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How to Live with Any Kind of Roommate

05-21-2018

 

By Christine Ascher 

 

For most people, starting college is a major transition. In addition to living away from home for the first time, you’ll probably also be living with a roommate for the first time. Especially if you’ve never shared a room before, it can be difficult to adjust to having a shared living space. Depending on how well you and your roommate mesh, you may end up as the best of friends, or you may decide to keep to yourselves. Either way, making sure that your living situation is a pleasant one is essential to making your college experience the best that it can be.

 

While your relationship with your roommate can vary based on your expectations and how well you get along, through some effort and by making use of the following tips, you can make sure that you’ll get along with any roommate.

 

 

Keep Your Expectations Open

A lot of awkwardness in roommate situations results from having different expectations for the relationship between you and your roommate. For instance, if you expect to be best friends with your roommate and consequently try to spend all of your time with them, but they’d really prefer to do their own thing, you may find that your roommate becomes even more distant if you try to force a relationship.

 

It’ll be far better for you to avoid having too many expectations in terms of how close you and your roommate will be before you actually meet them. It’s also important for you to keep in mind that living with someone is very different from just being friends with them; in other words, even if you’re rooming with someone you already know, your relationship may change once you start living together. Try to stay open and allow the relationship to develop naturally.

 

Learn About their Interests

Even if you and your roommate don’t have many interests in common, expressing a desire to know about their likes and dislikes will get you off to a great start. Sharing your favorite music, books, and TV shows is a great way to get to know each other and to bond when you and your roommate first move in.

 

Even if their taste differs from yours, taking the chance to understand what they’re into will make the two of you closer, and your roommate will probably appreciate the effort that you’re taking to get to know them.  

 

Discuss Your Sleeping Schedules                     

Many disagreements between roommates are rooted in the fact that their sleeping schedules vary. While it can sometimes be annoying to live with someone who has a completely different sleeping schedule, it doesn’t have to become a point of contention. Try to talk to your roommate when you first move in about when you tend to wake up and go to sleep on the weekends and when you’ll each need to be waking up during the week for class.

 

Make sure that you make an effort to stay quiet when your roommate is sleeping, as that will make them more likely to keep the noise down for you. If you tend to be a light sleeper, you may want to try wearing earplugs at night to help you stay asleep when your roommate is up.  

 

Discuss Your Cleaning Habits and Expectations

Another factor that can contribute to a lot of roommate tension is the differences in your cleaning habits. Though many schools try to match up students who have similar cleaning habits, the results are not always perfect. The best way to handle a roommate who likes to keep their room cleaner or messier than you do is to establish open communication to ensure that neither of you becomes frustrated with your living situation.

 

If you happen to be the messy roommate, make sure that you always keep the mess on your side of the room; if your stuff ends up everywhere, your roommate may feel like you don’t respect their space or their desire to keep their side of the room clean.

 

 

 

Make a Roommate Contract                            

Many dorms will have you and your roommates sit down and sign a roommate contract when you first move in. Even if you don’t have to create a contract, it’s a good idea to do it anyway. Writing up a roommate contract will help you set some ground rules and to bring up any concerns that you may have about your living situation. This is a good time to discuss potential issues, such as how much notice does your roommate want when you’re having people over, how you’re going to split groceries if you have a kitchen, and how you’re going to split up the cleaning.

 

Hopefully, if you have everything down in writing, both you and your roommate will be more likely to stick to the rules you draw up. If you’re worried that you won’t be able to agree on some points, it may be a good idea to bring in your RA or another third-party who can mediate the discussion. You may also find that, as you start living with your roommate, new issues come up. If this is the case, consider revisiting your roommate contract every so often to update it and to make sure that it still works for you.

 

Make a Bathroom Schedule

If you’ll be sharing a bathroom with your roommate, rather than having a communal bathroom, talk about when you’ll each need to get ready in the morning for class and whether you tend to shower at night or in the morning.

 

If you foresee any conflicts, for instance, if you both have class at the same time on certain days, try to make some sort of schedule or a plan for those mornings. You may also want to switch off when each of you uses the bathroom first, to make things even and to prevent conflict.

 

Communicate

Communication is essential in any relationship, and it’s especially important when you’re living with someone. If you or your roommate are afraid to voice your concerns about an issue, tension might build up and the situation will become a lot worse than it needs to be. Find a system that works for both of you; while talking in person tends to work best, if you have trouble expressing yourself verbally you can try writing notes for your roommate—as long as they can’t be perceived as passive-aggressive.

