lot more fun than you think (especially if both you and your roommate love to clean). Identify what areas need to be cleaned or organized -- bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms, common area space, etc. -- whether they need a deep cleaning or just a light fixing up, and who will clean what. Then blast some music (aka the Spotify playlist you just created) and get to work. It’s a great way to have some fun with your roommate while also being productive, and you can do it as often or as little as you like -- once a week, once a month, just once for the remainder of the semester … the choice is yours.

3. Exchange gifts with each other for no reason in particular.

At this point in the semester, the major gift-giving holidays have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still exchange gifts with your roommate. Come up with your own special occasion, or just give each other gifts to show how much you appreciate one another. Of course, these gifts don’t have to be super fancy or expensive -- you’re living on a college student budget, after all.

The good news is that there are plenty of affordable, creative gift options that you can turn to. One cute idea is a coupon book, which you can fill with little “coupons” that your roommate can trade in to get something from you -- perhaps “one dinner date” with you or “one week of taking out the garbage” when you promise to take out the garbage for your roommate. They’re small gestures, but your roommate is sure to appreciate them. You can also pick out a small personal gift that you think they would enjoy, something simple like a trinket you saw in Target or some of their favorite snacks. Giving a little gift to your roommate shows that you were thinking about them and appreciate them!

4. Have a movie night.

This is a really simple, low-cost, super fun thing to do with your roommate. The two of you might already have regular movie nights, which is awesome, but if you don’t, now might be a good time to start! Clear some time on your calendars, perhaps on Friday or Saturday nights, and pick a movie you both want to see. Make some popcorn and settle in for a night of entertainment. It’s sure to be a good time.

5. Have a spa day.

After a long day or week of classes, sometimes all you want to do is go back to your room and decompress. And maybe a spa day won’t solve all your problems, but it at least will give you the chance to relax and unwind with your roommate. You can choose to go out for a professional spa day (think massages, mani-pedis, facials, the works) or opt for a cozy, personal spa day at home. If you go with the latter, choose a time that works for both of you and break out all the spa essentials -- face masks, lotion, body scrub, towels, facial products, you name it. You’ll get the chance to pamper yourself physically and spend some time unwinding with your roomie.

6. Take a weekend trip.

If you want to make some awesome, unforgettable memories with your roommate before the semester ends, you should consider taking a weekend getaway trip. At first glance, this might seem like a difficult thing to pull off, what with school- and work-related responsibilities as well as the extra expense of taking the trip. However, a weekend trip is totally feasible if you plan it out right. If either you or your roommate has a car, that makes getting around much easier because you won’t have to rely on public transportation.

You’ll also need to do your research on where you want to go and what you want to do. Since it’s just a weekend trip, plan to travel somewhere close by, ideally a nearby town or city within a few hours drive from your college campus or wherever you’re living. Scout out some attractions you can visit or upcoming events that you might be interested in attending. You can also spend some time in nature and/or getting to know the town you’re visiting -- go for a hike or a leisurely stroll and acquaint yourself with the surroundings. Try out some new restaurants and local coffee shops or bakeries. While it’s only for a weekend, it’s the perfect amount of time to give yourself a little breathing room from school and other responsibilities. Take advantage of the time to relax and have some fun with your roommate.

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7. Go to the gym together.

This might be fun for some people more than others, but no need to worry -- there might be something at the gym that anyone can enjoy, whether they’re already a gym rat or it’s their first time stepping foot inside the gym. If you and your roommate both love the gym, great! You’ll feel right at home and you’ll each have a buddy to work out with. If the two of you (or maybe just one of you) isn’t such an experienced gym-goer, there are still some fun things worth trying out. Perhaps you could sign up for a group fitness class together; your university is sure to offer some free classes that interest you and that you can easily sign up for, from Brazilian jiu jitsu to boxing to yoga.

8. Have a baking night.

To reward yourselves for getting in a good workout at the gym, you and your roommate can whip up some baked goods. I know I always appreciated making brownies and cookies (and experimenting with other desserts) with my roommate. Baking is simple, fun, and easy, and you end up with a batch of sweet treats that you two can choose to keep all to yourselves or share with other friends.

9. Go out to eat.

Maybe you and your roommate already make a habit out of this, but if you don’t, it might be time to go out for a meal and spend some time over food together. After all, sharing a meal is a great way to get in some bonding time. If the two of you don’t go out to eat very often, there are most likely a variety of restaurants, cafes, brunch spots, etc. nearby that you can pick from. And if you already do go out to eat together regularly, maybe it’s time to diversify your meal options by picking a restaurant you’ve never been to with cuisine that you’ve never tried. Or you could even go fancier and splurge a little bit, if you’re willing to get out of your comfort zone that way. When it comes to food, there are so many possibilities for you and your roommate to try out, so take advantage of the options out there!

