Roomsurf College Roommate Finder

How to Decide & Gracefully Decline Living With Your Current Roommate Again

By Danielle Wirsansky 

 

College teaches you a lot of things. You learn a lot in school. You take classes. You earn a degree. However, college can teach you a lot more about life than what you can get from simply going to school. You learn about independence, taking care of yourself, juggling school and work, maintaining a social life and your grades, and what responsibility really means. You learn how to pay bills, how to cook, how to clean, how to prioritize, how to stay on top of your schedule, how to keep yourself out of trouble, and how to stay afloat.

One of the most important things you will learn in college is how to handle people in your life, whether that is going out and making new friends since you are making a fresh start out at college, keeping up with the friends there that you have already made, and maintain other friendships you may have already had. You have to learn to let people come in and out of your life as you both try to navigate your lives. You have to learn when to let someone go when they are not a good fit for your life or when they become a negative aspect of your life instead of a positive one.

This is especially true for your roommate while in college. Your relationship with your roommate will be one of the most important relationships you have during your time away at college for a lot of different reasons. Your home is your space to relax and truly be yourself, and a lot of the time, your relationship with your roommate can make or break that. It is hard to come home and feel relaxed if you do not get along with your roommate and so do not feel welcome in the common areas, or if your roommate dominates the living room and never lets you feel like the space is yours too, or if your roommate does not pick up after themselves even when reminded and clutter stresses you out. There are a lot of reasons why a roommate situation can be stressful, whether or not you like the roommate in question as a person.

Living situations create very intimate relationships, because your roommate ends up knowing a lot about your life, whether they are actively involved in it or simply live off the periphery. Being a good roommate takes a lot of work, and often, this is asking too much of a busy college student. A lot of the time, roommates are come and go. It takes a special chemistry for roommates to work well together and it happens very rarely. Some students can have a different roommate each year and never find a roommate that is just the right fit.

Even if you do not have that right fit roommate (especially if your do not have that roommate), you should definitely keep trying because having the best and right roommate for you will make your life easier, simpler, and much less stressful. So how do you know if your current roommate is the right fit roommate to live with again? And if they are not that right fit roommate, how do you get out of living with them again?

It is not an easy decision to make but you need to decide with enough warning that you and your roommate will be able to make plans for next year without either of you being stranded. And when possible, it is always best not to burn a bridge. You might love a person dearly, but that does not mean that they make the best fit roommate. Read on to learn the steps you can take to decide and gracefully decline living with your current roommate again!

 

 

Step 1: Decide What You Need in

Your Future Living Situation

The first thing you need to do is to decide what you need in your future living situation. Think about it this way: what changes could you make to the way you are living now that would make you more comfortable and less stressed out in the future?

Maybe your apartment is too far from campus, there are no bus stops close enough to your complex, and the commute to campus is too long and full of traffic. Or maybe your apartment is the opposite. It is way too close to campus for comfort. Everyone is partying at your complex and you can’t sleep or get your homework done. You hear all the noise of a football game. Traffic is crazy around your home.

Think about the set up of your apartment. Maybe you live in a 2/1 and you are just really done with having to share a bathroom. Being able to have your own bathroom would make your life infinitely better and you think you can afford a 2/2 apartment instead next year. Maybe you actually have several people living in the house and you think you would do better having only one other roommate instead of three. Maybe living without a washing and drying machine in your actual unit was one of the biggest mistakes of your life so far and you never have enough clean clothes.

The complex itself could be an issue. The apartments are not in great condition and the staff there does not really do a good job at maintaining it. Management is lazy. There are issues with the plumbing or the air conditioning or the dish washer or the washing and drying machine over and over again that never seem to be fixed. The garbage is always overflowing. Or maybe it is the other way around. Maybe it is too nice. Rent is too expensive for what you are getting and you feel like you could get a better deal living somewhere else. Maye they offer (and you are paying for) too many amenities that you do not use. Do you care if they have a gym? Or a volley ball court? Or a pool? Do any of those things matter to you? Whether you want or do not want those amenities, you should be trying to find a community where you only have to pay for and have access to the ones you actually want.

Figuring out what you are looking for (even if you cannot achieve every single line on your list) will help you figure out how to move forward for next year. When you know what is most important to you and what is non-negotiable, you will have an easier time making the next steps.

Step 2: Does Your Current Roommate Fit Into Your Plan?

Once you have decided what it is you are looking for in regards to your future living arrangements, you must then decide if your current roommate fits into the plan. Sometimes this is a difficult thing to figure out. You cannot read minds, so you do not know if what you are looking for or what your deal breakers are for the next year are compatible or not.

Start by remembering things that they have mentioned. Maybe they hate living in this complex and have a lot of issues with it while you love it and want to stay. It could be the opposite. Maybe you hate living there and they love the complex instead. Maybe they are the one who wants a 2/2 when you can only afford a 2/1 living situation. Maybe you want to invite more roommates to join in to cut down on living costs but they are quiet and do not want to add multiple roommates into the mix.

If you do not remember them mentioning any of these kinds of things, then now is the time to start listening. Listen when they talk and take note. Maybe they will mention their plans to study abroad next year, which means that they would only be able to lease an apartment for one semester rather than both. Or they will reveal that they are changing their mind about studying abroad. And maybe, if it it is you going off on the adventure, you need to sublet a place for one semester rather than stay in a place with a yearlong lease.

Lastly, if you do not hear them talking about these kinds of details, then you need to talk to your roommate and actually ask them what they are looking for themselves in a future living situation. It does not have to be a serious, sit down dialogue that could feel more like an interrogation. But you can casually ask questions and throw them into existing conversations to see how your roommate feels and if you are on the same page with them.

Step 3: Do You Even Want to Live With Your Current Roommate Again?

At the end of the day, the biggest question you have to ask yourself is if you even want to live with your current roommate again. They could have meet each and every one of your future living arrangement goals—they want to live off campus but near a bus stop, they want to live in a 2/2, they want a washing machine and dryer in the unit. But if you do not like living with them and do not want to live with them again, that trumps everything else.

Think back to the question at the top of step 1: does living with your roommate make you more stressed out than living without them would be? Then living with them may not be the best choice.

If they are sloppy and never clean, never pay their bills on time, never take out the trash, have their friends over all the time without asking, pry into your life or ignore you, whatever it is that they do that stresses you out, just know that you do not have to live with them again. And it is totally okay and within your rights not to want to live with someone again. Not everyone is compatible in a living situation. You have to put yourself, your health, and your well being first. And if you dread the idea of living with them again, then you know what your answer to this step has to be, even if it makes you nervous.

 

 

Step 4: Gracefully Decline Living

With Your Current Roommate Again

If you have decided not to live with your roommate again the next year, you need to inform them so that they can make other arrangements. This may seem like an awkward conversation to start, but it does not have to be. Remember the first word of this step: “gracefully.” You do not want to be mean or rude about the fact that you do not want to live with your roommate again.