 

It’s best to voice any concerns that you have about living together at the beginning of the semester, so that everything is out in the open and you can both work to ensure a positive living situation for both of you, rather than waiting until problems to arise to address your differences.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Use a Mediator

Conflict is common among roommates, and typically an issue can be solved through open communication. However, if you think that having a discussion with your roommate will be difficult for any reason, consider bringing in a mediator, such as an RA, to help. Just having someone else to give their input can help you think of a solution to the problem that you otherwise may not have come up with.

 

In addition, having a mediator will hopefully keep each of you on your best behavior, and prevent the discussion from devolving into an argument. Make sure that you find someone who is neutral between the two of you and who hasn’t been involved in the conflict, so that no one feels the discussion was unfair or biased.

 

Be Courteous When Having Guests Over

While some roommates are more laid back and won’t mind if you have guests over whenever, most people will at least want a heads up so they’re not caught off-guard when they get home and your friends are there. Ask your roommate what they would like you to do when you’re having friends over, and be respectful of their wishes, just as you would expect them to be of yours.

 

They may want you to ask beforehand if it’s okay, or they may just want you to let them know an hour ahead of time. It’s best if you both maintain the same policy for having guests over—in other words, if you want your roommate to give you a head’s up an hour before their guests come over, make sure that you do the same for them.

 

Keep the Noise Down

When you’re living in a shared space, it’s always a good policy to keep the noise level down when you can. For instance, while at home you might be used to listening to your music at top-volume when you’re studying, once you have a roommate it’s always better to put in your headphones.

 

The same goes for when you’re watching Netflix on your computer; especially if your roommate is studying in your room, using headphones so they don’t become distracted will make them feel more respected. It’s also important to keep noise down late at night and early in the morning, when your roommate is trying to sleep. Even making the effort to keep the noise down will hopefully help inspire a good roommate relationship.

 

Be Flexible

No matter how well you and your roommate get along or how similar you are, you’ll always have to compromise to some extent when you’re living with another person. In order to get along with your roommate throughout the semester, you’ll have to be flexible and stay open-minded.

 

While you shouldn’t have to deal with anything that makes you truly uncomfortable, try not to let little things bother you. For instance, if you know that your roommate is trying their best to keep the noise down when they wake up before you and are getting ready, try not to get angry if they accidentally wake you up.

 

Spend Time Apart

Even if you and your roommate have become good friends, it’s still a good idea to spend some time apart once in a while. If you’re spending all of your time together, you may start to get irritable with each other, and you may find yourselves getting into more arguments.

 

Try to find some of your own friends so you can hang out with other people when you need a break from your roommate. No matter how well you get along, you may find that when you’re living with someone and are around them all the time, you need some space and friends of your own every so often to keep your friendship with your roommate strong.

 

Address Problems as They Arise

When you’re living with a roommate, problems between the two of you should always be addressed as soon as they come up, to prevent them from being blown out of proportion. The longer you let problems build up, the harder it will be to solve it. In addition, if you let your concerns or annoyances stack up, you may find that your roommate feels defensive when you bring them up, and less willing to hear you out.

 

In addition, if you don’t let your roommate know that something is bothering you, you’ll probably become increasingly irritable and won’t handle the situation as well as you could. Both you and your roommate will be better off if you address your concerns when they first come up, rather than letting tension build up to a breaking point.

 

Set Guidelines for Sharing

Sharing food, cleaning supplies, and toiletries is a great way to keep expenses down, but it’s important to set some guidelines when you move in so that you’re all taking equal turns using and purchasing products.

 

First and foremost, you should determine what you’re all okay with sharing; make sure that you’re both okay with it, as if one of you is reluctant to share, it’s probably better that you don’t. Then come up with a way to keep track of who has bought what, to make sure that you’re both paying an equal amount for everything.

 

Living with a roommate isn’t always easy, and it will almost always take some effort to make it work. However, with some effort and conscientiousness on both of your parts, you and your roommate can form a great relationship that will last throughout college and beyond.

 

 


7 Ways to Say Goodbye to Your Roommate

05-14-2018

 

By Lorena Roberts 


Whether you live with one roommate or five, saying goodbye for the summer can be painful. The semester has ended and you're all going in various directions for the summer. Maybe you're going home to live with your family, maybe you're traveling all over the world, or maybe you're working full-time to try and save up for the fall semester.