10. Cook together.

On the flip side, if the two of you go out to eat perhaps a bit too often and want to save money, staying in and cooking together is a great alternative. Especially if cooking is not something you two do together all that often, it can be a fun way for both of you to try something new. Figure out what kind of food you want to cook and eat (of course, something that both of you will presumably enjoy) and find a recipe for it; there are tons and tons of recipes that you can easily locate online. You may then need to take a trip to the grocery store, which is part of the fun. Once you have everything you need, you can start cooking. Whether or not the food turns out great is not the point -- the point is to have a lot of fun in the process of trying something new with your roommate. If the food happens to be amazing, well, that’s just bonus points for you two.

11. Host a party (or some kind of get-together).

After you and your roommate have (or have not) mastered the art of home cooking, you might want to put your skills to the test by hosting a small party or gathering at your place. That could potentially sound a bit daunting, but if either of you enjoys being the host or inviting lots of people over, that could very well be a great idea. Of course, you don’t want your get-together to become rowdy or out of hand; simply invite a few close friends over, break out some snacks (cheese and crackers, anyone?), and settle in for a calm night with friends. If both you and your roommate host together, that will also help to keep the party under control and give you both a sense of working together to pull something off. To make this thing successful, you’ll probably want to plan out when and where it’s going to take place, who you’re inviting, what kind of food and drinks you’ll be serving, and how much time you may need to spend cleaning things up in your apartment or dorm room.

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12. Go furniture and/or decoration shopping together.

You two live in the same place -- why not furnish and decorate the space together, too? Understandably, you two may have very different styles of decorating, and that’s perfectly fine. However, it is important that you and your roommate respect each other’s styles, which is why it might be a good idea to pick something out together -- whether it be a chair, a table, a lamp, a painting, or what have you. On the other hand, if the two of you share similar decorating tastes, the process of furniture and decoration shopping together becomes much more appealing. In that case, the two of you can shop for as much furniture and decorations as you want. This is an awesome way to spend some time together and create a living space that both of you can enjoy and be proud of.

There are really so many things you can do with your roommate before the semester ends, so don’t hesitate. Take advantage of these next few months to soak up all the time you can with your precious roomie; you won’t regret it.


How You and Your Roomie Can Stay Healthy Living in Close Quarters

By Kaitlin Hurtado

As we are in the middle of a pandemic, many states have issues Stay at Home orders. Schools have decided to transition to remote classes, nonessential businesses have shut down across the country -- many of us are confined to the walls of our homes in order to keep ourselves and each other safe. Many college students have left campus and their student housing due to campuses being mostly closed and classes moving to be conducted remotely, however, many students are also opting to stay in their apartments and living with their roommates. You may be worried about how you can stay healthy and safe living in close quarters, but with several tips in mind, you can do plenty to protect you and your roommate.

Keep reading to see what you can do.

Stop sharing drinks/food

For those of you that are close with your roommate, you may be used to splitting drinks and food -- opting to drink out of the same cup and straw or using the same fork to munch on a meal. This is definitely something you should stop doing immediately. While you and your roommate may not be displaying any symptoms of sickness, you don't want to put each other at risk by directly contaminating one another just to save yourself the few minutes of washing an extra cup.

Minimize the dangers of leaving the house

If one roommate is still having to leave the apartment to go to work or go grocery shopping, they are at risk of exposing themselves and by association, exposing you. To keep every one of you in your apartment safe, you want to make an effort to "decontaminate" upon entry.

●      Keep a container of Lysol/disinfectant wipes by the door, wipe down your door handle

●      Take off your shoes, leave them outside if possible

●      Make an effort not to sit down, change out of your clothes and set them aside to wash

●      Try to shower as soon as you can

●      Disinfect items you may have brought inside, like your grocery store items, before putting them in their designated spaces

When leaving the house, make sure that you are making a conscious effort to eliminate any risks. Carry hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. Wipe down high-touch areas such as your steering wheel, door handles, and so on.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have officially recommended that anyone who leaves their house should wear face masks to try to stop the spread of COVID-19. They recommend nonmedical cloth face masks but emphasize that these do not completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19.

Disinfectant High-Touch Point Areas As Often As Possible

It's important to remember the difference between cleaning and disinfecting. When you're cleaning, like wiping down a countertop with hot water, you are just removing dirt. Disinfecting -- using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces -- effectively will kill germs on a surface and lower the risk of spreading infection.

While door handles/knobs and countertops may be the areas you automatically think of when it comes to disinfecting, there are other high-touch items that are all too easy to forget in your disinfecting routine.