You could sit down and have a straightforward conversation about how the living arrangement is not working and why, though this might be stressful an evolve into a confrontation. You could also just let them know that you have begun making plans for next year that do not include them without going too much into the details. You can also point out how some of your needs for the next year’s living situation are not compatible and so it sadly will not work out.

Whichever approach you go with, try not to burn your bridge with them. Sometimes, it cannot be helped and some people might not take this kind of news well. But you need to try and be the bigger person and just treat them with respect.

Step 5: Finish the Lease on Good Terms

Regardless of how breaking the news to your current roommate that they will not be your future roommate goes, just do everything in your power to finish the current lease on good terms. It may not be possible, but just keep your head high and know that you did everything you could to be the best roommate possible. And if nothing else, you learned some valuable lessons about yourself and others that will only make your next attempt at cohabitating go even more smoothly.

 

Follow these steps to help you navigate your future living situation and makes the best decisions possible for yourself so that you can be happy, healthy, and whole while in college!

 


Challenges & Problems: How to Deal With Roommate Conflicts

By Amanda Cohen 

 

 

 

Living with another person (or people) can be extremely challenging. Whether you’re living with your best friend, a family member, a random person, or a person of the opposite sex, it doesn’t matter. Getting adjusted to another person’s living patterns, especially in a smaller space than what you’re used to, is hard and there’s definitely a learning curve involved. If you’ve never experienced any sort of conflict with your roommate/roommates, then you’re the closest thing in this world to a unicorn because I truly have never heard of a perfect roommate situation where nothing arises.

 

However, if you’re like 99.99% of the population that lives with a roommate/roommates and have had issues, let me help. From living in a double then a single then a sorority house and then a five-person apartment and then a two-person apartment, I’ve pretty much seen it all. So, let’s get into it: how to talk with your roommate when situations arise!

 

Be forward, but not aggressive

For many of us, being forward and upfront is so difficult. We often worry that we are being mean if we state our concerns outright, but it’s honestly more inconsiderate to beat around the bush and let your issues with your roommate(s) fester. The most efficient and effective way to deal with roommate issues is to deal with it head-on, even if it seems scary. Even though you may think that texting is equally as effective, it’s not and many things can be misconstrued over the phone.

 

You don’t need to set up a meeting with a Gmail event or anything, but just pick a casual moment, like when you guys are watching TV, to bring up whatever issue you’re having. This is a great jumping off point and a great way to clear the air in an informal, kind, but straightforward manner. If your roommate becomes defensive, try to calm him/her down by saying that it’s not her fault and that you understand he/she would never do anything intentionally to bother you, but you wanted to talk about it because you care about your friendship with him/her.

 

Never be passive-aggressive

A perfect example of this is if your roommate never washes his/her dishes and just leaves them in the sink. Don’t just start leaving your dirty dishes in the sink to “give them a taste of their own medicine,” keep washing your dishes and even do their dishes from time to time. If you start not doing your own dishes, it will do more harm than good. Also, you may think it’s easier to not deal with your problem up front and just be passive about it (not even intentionally passive-aggressive), but eventually you will get so annoyed that being passive will turn into being passive-aggressive and then no one is happy.

 

If your roommate point-blank asks you if you’re angry about something, tell them yes and explain what’s upsetting you; don’t just brush it off and say “I’m fine” when you’re really not. If you want to make a roommate situation work, you need to be honest with him/her and honest with yourself. If you are about to enter a new roommate situation and you are starting to worry, make a preventative list and clear the air with your roommate(s) about your expectations and how you want to handle issues if they arise.

 

Everything is better with a plan

Like I said above, if you want to get ahead of negative situations before they even occur, sit down with your roommate(s) and set up an “agreement” of some sorts that is fair, doable, and not aggressive. It doesn’t have to be a contract or anything; rather, you can label it as a cute little list entitled “Household Etiquette.” Instead of explaining what this list is, I’m just going to give you some stuff to include on it:

●       Wash your dishes and pots and pans after use

●       Take out the trash when it’s full

●       Clean out expired foods items (that are his/hers) and throw them away

●       Wipe down countertops after dinner

●       Alternate who mops and vacuums the floors

●       Be considerate about having people over (i.e. if someone has a big exam, don’t throw a huge party)

●       Respect one another’s privacy and space

●       Be considerate of everyone’s schedules

There is nothing that you and your roommate can’t handle! Just remember (1) honesty is the best policy, (2) no one wants conflict to occur, (3) no one is upsetting anyone on purpose… probably, (4) handle things head on, and (5) passive-aggressiveness is never the answer.

 

Whether you are in a tiny dorm room, an apartment, or a house, you will have to make some compromises when a roommate (or roommates) are involved. Be straightforward, but also remember that being a good roommate is a two-way street; you have to be a good roommate as well in order to expect a good roommate in return.


4 Ways to Compromise with Your Roommate and What to Know

By Alicia Geigel

 

 

Making the transition from living on your own to with roommates can be a difficult one if you’re not used to the changes and responsibilities that come with it. I was an only child growing up, so for the most part, I learned to be independent and depend on myself for a lot of responsibilities. Living (with your parents) but by yourself for most of your life, you become accustomed to how you do certain tasks, unlimited privacy, and the perks of being independent. Moving in with roommates change up the whole game of living situations and will teach you more about yourself than you ever knew could be possible.

 

Roommate relationships, like any other relationship, require patience, temperance, and good old fashioned compromise. When you’re living with multiple roommates, things will not go 100% the way you want them to and your living situation will certainly not be perfect. As someone sharing a space with someone else, you may have to compromise on some of the original rules/ideals/standards that you established, and the same goes for your roommates. As you live with your roommates longer, you’ll learn more about their habits and idiosyncrasies and perhaps have to establish new rules, and that’s ok!

 

Living with another person takes a great deal of compromise because, at the end of the day, we are all different and have a different way of living. Are you about to move in with a roommate or currently live with one? Don’t know how to live with another person? Unsure of how to go about compromising on certain things? Check out these four key things to compromising on with your roommate below! Not only will they help you form a better relationship with your roommate, but they will also make your life easier!

 

1. Communication: You may not be the most talkative or open person, but when you live with someone else, you have to be strong and vocal about what you want. You have probably heard about keeping the doors of communication open over and over again in your life, but I can promise you that this is incredibly important, not only in roommate relationships but in all relationships. This rule applies to living with one roommate as well as when you are one out of four people living in a dorm. Regardless of how many roommates you have, you’ll want to make sure everyone is communicating effectively.

 

2. Chores: Let’s be real, no one truly likes doing chores (unless you're like me and sometimes likes cleaning to de-stress). You might be able to get away with not doing chores at home, but when you live with roommates, your lack of tidying up in the house definitely adds up. Before you even move in with your future roommates, it's important to establish some basic, ground rules of living. This can include alternating who takes out the trash every week, who cooks dinner on Tuesday nights, who washes dishes after dinner, who vacuums on weekends, etc. Compromising on chores, and alternating between which roommate does what chore each week, will help you keep a balanced home with your roommate.