Regardless of what you're doing, and which direction you're going in for the next few months, there are some important goodbyes that need to be said before you do so. Telling your roommates goodbye can be bittersweet. Either you're ready for the break, or you truly don't know what you'll do without each other. Even if you think you'll be happy to never see your roommates again, you should plan a little something special to say goodbye before you leave for good. Here are seven ideas for saying goodbye to your roommate(s).

 

 

1. Roomie Dinner

Roomie dinners are the greatest. Whether it's a local diner that you all enjoy, or it's a fancy restaurant in the town square, enjoy some quality time with your roommate(s) before you split ways for the summer.

Getting dressed up and going out for a night of pure fun is one of the best ways to enjoy your roommates before the summer. Make sure you take pictures together and caption them cleverly on social media. After all, we want to document making memories here, folks.

 

2. Movie night

Re-watch one of the first movies you ever watched together. Maybe now that you've lived together for a year (or however long...), you'll see the movie in a different light -- you'll relate to it in a different way.

Glamour.com put together a list of some of the best roommate movies you should enjoy while you're together. On the list are funny movies like Bridesmaids and You, Me, and Dupree. You'll definitely get some laughs out of hanging out with your roomie in front of a good comedy.

 

3. Throw a going-away party

Get all of your mutual friends together for one last shindig before you all take off for the summer. Maybe some of your friends are graduating and moving away for real. There are various reasons why some of your friends might not be coming back in the fall. Take time to hang out with your roommates and friends before what's been "the norm" changes.

 

4. Tackle spring cleaning

If you and your roommate(s) have accumulated way too much stuff over the course of your time living together, it's time to start going through your junk. Tackle a spring cleaning to-do list together and then packing up to move won't be as tough as you thought!

You'll realize that you collected too many things over the course of your 12-month lease and it's time to start giving some things away. Donate to charity, sell your items on the marketplace, or just plain throw it out. You'll feel a weight lifted off of your shoulders if you know the only things you must pack are the necessities of life.

 

5. Write each other letters 

Saying goodbye in a letter can be one of the most sentimental ways to go about it. Writing down some of your greatest memories with each other, the good times, and maybe even the bad, will be a way for you to each feel some closure about opening the next chapter of life. Giving each other a letter means you'll each have something to cherish for a lifetime.

 

6. Plan a trip together

Whether it's for sometime this summer, before you leave, or when you get back in the fall, plan a trip together! Quality time is the greatest way to strengthen a relationship. So if you and your roommate are wanting to stay close pals, you'll enjoy a weekend away from your apartment in a new place with all kinds of things to explore.

 

7. Acknowledge that it's a goodbye.

If you aren't planning to be roommates again, it's best that you discuss this before you leave for the summer. How awful would it be for one of you to assume you're moving back in together, when in reality, you aren't? If this is going to be goodbye forever, make sure you handle it like an adult. Maybe you still want to be friends somewhere down the road, but as far as being roommates, this is goodbye.

Roommates in college are really tough. Consider yourself lucky if you've been able to find someone who didn't grate on your nerves every day and was actually pleasant to live with. I'd venture to say that the majority of college students have an adverse roommate experience, and we all know how stressful that can make things. So if you're getting ready to say goodbye to your roommate temporarily, make sure you cherish the last memory together before you're reunited in the fall. It's important to make the important people in your life feel important.


4 Top-Notch Birthday Present Ideas For Your Roommate

05-07-2018

 

By Julia Dunn

Your roommate’s birthday is quickly approaching, and you’re stuck. You live with this person day and night, they (hopefully) have been there for you during the lows of finals season and the highs of receiving that academic merit scholarship you were hoping to get, and if you’re lucky, you can tell them anything. Yet, you just can’t figure out what birthday present could possibly express your appreciation for them. Here are four of the best birthday present ideas for your roommate:

 

 

1. Gift an experience

By far, experiences are always the best gifts, in my opinion. These days, students don’t need more stuff--and you should know that whatever you gift your roommate will inevitably end up in, well, your room.

A t-shirt featuring your roommate’s favorite band is fun and thoughtful, but ultimately, less memorable than an experience. You can totally get them something tangible too, but if you really want to go all out for your roommate, get them tickets for a concert (and go with them!), take them on a day trip, or an adventure out of town. You truly have endless possibilities for celebrating if you think beyond the material and consider what fantastic memories you could give to your roommate.