  1. Phone. Whether you admit it or not, you're likely spending plenty of time on your phone right now. Take a Clorox wipe, or a wipe with 70% alcohol, and wipe down your phone, with the case and without it. Before using a wipe, be sure to wring out extra moisture.
  2. Keyboard & Mouse. Whether you are working remotely or doing schoolwork, this is an area you'll want to clean. Use a microfiber cloth slightly dampened with water and avoid getting any keyboard openings wet. Use a can of compressed air to get the gunk out of open areas.
  3. Steering wheel, handles gear shift and seatbelts. Disinfectant wipes will do the trick -- avoid using bleach and hydrogen peroxide.
  4. Keys, remote controls, credit cards, wallets. When in doubt, just think of things you often come into contact with, especially things you touch with dirty hands.

Don't Invite People Over

While this may go without saying, don't invite people over at your apartment. Social distancing and Stay at Home orders does not mean this is the perfect time to invite people over for the rager you always wanted to throw. Birthday celebrations and in-person gatherings can wait until it is safe for everyone to do so.

Missing human contact outside of your roommates? Host a gathering over Zoom or Google Hangouts -- get creative and do game nights, watch movies or just simply talk to each other as you would.

This is definitely a scary and unpredictable time for many. In a time where it feels like there's nothing you can control, it's important to see what you can do. Together with your roommate, take action to protect yourselves.


Are You Ready to Leave Roommate Living Behind?

By Madison White

 

When most people think about college living, they think about sharing a dorm room or housing with lots of other college students. For some, this works. Living with roommates has lots of benefits like reducing costs and creating a social environment. On the other hand, roommate living isn’t the right solution for everyone. At some point, especially as you get more serious about your degree, you may start to wonder if roommate living is still the right option for you. Coming up in this article are 5 statements that you might relate to which will help you decide if it’s time to leave roommate living for good.

1. You like having your own space

Are you constantly organizing and decorating your room? Do you find that you often hang out in your room rather than in shared spaces? Treasuring your own space is a good sign that you might enjoy living alone. Lots of people have issues when sharing spaces whether it is differences in cleanliness or noise levels. Because of these issues, or other things, some people just find it easier to be in a space that is solely theirs rather than having to be out with others all the time.  If you often find yourself seeking out your own room regularly, then you will likely benefit from living by yourself.

2. You enjoy quiet time

Living alone often means that your life will be a lot quieter than it would be with roommates. If you are used to people always being around and talking, watching TV, listening to music, cooking and other things, then you might find living on your own to be kind of a shock. Some people become really uncomfortable when dealing with silence. Some people really love silence and find it very important for thinking, relaxing, and working on schoolwork.

If you are someone who likes the noise and bustle of living, then you might not actually enjoy living alone. You may begin to feel uncomfortable and bored with all the empty time and space you have. Alternatively, if you find yourself savoring quiet time, then you may really love living alone.

3. You feel safe on your own

Safety is something that should be of the utmost importance. While you may not think of it all the time, feeling safe or unsafe can take a huge toll on your life. Living with roommates offers an extra sense of security because you know that someone is close by. Having roommates can also be beneficial when going to and from an apartment or house. Alternatively, it is much easier to feel unsafe when living alone. Sleeping alone can also be anxiety-inducing and could affect your sleep if you are up all night wondering if something bad will happen.

This can be especially important if you are female. Unfortunately, it is often more difficult to live alone as a woman. Especially when leaving and arriving at night, things could become a little more precarious than during the day. If you feel comfortable in defending yourself or that your neighborhood is sufficiently safe, then you will probably be just fine living alone.

4. You are responsible with money

Living alone also means that you are responsible for paying the rent and utilities all on your own. You should first make sure that you have enough income or savings to pay the required rent each month. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you cannot pay rent. You should also be punctual and feel comfortable paying bills on time each month. You will have to coordinate things like rent, electricity, gas, and internet. All of these can take time and effort to set up.

5. You’ve had roommate issues in the past

One of the main reasons people consider living without roommates is because they’ve had issues with roommates in the past.

Sometimes it can be very difficult to find the right people to live with. You may have had issues with living with friends than turned sour. You may have had trouble with people paying on time or cleaning in a way that suited everyone’s needs. Because of all these issues, you may be done with trying to find a good roommate and decide to live on your own. Not having roommates also cuts down on potential roommate conflicts! Lots of people love living alone for this very reason.

The decision to live with or without roommates is a very important one. Your living situation can really affect your mental health and your success in school as well as your social life. Before making this decision, be sure to think carefully and honestly about your own situation. You should feel confident that living alone will help you feel comfortable and happy.