 

3. Privacy: Privacy when living with a roommate/roommates can sometimes be violated, as it can just naturally (and accidentally) happen while living together. Just because you have roommates does not mean that you have to spend every second of every day with each other. Sometimes doing so can create rifts and tensions and sometimes it can be great, it all depends on the person. When living with a roommate, you sometimes end up having to compromise on certain things regarding privacy.

 

4. Bills: One significant element about living with someone (if you are in an apartment/house) is figuring out how to split up living expenses like rent/amenities/cable + internet. Taking on adult responsibilities and figuring out how to effectively split bills can be difficult and require some compromise on both ends. According to Leslie Tayne of Credit.com, “A major key for keeping the peace is making sure bills are organized. Figure out when and how bills will be collected and split each month, how they will be payed, and who is responsible for paying what amount.” It is important to compromise on certain things you want to spend money on, as balancing your budget is necessary to living with a roommate.

 

Sharing a space with another person is all about compromise; compromise of self, compromise of communication and privacy, and compromise of lifestyle. It’s never easy to shift what you prioritize, change certain lifestyle choices, and alter your ways of doing things. However, living with a roommate can introduce you to new perspectives on life and living habits that can expand your knowledge and benefit you in the future. Just remember to always be respectful of your roommate and their feelings, just as you would! Openness, respect, and understanding is the key to any successful relationship, especially with a roommate. As always, good luck!


Living with Multiple Roommates: A Guide to Harmonious Living

By Madison White

 

Your living space should be your safe haven, but sometimes a bad roommate situation can turn your space into a living nightmare. Getting multiple people to live harmoniously in one space may be a difficult task at times, but it definitely is not impossible. A great roommate relationship can add so much to your life in terms of friendship, entertainment, and comfort.

 

This article will detail different preventative measures you can pick while choosing roommates and the conversations you should have at the beginning of your lease. It also touches on the best ways to create honest and open communication, because nobody can avoid conflict completely.

 

 

 

1. You CAN pick your (roommate) family

 

This first step is crucial and must be done before you actually move in or make any living commitments. Many people jump into living arrangements simply because someone has propositioned to live with them. This often happens with friends or other people you know, but be aware, sometimes living with your best friends can be a nightmare instead of a dream.

 

If you don’t have any friends that are looking for a place to live, Lorena Roberts has some great advice on finding quality roommates.

 

It is definitely worth it to have a chat with your potential roommates about your styles of living before you move in. You need to figure out if people are messy or clean, quiet or loud, morning people or night owls. Ideally, you want to live with people whose lifestyles aren’t going to clash with yours, so if you learn that your potential roommate loves to blast music but you need absolute quiet to get any work done, you might want to reconsider living with them.

 

Try as best as you can to be very honest when discussing this. You may be tempted to portray yourself as a perfect roommate when in reality, you know that you have a few bad habits. It is better to be candid about some of your faults, and perhaps even mention how you are planning on fixing some of them. Hopefully, your honesty will inspire others to do the same.

 

Kaitlin Hurtado details some important questions to ask before moving in. They can help you determine your standards of living and see if they match up.

 

2. Share the financial burden

 

Just like in relationships, money is something that can tear roommates apart. Many people fall into the trap of letting one person handle all the financial responsibility. This is an easy way to create problems.

 

It is better for you and your roommates to sit down at the beginning of your lease and think of ways that you all can share the cost. Of course, you’ll all be paying for rent, but there are usually internet bills, electricity bills, trash collection bills, and other bills that will need taken care of. Try and let each person take responsibility for paying one bill if possible, even if the bills aren’t the same amount. Because bills will usually fluctuate, you will probably have to calculate whether you owe someone money for an expensive bill.

 

With this method, one single person isn’t paying for everything and getting upset while waiting for the other roommates to pay them back.

 

3. Share the household duties

 

Like finances, if you don’t organize a system for sharing responsibilities, you could be setting yourself up for future problems. In any living situation, there are always repeat chores that will need doing like taking out the trash, cleaning and vacuuming, washing dishes, etc. If you can delegate certain tasks to certain people from the start, it will hopefully prevent too many chores from piling up.

 

Make sure that you discuss what are household chores and what are personal chores. You can expect that people will be in charge of cleaning their own bedrooms, washing their own laundry, and potentially, buying their own food.

 

Try and be clear about which spaces are communal (living room, bathroom) and what spaces are personal. Roommates should always keep communal spaces in clean conditions as a courtesy to everyone, but if they want to keep a messy bedroom, that is their choice.

 

4. Communicate effectively

 

Hopefully putting all of these systems in place will prevent some disagreements; however, problems are still bound to arise in any situation. Everybody communicates differently, but some ways of communicating are more effective than others.

 

Before you fire off an angry text message because of some dirty dishes, think about whether that text is going to allow for open and helpful conversation. The likely answer is that it won’t, and your impulsive text will lead to more problems.

 

Try and get into the habit of talking face-to-face about issues. Instead of texting something like, “I can’t believe you left your dirty dishes on the table AGAIN!” try something like, “Hey will you be around tonight? I’d like to talk about our kitchen space.” This will give you some time to cool off and will also lead to a more productive conversation. Writer Brittany Hawes has some suggestions on how to settle roommate disputes.

 

A few types of communication to avoid: aggressive and passive-aggressive. Nobody likes receiving an angry text in the middle of a workday. Nobody likes it when you leave sticky notes around the apartment either. Always try and be upfront about what is bothering you without getting upset and placing blame.

 

5. Anticipate Issues

 

If you’re moving in with someone you already know, chances are that you know a little bit about their personality too. Are they a bit forgetful? Do they tend to leave certain things around? If you know that some things could potentially be an issue, try and solve them together before the issue really arises.

 

For example, if you’re worried that your roommate is quite forgetful and may not remember to pay the electricity bill on time, talk to them about what would help them remember to pay it. You could help them set reminders on their phone the day before. You could write a reminder in a place that they would see every day. You could even try and set up a bill pay system that will pay the bill from their account automatically.

 

It is crucial that when you are making suggestions, that you don’t come off annoyed or condescending about the issue, especially if you don’t face similar issues yourself. You should be working collaboratively to come up with solutions that will work for them and benefit everyone.

 

 

 

6. Don’t bottle things up

 

If an issue has arrived that you hadn’t anticipated, you have a few actionable options. You can tell your roommate about what’s bothering you when it occurs the first few times and resolve it quickly, or you can bottle up your anger for months and end up resenting them. That second option sounds pretty awful, right?

 

If something has repeatedly been getting on your nerves, it isn’t a good idea to let it fester for a long time. Odds are that your anger will build up and when it (inevitably) happens again, you could emotionally explode at your roommate, damaging your entire relationship.