 

2. Gift a mini-trip

Mini-trips (overnight trips and weekend getaways) are incredibly fun and especially personal. You probably know more about your roommate’s likes, dislikes, favorite activities and interests more than anyone; thus, you are naturally the perfect trip-coordinator!

Here are some tips and ideas for pulling off an awesome weekend/overnight trip without spending loads of money:

-For housing, check out Airbnb instead of a hotel. They’re usually much cheaper, definitely more unique, and sometimes they come with extra amenities or fun package-deal sorts of experiences. For example, I saw one Airbnb listing in Santa Cruz that includes the use of bikes and local aquarium guest passes.

If you find one of these package deals, you can end up saving money. You can find a private room with a couple of beds, or rent an entire property for the time you’ll be staying there, depending on your celebratory activities. Filter through Airbnb listings based on location and price; in some areas, Airbnb prices can be well under $100 per night! The coolest spots are often booked pretty early, so start searching early.

-Plan to have dinner at a restaurant featuring your roommate’s favorite food. It could be their favorite restaurant or a new one if you’re going out of town to celebrate! If you don’t want to spend money going out to eat a full meal, a trip to an ice cream shop or dessert cafe in your getaway town is another great idea for a sweet treat!

 

 

3. A handmade/creative item

Not every student identifies as a creative, but if you do--and if you are known for being great at something artistic--design something original for your roommate. If you’re a singer, perhaps create a cool mixtape of covers of their favorite songs. If you collage, create an art piece out of photos and tangible items to tell a story with your favorite memories as roommates. You might even paint a portrait of your roommate’s pet! A personalized gift is always priceless and unbeatable, if you can swing it.

For those who don’t feel very creative: consider gift-hunting on Etsy, an online marketplace for creative gifts made by artists all over the world. There’s usually an Etsy artist for nearly every specialty item imaginable, from sound wave prints to one-of-a-kind apparel.

If you’re going to get your roommate something material, make it as meaningful as possible. Plenty of Etsy shop owners allow you to customize their items and contribute your own ideas, so you can collaborate with Etsy artists and handmade craft-makers to create something unique and unexpected for your roommate. As an aside, make sure that your gift will arrive well before your roommate’s birthday! It’s no fun at all having to worry about shipping delays and uncertainties, especially if the gift you ordered is part of a fixed plan, such as a birthday dinner or surprise party. Start planning for your roommate’s birthday well in advance; I’d recommend 1-2 months prior, just to be safe.

 

4. Gift them something useful (but still entertaining)

If you’re looking to give your roommate a physical item and it isn’t creative, try to at least make it useful. While some people don’t like “useful gifts,” I think it shows a lot of thought and consideration for someone to gift you something that genuinely solves a problem in your life, rather than adding to a pile of clutter (joke gifts are funny for a moment, but they quickly become annoying). You can jazz up a functional gift with a sweet card, if you’re worried about your gift seeming boring, or combine it with one of the above gift ideas.

Ultimately, your roommate will be thrilled enough that you put time and thought into their birthday, so there’s no need to stress. The best birthday celebration will come from the two of you spending time together.


A Guide to Writing a Roommate Agreement

04-30-2018

 

By Brittany Loeffler

 

While in college, you will most likely live with roommates. It cuts down on the cost of rent and allows you to learn together how to live independently. Living with a roommate can be a wonderful or a horrific experience. To avoid having a bad roommate experience, it’s a good idea to write a roommate agreement.

 

A roommate agreement will hold both you and your roommates responsible for obeying rules that have been set for your home. In this article, we will teach you how to write a comprehensive roommate agreement to ensure that you and your roommate live in harmony and are held accountable for your actions and responsibilities.

 

 

What Is a Roommate Agreement?

A roommate agreement is a written document signed by all roommates and states rules and expectations of the roommates during their time living together. It can list rules about how utilities are divided, sharing food, guests allowed in the apartment, and much more.

 

It’s important to have a roommate agreement so both you and your roommate know what is expected of you while living together. If you feel that your roommate is not living up to expectations, you can refer back to the roommate agreement.

 

Why Do You Need a Roommate Agreement?

If you are living with one of your best friends, you may think that you don’t need a roommate agreement. It’s always a good idea to write one, no matter who your roommate is. When roommates have a written agreement, they are more likely to follow the rules you both have set.

 

Not only will it keep harmony in your home, but it can also protect you financially. A roommate agreement can be considered a legal document. For instance, if your roommate skips out on the rent and your landlord comes to your for the money to make up for it, you can provide your roommate agreement in court showing them that you are not responsible for your roommate’s rent.

 

What Should Be Included in a Roommate Agreement?

You can put just about anything in a roommate agreement, as long as you and roommate agree to it. That being said, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the idea of writing a roommate agreement. There are plenty of places online to get sample agreements or make a template.

 

We’ve also come up with a list of important topics to talk to your roommate about while writing your roommate agreement.

 

Address of the Property

Make sure to include the address of where you and your roommate live. This will be important if you do end up using it in court.

 

Name of Parties

At the beginning of the agreement, you should have all of the legal names of your roommates. An example of how you would put this is “John Smith and John Doe agree to the terms stated in this agreement.” This is another important aspect when if it comes to using it in small claims court.

 

It’s also important to remember that this is an agreement between you and your roommate, not you, your roommate, and your landlord. Your agreement with the landlord would be your lease.

 

Assigned Bedrooms

If you are lucky, you will probably have your own bedroom in the apartment. You should state which bedrooms belong to whom in your roommate agreement. These should be considered private areas where only the assigned person can enter unless others have permission.

 

 

Cleaning and Chores

Nobody likes to live in a dirty house, but it takes some work to keep it clean. This may be the number problem between roommates. Nobody likes to clean, but it’s something that has to be done. Rather than being passive aggressive or getting annoyed with your roommate, define certain chores and what “clean” means to you in your roommate agreement.

 

This can take a couple of different forms. You can simply list the chores that must be done and leave it up to whoever can do it that week to complete certain chores. You can also include a schedule where you switch off on different chores each week. It’s important to find what works best for you and your roommate.

 

Guests

Chances are that you and your roommate have other friends who will want to come over and maybe even spend the night if they’re from out of town. One thing to consider is how many guests are allowed in your house at once? If it is a small apartment, you may only feel comfortable with a few people being there at once.

 

Should your roommate give you notice if they have a guest sleeping over? It can be startling to wake up one morning and see a stranger or someone you didn’t expect in your house. It’s a good idea to let your roommate know if you have someone spending the night as a courtesy.

 

What can guests have access to? If you are not home one night and your roommate has a guest staying over, are they allowed to use your bed? Where will your guests sleep? What can and can’t they use while they are at your house? These are all things to consider when writing your roommate agreement.

 

Rent

Typically, your lease does not define who pays what portions of the rent. It simply states the total rent due each month to the landlord. Your roommate agreement gives you a chance to specify who pays which amount each month.

 

It’s easiest to split the rent evenly between all of the roommates. However, there are some situations where one bedroom is much smaller than the others. This could result in someone paying less rent than their roommates who have bigger rooms. This is something you should put in your roommate agreement.

 

This is the part of the agreement that is useful in small claims court if your roommate doesn’t pay their share of the rent. Simply show the signed agreement in court to prove that they had agreed to pay X amount of rent each month. This will keep you off the hook for paying the difference.

 

Utilities

Along with paying rent each month, you will also need to pay utilities. This can include electricity, gas, cable, WiFi, and water. In your roommate agreement, you should state how these bills will be split and how often they will be paid. You should also state who would have which bill assigned to them.

 

If you have a roommate that never pays for their share of the utilities, you can use this portion of the agreement in small claims court to get them to pay you. Hopefully, it never comes to that, though.

 

Parties

Determine how you and your roommate feel about parties. Are you interested in throwing them? If so, there are a few things that you should consider. One of them is when parties are allowed. There are some people who like to party during the week, which is fine, but you have to make sure everyone in the house is on board with it.

 

What parts of the house can guests party in? You will most likely want your bedrooms to be off limits to party guests. Consider if there are any other parts of the house you would like to keep separate from the party.

 

As with having any guests over, how much notice should you give before throwing a party? Consider how much time it will take you to clean your house and put away anything you don’t want out for guests to potentially steal or break.

 

Smoking or Drinking

Are you okay with smoking and drinking the house? Some people are and some people aren’t. It’s important to determine boundaries when it comes to these activities with your roommate.