 

Try and stick to the rule of three: if the action happens three times, then it’s time to talk to them. If something happens just once, and it isn’t something major, it could be a fluke occurrence and not worth your time trying to resolve what isn’t really an issue. By the third time, you can assume that this recurring behavior isn’t going away on its own and needs to be addressed.

 

7. Your living style isn’t the only living style

 

When you move in with new people, it can be especially difficult to understand their methods of doing things, especially if they are different to yours. Maybe they load the dishwasher in a different way. Maybe they hang their laundry to dry while you prefer to use a dryer. As a roommate, you need to differentiate what behavior is an issue and what behaviors are just different to yours. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to change everything about the way they live their life.

 

Being able to identify bad roommate habits from different living styles is essential. Let’s say that you need the house to be quiet past 10 p.m. so that you can sleep well. If you have a roommate who is up until 1 a.m. blasting music, then this is a real roommate issue that you need to address. However, if you have a roommate that just likes to sing in the shower at 8 a.m. when you’re already awake, you should probably let that slide.

 

The distinction will make it easier to find the perfect balance between bottling up all of your anger and picking a fight over every little thing.

 

8. Learn to manage friendship

 

Depending on how you came about finding your roommates, your situation could range from living with your best friend to living with a complete stranger. When it comes to having boundaries, these situations present different obstacles.

 

Living with your best friend sounds like a dream come true for many people, but what happens if both of you get in a fight over something? Living in that setting can be extremely awkward. What happens when hanging out isn’t as fun because you see each other all the time? How do you bring up an issue with the living situation without hurting their feelings?  Living with a best friend often means you’ll have to be extra cautious about your behavior.

 

It is best to approach things in a calm, constructive manner because very few things are solved when emotions are high. If you know how they prefer to communicate, it may be a good idea to present the issue that way. You need to look out for your own well-being, but you also need to try and maintain a friendship that you enjoy.

 

On the contrary, living with a completely new person presents its own challenges. It will take some time to know whether this person is messy or clean, loud or quiet, a morning or a night person. You likely won’t know at the start what their good and bad habits are.

 

Luckily, you will have the choice to really become friends or not. You will probably find out if you are destined to be best friends or happier just being roommates. It can be a lot easier to talk about roommate issues with someone who is strictly a roommate because you are less worried about how it will affect your relationship.

 

9. Find your own space

 

If something does go wrong between you and your roommates, the living environment can be extremely uncomfortable to be in until everything settles down. In case this happens, you should find a place that you can go to feel better that’s away from the stress of the household.

 

If you have a private bedroom, this could be a good place to go, but for some, this may still be too close to the conflict. Maybe you have a park that you love going to, or there is a great coffee shop nearby. Maybe there is a library that you enjoy being in. For some people, it could be the gym. It is nice to have a place (or two) that you can go to and relax in case your house/apartment becomes uncomfortable.

 

No roommate relationship is going to be perfect. Just like life, your relationship with your roommates will go through different highs and lows. By being proactive and seeking out roommates that have similar lifestyles to you, you may be able to minimize future issues. By talking about household expectations at the beginning of the lease, everybody will feel responsible for the upkeep of the space. By managing how you communicate with each other, you can resolve conflicts quickly. By being prepared for arguments, you will be better dealing with them effectively.

 

If you’re lucky, a great roommate relationship can turn into a friendship for life. 

 


How To Make The Most Out Of Your Relationship With Your Roommate Freshman Year

By Victoria Robertson 

Living with a roommate is an experience, but the type of experience is entirely dependent upon you. Some of you may have chosen your roommate through social media, taken a compatibility quiz through your dorm or may even have gone the random roommate route.

Each method has its benefits and pitfalls, but one thing you’ll find in speaking with graduates on their college roommate experience is that they are all completely different. That being said, no matter the method of roommate selection, there are ways in which you can make the most out of your roommate relationship your freshman year of college.

 


 

 

1. Communicate 

You’ve heard the phrase: communication is key. When it comes to living with someone else, whether you think you know them well or not, this holds true. Living with a roommate requires a lot of communication, especially when something is bothering you.

Many individuals will let emotions pile up before exploding into an argument. To avoid this, be sure you are always communicating clearly and calmly with your roommate in order to let them know how you feel.

2. Be Patient

Patience is a virtue, and there are plenty of reasons why. When it comes to living with someone else, you will need to be very patient in order to get along. If you think about it, you are two different people who have become accustomed to different ways of living.

When these two ways of living collide and aren’t entirely compatible, this can cause serious problems in your relationship. For that reason, be sure that you are patient with one another and understanding of the other individual.

3. Spend Time Together 

One of the biggest problems with roommate relationships is that the individuals involved don’t spend enough time together outside of their living situation. Just because you share a room or apartment with someone doesn’t mean you spend enough quality time together.

Be sure to schedule events for you and your roommate to participate in throughout the semester, getting out of the room and sharing college experiences together. While you don’t need to spend all of your time together, a few scheduled events here and there that take place outside of the apartment are great circumstances for developing your relationship and bonding with one another even more.

4. Know When to Separate

That all being said, remember that there is a possibility that you spend far too much time with your roommates, which can result in conflict. While this may seem unrealistic, it’s something that most roommates experience at some point in their college experience.

Living with someone requires you to be around them rather often, which means you can easily get on one another’s nerves. To avoid this, be sure to take breaks from one another and pursue relationships outside of this. Get out of the room and visit with other friends, or take some quality time to yourself.

5. Work Together

For many roommates, the idea of working with one another on homework assignments or in a part-time job seems like a lot, but it can actually help strengthen your relationship. Trips to the library with one another allow you to be together, but you will both be studying on your own and therefore not overdoing your time together. This can also be a great motivational tool.

In addition, picking up part-time jobs together can be very convenient and help both of you to stay on track with your finances while in school. Either way, you can both help each other to stay motivated and on schedule throughout the semester.

6. Be Flexible 

Last, but definitely not least, it’s very important to be flexible when you are living with someone else. You may be used to living a certain way, but living with someone else is a totally different ball game.

Flexibility is key because it allows you to adapt to new situations and avoid feeling angry or negatively about your roommate relationship. The more flexible you can be, the better off your relationship will be, which goes hand in hand with communication. Be able to adapt and be willing to compromise and you will have a great relationship, without a doubt.

Selecting a roommate for your freshman year of college is daunting and overwhelming, especially given the close proximity you’ll be sharing over the next year. Still, there are plenty of methods of roommate selection out there to help you make the right choice, and there are even more ways to make the most of your roommate relationship.

Use these six tips moving forward, but don’t be afraid to explore other avenues more specific to the dynamic between you and your roommate.

No matter what, you’ll find that a good roommate relationship is the key to a lifelong friendship.


Should Your Roommate Be Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend?