 

Quiet Hours

As you get to know your roommate, you’ll learn some of their habits. One of those habits may be staying up late into the night. If you are someone who likes to go to bed early, set designated quiet hours. This can be from 11 pm to 8 am, for example.

 

 

Food

Will you share your food between your roommates? If so, who will be responsible for going to the grocery store and buying which foods? Maybe there are only certain foods that you are open to sharing, such as coffee, condiments, and eggs.

 

Household Items

This goes back to keeping the house clean. How will you split the cost of household items like cleaning products? Since they are something that you all use, you may want to split the cost evenly or take turns buying things. It’s completely up to you and your roommate how you do this.

 

Pets

Consider if you will have or may have a pet in the apartment. Who is responsible for paying the pet deposit? Who is responsible for taking care of the pet? If the responsibilities are split between the roommates, write down who must do what and when.

 

Moving Out

There are many instances in college where you or your roommate may have to move out in the middle of your lease. This can be due to studying abroad or transferring to another school. In your roommate agreement, you should specify who is responsible for making up that person’s rent.

 

One solution is to find someone to take your roommate’s room. This is called subletting. Who is responsible for finding this person? Typically, it is the person moving out who is supposed to find their replacement. If they can’t find a replacement, the landlord usually still holds them responsible for paying the rent.

 

Any Other Important Factors

There may be some other factors that are important to you that we did not list in this article. If there are, add them to your roommate agreement! Everyone’s situation is different, which means there will never be a one-size-fits-all roommate agreement. Feel free to tailor sample roommate agreements to your needs.

 

Draft Your Roommate Agreement

It’s time to draft your roommate agreement. Schedule a time with your roommates to all sit down together and discuss what should be in your roommate agreement. It’s important that you draft your roommate agreement together because you can all talk about certain rules and expectations. This is the time to compromise and discuss how you will make living together run smoothly.

 

Agree and Sign

Once you have all agreed on the terms of your roommate agreement and someone has written it up in a formal agreement, it’s time to sign it. Read it over and make any changes necessary. When everything looks good, all of the roommates should sign and date the agreement.

 

Once the roommate agreement is signed, it has officially been put into effect. You have now agreed to the terms and will be held accountable for the rules and expectations stated.

 

Amendments and Changes

Throughout the year you may find that one of the rules you agreed on isn’t working out and is causing problems. Don’t be afraid to amend your roommate agreement. It may take a few rounds of trial and error before you find the perfect terms for your roommate agreement. Remember, nothing is perfect the first time around!

 

Write Your Roommate Agreement

Now that you have an idea of what you should consider when writing your roommate agreement, it’s time to get to it! Sit down with your roommates with a list of topics such as splitting the rent and utilities, allowance of guests, parties, sharing food, and quiet hours. Make sure that you all talk about these topics and come to an agreement on them. Once you have written up a formal roommate agreement, have everyone sign and date it. Congratulations! You have now successfully written and executed a roommate agreement!

 


10 Things an Introvert Should Look for in a Roommate

04-23-2018

 

By Victoria Robertson 

 

Beginning your college experience can be stressful, especially when you haven’t ironed out the details related to roommate selection. In fact, choosing a college roommate can be one of the most stressful items on your to-do list.

 

While there are many options available to college students now in terms of picking roommates, such as social media, there are still limitations to these options if you aren’t familiar with what you should be looking for in a roommate. In fact, looking for specific things in a roommate is a challenge, no matter who you are.  

 

This challenge is made even more difficult if you fancy yourself an introvert, as many individuals do. Introverts tend to have difficulties in sudden changes, specifically related to living situations. They also tend to isolate themselves, which makes living with another individual more difficult.

 

So how does an introvert pick the right person to live with? There are many items to consider, but, to get you started, here are ten, specific things all introverts should look for in a roommate.

 

 

 

1. Outgoing personality

 

First and foremost, you don’t necessarily want to look for another introvert. In fact, you should look for an outgoing personality in a roommate.

 

They say opposites attract, and when you’re dealing with two people in a living situation, having that balance can be helpful to everyone. When you need to socialize more, they can pull you out of your shell and when they need to stay in and focus, you can help them as well.

 

While not all outgoing personalities will mesh well, it is a quality that you don’t want to count out either. Basically, having that mixture in regards to personality will help you to expand your horizons and may just push you that inch that you needed.