By Ashley Paskill 

When you are figuring out where you want to live and who you want to live with in college, your significant other may be a contender for a roommate. However, before going all-in and making the move together, take time to think about the step. Moving in with a significant other is a huge step in a relationship, even it is just for a semester or just for a college house or apartment. These factors should be considered when thinking about moving in with a boyfriend or girlfriend.

 

 

How long you have been together

One of the most important things to consider is how long you have been together. If you just met last semester, it may be better to hold off on moving in together until you have gotten to know each other better. However, if you have been dating since high school and you have a strong relationship, moving in together could work out well. When you become roommates with your significant other, you will learn so much about each other and the dynamics of the relationship will change. It is better to wait until you know each other for more than a few months before moving in together.

Religious beliefs

While many college students do not affiliate with a particular religion, many others do. In some faiths, especially ones that are more conservative, it is deemed taboo and frowned upon for a couple to live together before marriage. Even if one of you does not live by this, if the other does, you should be respectful and not move in together if it goes against one of your religions. This may be less of an issue if you are both liberal or do not practice any religion. Even if you do decide to move in together, there may be religious rules about sleeping together, sharing a room, and daily routines and prayer times. Discuss these ahead of time to make sure your arrangements allow for whatever you need.

Finances

For any roommate set up, one of the biggest considerations is paying for rent and other living expenses. When you are in a relationship with your roommate, this question becomes even stickier. It is tempting to let one person take care of rent and the other person take care of groceries, but maybe you want to keep everything split evenly to avoid unnecessary drama down the road. Be sure to talk things out before you move in so you know exactly how you will be handling the financial aspects of moving in together. Sit down and make a list of income that each of you has, including financial aid, money from family, and jobs. Write down expenses you have, such as tuition, books, rent, groceries, and other living expenses. Make a budget based on these specific dollar amounts and decide how you will deal with money. Talking about money can be awkward and uncomfortable, but it is an important conversation in any relationship where you are living together.

 

 

Chores

Figuring out who will do what chores is another common roommate discussion. However, in a boyfriend and girlfriend roommate set-up, it can be difficult to enforce, especially if one person wants to impress the other or if one person has been dealing with a lot. It is important to keep things as even as possible to avoid arguments later. Have a whiteboard where you keep track of who is doing what. Having a visual will allow you to see how much each person is doing to keep things even. Also, try to avoid the gender stereotypes that go along with certain chores, such as cooking or repairing things. You will both need to know how to do these things, especially since if you are only in a relationship and are not married as there is a chance that you will break up.

Communication

Communication is the key to any relationship, but it becomes even more important once you are living together. When you live together, you have to keep each other in the loop of any problems around the apartment and in each other’s schedules. Also, if you get into an argument, you cannot just walk out of the apartment or house because you both live there. You have to be able to resolve your issues and talk things out, which is why it is better to wait until you are absolutely sure you have a strong relationship and that you are able to love each other, even after arguments. If you are not great at communicating yet or are not at a point where you are comfortable with being completely open with each other’s lives, you may want to hold off on moving in together until you are more open with talking about personal things. All of the other things to consider when deciding whether you should move in together or not falls on communication.

Moving in with a significant other in college is not a decision that should be made without taking time to consider the positives and negatives. However, taking these factors into consideration can help you decide if moving in with a boyfriend or girlfriend in college is a good move.


What To Do When Your Roommate Unexpectedly Moves Out

By Alyssa Laffitte 

Many college students have roommates to help them pay the rent and to provide some company. Roommate relationships usually work out well. But unfortunately, there are times where this relationship can be strained. One situation that can cause a major strain in the roommate relationship is if a roommate unexpectedly moves out. What should the remaining roommates do about the missing share of the rent? How should they tell the landlord? This is a frustrating situation, and it is definitely impolite to unexpectedly move out, but it still happens. In this article, you’ll find a few suggestions on what to do when your roommate unexpectedly moves out, and what to do if you want to move out.

 

 

How to protect yourself in case your roommate unexpectedly moves out

The best way to deal with this situation is to protect yourself financially and legally before it happens. Preferably, you should have signed an agreement or contract at the beginning of your lease. This contract should include a clause about what to do if a roommate unexpectedly moves out. But if you do not have this clause in your contract, it’s never too late to draft one up. This will make sure you are protected in case this happens. Your contract with your roommate and with the landlord should state a couple of things:

  • How much advance notice a roommate should give to the landlord (and to the other roommates) before they move out.
  • The financial responsibilities of the roommate who moves out: Do they have to pay their remaining share of the rent, or are they free of any financial responsibilities once they move out? (The latter is bad news for the remaining roommates, because they will then become responsible for the rest of the rent!)
  • What will happen if they don’t meet their financial responsibilities? Are the remaining roommates and/or the landlord allowed to pursue legal action against the one who moved out?
  • The roommate who moves out must provide a suitable replacement roommate. It is courteous for the roommate who moves out to provide their own replacement.
  • The replacement roommate must be approved by the landlord and the remaining roommates.
  • Do not try to sneak in a replacement roommate without letting the landlord know! In fact, this is grounds for eviction because it can be considered an unauthorized sublet. It is better to keep the landlord in the loop of what is going on.
  • Make it clear that once the roommate moves out, they no longer have the right to live in that place.
  • Some people come back to their old place thinking they still have a right to live there! Make it clear that the roommate has no rights to the place anymore, and that they must give up all their keys to the place.

Again, the best way to avoid this situation is to legally protect yourself from it. If you have a contract that spells out the procedures and financial responsibilities of a roommate unexpectedly moving out, it will soften the blow of this frustrating situation.

Another way to protect yourself is for you and your roommate(s) to be good tenants. A roommate moving out unexpectedly is technically a violation of the leasing contract, since they are breaking it early. This can be grounds for a landlord to evict everyone living in the place, and there is a chance they will take advantage of that opportunity if you are bad tenants. However, if you are good tenants, the landlord will likely not want to evict everyone. Being a good tenant means to pay the rent consistently on time, not sublet the place without the landlord’s permission, take good care of the place, and to be respectful of the neighbors. If you are a good tenant, your landlord will be more likely to help you if you ever get stuck in a sticky situation (like your roommate moving out unexpectedly).

 

 

What to do if it’s too late and your roommate has already unexpectedly moved out:

The previous tips were good ideas on how to protect yourself before this happens, but what if it’s too late? Let’s discuss what to do if your roommate has already moved out.

Read the leasing contact

Read the leasing contract and figure out what it says to do if a roommate unexpectedly moves out. If there is nothing written about that in the contract, you are out of luck. But if your contract does address this issue, follow what the contract says.