 

This can be in relation to campus parties, apartment get-togethers, school functions or even study abroad trips. Some of these items are things you may not consider individually. However, when you add a roommate that’s more outgoing than you and that you trust, you may just find yourself signing up with them and experiencing things you never would have otherwise.

 

This all being said, there are some introverts that have this quality as well. Just be sure to look for someone that you think is going to push you in the right way to achieve what you can. You don’t want someone that’s going to ignore your boundaries, but rather, you want someone that acknowledges them and that helps you expand them within reason.

 

2. Understanding

 

On this same note, you should look for someone who is understanding and compassionate. Introverts need time on their own to refuel, and sometimes extroverts don’t understand that need.


For this reason, you should make sure you find someone that’s understanding of your needs as well as their own. Just because they are a “social butterfly” doesn’t mean that you are.

 

You may need to find someone that appreciates your need for time to yourself and that can support that need in a living situation. Not everyone will be up for this challenge, which makes this a great quality to look for in a roommate.

 

Now being an introvert isn’t something to be ashamed of, nor is it something that you should need to qualify with your roommate, but living with someone that’s more understanding will only serve to help you in your living situation.

 

3. Compatibility


Of course, you also want to consider your compatibility with your roommate. You may end up living with someone that doesn’t share any common interests, and you’ll find rather quickly that it’s a challenge.

 

When you and your roommate are able to relate to one another and can share certain hobbies etc. with one another, this enhances that relationship. Introverts sometimes need this outside element to bring them closer to a roommate, so picking someone off the bat that has common interests will set you along the right path.

 

Whether you share similar tastes in books or TV shows, or enjoy the same outdoor activities or sports, there’s something for everyone. This will not only be a great icebreaker when you first meet, but it will help to bring you both closer as the year goes on and, hopefully, down the road as well.

 

Compatibility is a word that covers a vast amount of ground, so have that initial conversation with a prospective roommate, get a better feel for the type of person that they are, and decide whether or not there is any common ground there. If not, they may not be the right fit for you. If so, you may want to consider rooming with them.

 

4. Stability

 

While you may be thinking of the immediate future when choosing a roommate, it’s also imperative that you think about the long-term as well.

 

Maintaining a stable, roommate relationship for one year is a good start, but you do also want to look for someone that you can see yourself living with throughout your college experience as well.

 

Change can be difficult for introverts, and undergoing the same roommate selection process year after year is daunting. So, in targeting a roommate with that stability factor, you bypass the future searches and instead have one, strong roommate relationship that you can maintain throughout college and beyond.

 

Again, these are relationships you’ll have throughout your life (if done correctly), so seeking that long-term relationship is going to benefit you greatly. This isn’t an easy item to look for, but if you note that your roommate has many, long-term relationships and appears to be stable overall, you have a good chance of a working relationship there.

 

5. Social skills

 

Along the same lines as the extrovert seeking point, you may want to consider rooming with someone that has superb social skills. College is partly about networking, a concept very difficult for many introverts to come to terms with.

 

For that reason, having a social butterfly in your corner to help you out is never a bad thing. Having a roommate with strong social skills may just help to push you out of your shell, or at least give you an opportunity to be coached in the art of networking.

 

Relationships that are built in college can be called upon when it comes time for your job search, so again, it’s important to think ahead to what these relationships could mean for you. The more you are able to socialize, the better off you will be. At the very least, you can view such socializing as practice.

 

Such practice would be beneficial in terms of interviews, job fairs and other future gatherings in which your social acumen may make or break your career. Again, it doesn’t hurt to have someone with those social skills on your side to provide you with the opportunity to practice.

 

 

 

6. Ambition


Looking for an ambitious roommate isn’t a necessity, though it certainly helps. Sticking multiple introverts in a room without ambition can result in a permanent, couch-potato status, which could ruin any chances you have at networking and starting your career.

 

Picking a roommate that has the ambition to continue on and that genuinely wants to help you will only serve you well. Ambition is a strong measure of a person’s capabilities, so you should look for this quality in a roommate.

 

7. Education-oriented

 

Again, ambition is key, but it’s also important that you pick a roommate that’s education-oriented. What this means is you need to choose a roommate that understands school comes first.

 

For most introverts, studying is a solo activity, and this can be difficult for others to cope with. You may need complete silence to read or retain information, and so asking the individual you’re living with for said silence can be daunting.

 

For this reason, you want to choose someone that understands educational needs and that can help you to achieve the high grades you strive for.