Try to contact your former roommate and make plans to move forward

  • Remind your former roommate of what the leasing contract says to do if they move out. For example, if the contract states that they are responsible for the rest of their share of the rent, or that they are responsible for finding a suitable replacement roommate, let them know.
  • Ask them how they plan to meet their financial responsibilities of the lease. Are they going to pay the rest of their share of the rent? If so, when do they plan to pay it? Or will you be responsible for their share now that they’re gone?
  • Ask them if they plan to find a replacement roommate, and when. Generally, it should be the responsibility of the departing roommate to find their replacement and introduce him/her to the roommates and the landlord. It’s also important they find the replacement quickly, so that their room won’t be vacant for too long. This should be outlined clearly in the rental contract. But if your former roommate does not plan to find a replacement, it will be up to you.

Try to come to a deal about all these things with your former roommate, and definitely consider what your leasing contract says. Once you have contacted your roommate, you can contact your landlord. (If you can’t contact your former roommate, go directly to your landlord and explain the situation.)

Notify your landlord right away

It’s best to be upfront and honest with your landlord about these things, so after you have contacted your former roommate and have made plans to move forward, please call your landlord and notify them of what has happened. Also, let your landlord know how you and your roommate are planning to move forward. Be sure to keep your landlord in the loop about these things.

Look for a replacement roommate

If your former roommate leaves you with the responsibility of choosing their replacement, start looking as soon as possible. Before you start looking, though, think about what you want in a roommate. This will help you narrow down the list of people you can ask. For example, if you are allergic to cats or dogs, you will want a roommate who does not have a cat or a dog, and this will narrow down the list of potential roommates.

You can look for a roommate in person, but you can also use the Internet to find a roommate. Websites like Roomsurf will connect you potential roommates. Take advantage of these tools! The sooner you find a replacement roommate, the sooner you will not be responsible for the rest of the rent.

Be accommodating to your landlord

Yes, having a roommate move out is frustrating for you. But it is also frustrating to your landlord, too, so please try to be accommodating to them. Keep the place clean, help the landlord find someone to replace your former roommate. This is important, as keeping your place clean will allow your landlord to show it to potential tenants. (They can’t show off the place to potential tenants if it is trashed!) If you are accommodating your landlord, they will likely be accommodating to you, too.

If you must, talk to a lawyer

Sometimes, even if there a previous contract, people just don’t want to do their share. If you cannot get your former roommate to cooperate, consider pursuing legal action in a small court. I am not a lawyer, so I can’t give you any further advice on this. However, I can tell you to consider this CAREFULLY, because sometimes pursuing legal action is more of a hassle than it’s worth. You might be better off paying your former roommate’s share of the rent than paying legal fees. But on the other hand, this might work for you, especially if you have a contract and proof that your former roommate violated it. If your former roommate is not pulling their weight, carefully consider talking to a lawyer.

If your roommate moves out unexpectedly, you can still do these things to help ease the situation as soon as possible. 

 

If you are the roommate who wants to move out…

Life happens, and you might be the roommate who needs to move out unexpectedly. Let’s discuss some tips to make the transition smooth for you, your former roommates, and your landlord.

Let your landlord and other roommates know your intentions as soon as possible

If you want to move out, please do not do so unexpectedly. Give your roommates and your landlord plenty of notice. Your rental contract might state how much notice you need to give before you leave; follow those guidelines! This will help them arrange for a smooth transition (and if you don’t plan to find your own replacement, this will give them time to find your replacement). In other words, communicating with your landlord and your roommates will make the situation easier on everyone.

Abide by the financial responsibilities outlined in your lease agreement

Your lease contract likely outlines your financial responsibilities if you break the lease early. Read about these responsibilities and abide by them. If you need to pay the rest of your rent up front, do it. If you cannot meet these financial responsibilities, try talking to your landlord and setting up another payment deal. It’s better to be honest with your landlord about these things. Be sure to pay what you owe, according to the contract.

Provide a suitable replacement for yourself, and introduce them to the landlord and roommates

When a roommate breaks the lease early, it is generally the responsibility of the departing roommate to find their replacement. Please don’t make the remaining roommates find your replacement. Instead, you should make the effort to find someone suitable. Find someone who can pay the rent on time, will get along with the other roommates, and will not trash the place. Once you find someone, introduce them to the remaining roommates and to the landlord. Let the landlord know this person will be taking your place. If you do not let the landlord know about your replacement, it could be considered an unauthorized sublet, which is prohibited by most rental contracts. Don’t let yourself get into any more trouble… just let your landlord know who is replacing you! 

If you must break your lease early, please be kind about it. It will likely be frustrating to your roommates and your landlord, so try to be accommodating to them and make the transition as smooth as possible. 

Yes, it is frustrating to have a roommate move out unexpectedly. If you have a roommate, be sure to protect yourself legally and financially with a contract. Your contract should outline what happens if someone moves out unexpectedly (the financial responsibilities and who finds the replacement). This is the best way to soften the blow if it does happen. However, if your roommate has already unexpectedly moved out, it will be too late to do this. Try to contact them and decide how to move forward according to the rental contract. Then, contact your landlord and let them know what happens. If you can’t get ahold of your roommate and they have already left, contact your landlord directly. If you can, you can even seek legal advice about this situation (but proceed with caution if you decide to take this route- it’s expensive). In other words, having a roommate move out is frustrating, but it is not the end of the world. There are steps you can take to protect yourself and to get your life back to normal as soon as possible.

 


What To Do If Your Roommate Breaks the Rules

By Brittany Loeffler

 

Living with roommates can be tricky, especially if you have one roommate who doesn’t exactly follow the rules. When you first move into an apartment with roommates, it’s always a good idea to put together a roommate agreement.

However, no matter how many rules you set, your roommates may break them.

What do you do when a roommate breaks the rules? There are a few ways to handle this situation calmly and effectively without acting like their mother.

 

 

 

The Roommate Agreement

roommate agreement is a document acknowledged and signed by all roommates outlining rules and expectations of everyone. This roommate agreement can explain chore responsibilities, rent payments, rules for guests, and anything else you would like to address with your roommates.

This also allows you to come up with consequences if certain rules are broken. It’s important to make sure that everyone is in agreement on the consequences or else they can be difficult to enforce if the time comes.

 

When New Issues Arise

When you write a roommate agreement, it’s impossible to foresee every situation that may arise while living with your roommates. After a few months of living together, you may have an issue that you would like to address that was not mentioned in the roommate agreement.

Addressing these issues may mean taking it case-by-case and coming up with new solutions together. It’s important to remember not to be passive aggressive and to address problems when something bothers you. You can always amend the roommate agreement if you feel strongly about adding a new rule for everyone to follow.

 

Confronting the Problem

Confrontation isn’t easy for everyone. It may take a lot of courage to confront your roommate about an issue. The important thing to remember is to go into the conversation calmly and willing to listen. When you approach someone in a hostile manner, they may feel like you are attacking them and nothing will be resolved this way.

Do not blame your roommate when confronting them. Using phrases like, “I feel like” and “When this happens” instead of “You are doing” or “When you do this.” Keep the conversation civil and be open to listening to their side of things.

 

 

 

Communication is Key

Communication is key when living with roommates. You don’t really know someone until you live with them, which can take some time. So, communicate with your roommate and let them know how you feel about certain things that go on in your home.

If your roommate’s significant other is over all of the time, rather than telling your roommate that they can’t come over as often, tell them that you feel like you need some personal space and privacy. This is more effective than telling your roommate to do something.

The method of communication is also important. While texting is the most convenient way to communicate with people, it can be the least effective. Sometimes a sentence over text can come off as hostile when it wasn’t meant to be. The best way to communicate with your roommate is to sit down and talk to them about your issue and to listen to their side of the issue.

 

Second Offenses

If you have already written a roommate agreement, confronted and effectively communicated with your roommate about an issue and they keep breaking the rules, then it is time to enforce some of the agreed consequences. This can be hard because as roommates, you are all responsible for yourselves and can’t “mother” your roommate. You can’t punish someone. However, you can enforce the agreed upon consequences. Since they have been agreed upon, then there shouldn’t be an issue.

 

Take It to the Landlord

Sometimes issues with a roommate can be bigger than just working it out amongst yourselves. If it comes to paying rent on time or utility bills, then it may be time to take it to the landlord since it will affect them. They have more power than you do as a roommate and may be able to help you resolve the issue.

Another time to get your landlord involved is if you ever feel unsafe in your home with your roommate. Your landlord can then help you to find a solution and help you feel safe.

 

Roommates Who Break the Rules

The best way to deal with a roommate who breaks the rules is to take preventative measures, such as writing a roommate agreement that states the rules and consequences that will take effect if these rules are broken. If rules are broken, then confront and effectively communicate with your roommate. Listen to their side of the problem and calmly express your side. If you feel that the issue is serious, then don’t be afraid to get your landlord involved, especially if it affects them. 


How To Tell Your Roommate You Want To Live With Other People

By Amanda Cohen 

 

Confrontation is never easy, especially when it’s with a friend, a colleague, a family member, or a roommate. Having a roommate at some point in your life is, usually, guaranteed: whether that be in a college dorm room, a sorority house, a post-college apartment, or any other living situation you might find yourself in after you move out of your house. However, when things might seem all well and good at first, it is possible, and sometimes even inevitable, that you will be ready to part ways with your roommate (or roommates). The question remains: how do you go about having this conversation with your roommates/roommate? There is not one perfect answer… the answer will vary depending on your situation. Here is some advice on how to have “the conversation” with your roommate/roommates that are mature, assertive, yet fair, and, most importantly, respectful.

 

 

 

I am a firm believer that honesty is the best policy. When telling your roommate that you want to live with other people, explain to him/her why. There are a variety of reasons as to why you might be ready to live with someone new, but here are some ways to express yourself in regards to common reasons why people move out and move in with other people:

 

  • “Our schedules are so different and I am looking to live with someone with a similar sleeping, social, and academic/career schedule as me.”
  • “We’ve lived together for so long now and I want to move in with other people just because I think it’s time to do something different.”
  • “We are very opposite when it comes to how we like to maintain our apartment and deal with apartment issues. I feel like we would both be better off living with someone who is more similar to us in that regard.”
  • “I haven’t been myself recently and I’m worried that it has something to do with my current living situation. I think I need to explore other options to better my mental health.”

 

These are by no means the only reasons why you might be ready to move in with someone else, but these are situations that I know have come up in actual peoples’ lives. The important takeaways from the four quotations above are: (1) directness, (2) honesty, and (3) respect.

 

Let’s talk about directness. When dealing with potentially uncomfortable conversations, it is easy to ramble and hide your point underneath a lot of unnecessary phrases and comments. The more direct you are, the more your roommate will understand and you will be less likely to have to repeat the uncomfortable conversation in the future.

 

Now, honesty. There is no reason to lie to your roommate. The only time a fib is acceptable is if you’ve grown to really dislike your roommate and you want to spare his/her feelings. If your decision to move out is mental-health related and you don’t want to share that with your roommate, all you have to say is that some personal issues that you don’t want to discuss have come up.

 

Lastly, respect. None of the four above statements were hostile nor accusatory. There is no need for blame, raised voices, or anger when you have this conversation (even if you are really upset with your roommate).

 

The next thing to cover is what should you do if your roommate gets sad or angry. Comfort your roommate, explain that this decision is what you have to do to maintain your overall wellbeing and that it doesn’t mean that you hate your roommate. Explain to your roommate that he/she has plenty of other roommate and housing options and that you will help him/her find a place to live and a roommate if he/she wants you to. If they start raising their voice, tell him/her that you are going to step away for a bit and let him/her process what you said and that you are willing to have a coherent, non-aggressive conversation about the situation when he/she is ready. Don’t engage in a hostile situation… it’s not worth it. If your roommate doesn’t come around and remains angry and aggressive, let them stay that way because you’ve already said your piece; there is only so much you can do.

 

I know it might seem scary to have this sort of conversation with someone, but if your current roommate situation is affecting you in a negative way, then you should absolutely move out. When it comes to your health and happiness, you need to take matters into your own hands and do what you need to do. However, make sure you have all your ducks in a row before you have this conversation; make sure you have alternative living plans and that you have a roommate, roommates, or a living space where you can live alone. There is no sense in having this conversation if you aren’t for sure leaving. Good luck, you got this!


Holiday Activities To Do With Your Roomie

By Danielle Wirsansky 

The holiday season is already in full swing, which means that the best time of year for college students has officially begun!

How can winter break be the best time of year for a college student? The weather is cold (or at least colder). Everyone usually gets the campus bug by the end of the semester. Students are worn down and exhausted after a long, hard semester and it is not over until Finals Week is over, which is usually the most brutal week of the entire semester. And most college students go home, unable to hang out with their friends during the precious little free time they do get.

On the other hand, the semester is so close to being done, you students can almost taste it. Once you power through these sick weeks, the rough end of the semester, that awful Finals Week, you are done. And you get an almost month-long break! You get to rest and recuperate, knowing that you never have to return to the classes you just finished in the fall. And sure, you might not get to hang out with your friends, but now you get to hang out with your family, if only for a little bit. And hey, it’s been a whole semester since you really got to do that.

But probably, one of the best aspects of this time of year for college students is the making and creation of their own holiday traditions. As the fall semester comes to a close and you find yourself having more time, you get to decide how you spend it and how you want to celebrate the upcoming holidays.

Whether you are living in a dorm or in off-campus housing, this is your time to start deciding how you (and your roommates) want to celebrate the holidays. You are on your own for the first time and while you may and probably do enjoy your own family’s holiday traditions, you can start to make ones specifically for you and where you are in your own life.

You have your own little family when you are at college, most usually with your roommate. Any holiday activities you want to do, you will probably be including them in it as well. You both want to get into the holiday spirit and celebrate the holidays on your own terms before you have to return home. So, if you are looking for some holiday inspiration, then read on for some suggestions on holiday activities you can do with your roomie!

 

 

Holiday Decorating

A great way that you, your roomie, and your apartment can get into the holiday spirit is to go and shop for some holiday decorations for your home. You can go as overboard or underboard as you like (or at least as far as you and your roommate can agree on). Maybe you like simple touches and your roommate likes to cover every surface with things. Maybe you like the traditional colors of the holiday and they like to include a more eclectic color palate into their decorations. Perhaps the two of you even celebrate two different holidays during this season.

Because it is a shared space, you both want to be on the same page about how you are decorating. If you are Jewish, then you might not want to come home to study for a final only to find that every flat surface has a Santa placed upon it that is smiling down at you. And if you celebrate Christmas, you might want to make sure your roommate is really on top of their fire and safety game if they light their menorah and leave.

You also want to make sure you are on the same budget. You never want to come home and your roommate has gone shopping and decorated the entire apartment only to hand you a receipt and say, “You owe me half.” Especially if this was never discussed ahead of time.

By going shopping for holiday decorations together, you guys both have a say in what it will all look like, which holidays are represented, and, of course, how much money is spent. Shopping for holiday decorations is a huge part of the fun. Do you like classic white Christmas lights, or do you prefer flashing, colorful ones? Do you want to use a real menorah, or an electric one this year? You get to make those fun choices together, which can be a real bonding experience.

Then the actual decorating process is the next step! Whether you are a perfectionist who has to have their home design look like it is out of a magazine or if you get enough satisfaction out of throwing a few decorations around haphazardly, you get to make your apartment look the way you want it to look. And doing it with help is always preferred and you and your roommate can turn the decorating into a tradition, that you carry on each year that you live together or for you to take on as your own tradition wherever (and with whoever) you live.

***This next section is aimed at those who celebrate Christmas***

If you do happen to celebrate Christmas and your roommate does too (or at least is interested in participating in the holiday as an onlooker), then a wonderful bonding experience for you and your roommate can be centered around the Christmas tree.

The first step is to go and select your tree. You and your roomie can go together and pick out a tree that is the perfect fit for the two of you. Maybe you like a real, classic fir tree. Maybe you are not about the mess that a real tree will make, and a fake tree is a better fit for you. Whether you are going to the Christmas tree lot or down the Christmas tree aisle at the store, go together so that you are both happy with the tree that is picked. After all, it is going to be in your shared space so you both need to be happy with the choice that is made.

Then you can decorate the tree, once you have it set up in your living room. Are the two of your interested in handmaking your ornaments? Do you have ornaments from home you want to use to make an eclectic and hodge-podge design on the tree? Do you want to buy an entirely new set of ornaments and create it with both you and your roommates’ tastes in mind? This tree is a self-expression of you and your roommate, so you can have as much fun with it as you want. Pick a color scheme. Choose a style. Hang those ornaments! And have as much fun as you can while doing it.

 

 

Baking or Cooking

Another really great holiday activity to do with your roommate to get into the holiday spirit is baking or cooking! This activity is particularly awesome because just about every holiday has some kind of special food that goes along with it, so you and your roommate can find something to make no matter what holidays the two of you celebrate. You can cook something savory or you can bake something sweet—it is really up to whatever you and your roommate are craving.

Do all the steps of the activity together. Decide what you want to make. Pick the recipe that seems the most delicious (or the most manageable for your cooking skills). Go out and get the ingredients that you need (that way everyone splits and foots the bill equally). Then go home and get your cooking game on!

Then when you are done, you can enjoy the simple act of breaking bread together. Use the time to talk about your hopes and dreams for the holiday season and the upcoming year. Or you could talk about nothing important at all and just use the time to sit together and breathe. You can even invite others to come and join you for a holiday treat—after all, it is easier to cook for a lot of people than to cook only a single portion for just two.

If you are not sure what foods or recipes might be a good idea, here are some suggestions provided for you below. Each of the three major holidays of this season, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza, each has dishes represented.

Hanukkah

-Potato Latkes

-Jelly-Filled Donuts

-Brisket

-Sweet Noodle Kugel

Kwanza

-Cheese Grits

-Black Eyed Peas

-Mustard Greens

-Apple, Marshmallow, and Yams

Christmas

-Peppermint Bark

-Christmas Cookies

-Mashed Potatoes

-Pecan Pie

Enjoy your adventures in the kitchen and be sure to try new things as well as stick to the old tried and true favorites so you can continue making your own new holiday traditions!

Present Swap

Something fun that you and your roommate can do to celebrate the holidays, as well as your fondness for each other, is to have a mini present swap. It is mini because it only between you and your roommate, but that does not make it any less special.

College students are notoriously low on funds, especially at the beginning of the holiday season because of the gift buying many feel obligated to participate in, as well as the doctors visits from being sick, the purchasing of suitable winter clothes to augment their wardrobe, and their holiday travel plans. But buying presents is not about the amount of money you spent on each item. It is about the thought behind it.

So, pick a time to swap presents with your roommate before you both truly dive into Winter Break and part ways for the holidays. You can put a cap on how much can be spent or other silly restrictions like, it has to be a gag gift, or the gift object has to start with the first letter of the receiver’s name, or even that it has to be something utterly useless to the receiver. Or you can find something really personal that you think they would truly want or need or find useful. There are so many options!

However you and your roomie want to play it, just let the gift show that your roommate (and the companionship they provide you) is important, valued, and cherished. And showing someone that you care about them is always a great tradition.

Movie Marathon

Most students find that the best way to relax is to watch a movie. And with so many college students having subscriptions to services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, as well as watching at the ever-popular movie theatres, watching movies together is now one of the most affordable pastimes. And there are so many movies that you can watch to get into the holiday spirit—there are literally thousands upon thousands of movies for you to watch.

Decompress from Finals Week and watch a movie with your roomie! You can make an event out of it and go to the theatres to watch the just-released holiday movies. There are plenty coming out this season, including a new animated version of “The Grinch” and “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.”

If you would rather stay at home and make it a comfy night in, you can also watch the following movies depending on what streaming service you have! Every film on the following list is available on at least one of the various streaming services.

-          “Love Actually”

-          “A Christmas Prince”

-          “Eight Crazy Nights”

-          “The Black Candle”

-          “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

-          “An American Tail”

-          “The Princess Switch”

-          “The Hebrew Hammer”

-          “Bad Santa”

-          “The Women’s Balcony”

-          “White Christmas”

-          “The Producers”

Give it a try! Watch tried and true favorites or maybe something new that came out just this holiday season. Make it a movie that you will both enjoy and make it a tradition you will be happy to keep alive year after year.

 

Your roommate is an important part of your life when you are in college. They are often your friend, your support system, and even your family. You do not just want to hare off and forget about everything that they do for you during the semester. Take the time to hang out, be with them, and make not only traditions but memories that you can keep for a lifetime.