 

Ask potential roommates what their GPA goals are, or what their overall educational goals are to get a better feel for what their schedule will entail and what their work ethic looks like.

 

8. Similar goals

 

On a personal note, my roommate and I were complete opposites throughout college. She was an extrovert and I was an introvert, and we clashed on more than a few items throughout our experience. That being said, when it came to our goals, we were right in line with one another.

 

Both of us decided our freshman year to graduate a year early, so we both pushed each other and assisted one another in ensuring we both met that goal. We succeeded because of our bond, and that’s certainly something to look for in a roommate.

 

Sharing goals with a roommate not only provides you a building block for your relationship, but it also provides you with a partner to help you achieve those goals. This is a never-ending relationship of support and guidance, and it’s going to help you achieve all the goals that you set for yourself in your college experience.

 

The goals don’t have to be college related, but professionally or academically (grad school etc.) or even personally. So long as you and your roommate can find that common ground and develop a plan that works for the both of you, there’s no reason that relationship shouldn’t work.

 

So, for this reason, make sure that similar goals is one of those qualities you look for in a roommate.

 

9. Leniency


All these items aside, you want to pick an individual that can also be flexible and lenient. Introverts can be challenging to live with, and so having someone that is more lenient will absolutely help in preventing arguments or problems between you and your roommate.

 

Leniency can be in terms of your study habits or lack of social desires, or in terms of any living situation problems that may arise. Essentially, no matter your personality type, it helps to have a roommate that’s lenient and that will give you some slack when you need it.

 

10. Organization

 

Finally, organizationally speaking, having a clean and put together roommate always helps in living situations. Again, this is regardless of your personality type, but organized roommates are less likely to miss rent payments or utility payments and will assist you in cleaning the apartment or purchasing food for the week.

 

Highly organized individuals tend to do well in these types of situations, so having someone of that nature on your side is never a bad thing. This is a growing professional skill and one that you can benefit from in a living situation as well.

 

Just because you identify as an introvert doesn’t have to mean that your roommate seeking experience needs to be difficult. In fact, so long as you keep these ten things in mind, your searching should be a piece of cake.

 

College is difficult enough as it is without adding the pressures of social relationships, so ease your mind a bit by following this list of what to look for in a roommate. The perfect roommate doesn’t exist, but the perfect roommate for you does. Determine which items on this list are the most important to you, begin your search and try to keep an open mind.

 

I promise, before the school year begins, you’ll have a pretty good idea of who you want to live with, and you may just foster a relationship that will continue for years to come. I know that I did!

 

So get yourself out there and don’t be afraid to be a little picky when talking with prospective roommate candidates. Picking a roommate is challenging enough without being an introvert, so look for these qualities, pick the person that’s the best fit for you and watch that relationship grow over the next four years. I promise, if you make the right choice, you’ll always have that person in your life.

 

Good luck in your search and don’t be afraid to dig deeper to find the person that’s perfect for your unique personality.

 


How to Find a College Roommate That Will be Your Bestie

04-16-2018

 

By Christine Ascher 

 

One of the most daunting prospects of going off to college for the first time is having a roommate. The idea of living with a stranger, especially when you’ve never shared a room before, can be scary. If you pick the right person, however, having a roommate can be a great experience. While you’ll never know for sure if you and your roommate will get along until you actually start living together, there are certain characteristics that you can look for in your potential roommate to make sure you have the best chance of choosing someone who will, in time, turn into your best friend. If you’re looking for roommates for the coming school year, consider these tips for finding your new bestie.

 

 

Reach Out on Social Media

 

The best way to get to know your prospective roommate if you can’t talk to them in person is through social media. Check out their social media accounts to see if they have similar interests to you and to get an idea of their personality. Social media is also a great way to reach out to someone you’re considering living with. Ask them about their interests and habits to get a better idea of whether you’ll get along, and just try to get to know them better in general. The more you know about the person you’re choosing to live with before you move in, the better your chances will be of finding someone who you’ll get along well with!

 

Keep an Open Mind

 

The most important thing to remember when living with another person is to keep an open mind. Chances are, their routine and habits will differ somewhat from yours, and you may need to compromise in some areas. Letting small differences get in the way of your friendship can lead to a strained roommate relationship, so you’ll be much better off if you can keep an open mind. It’s also not a good idea to start off your roommate relationship with a preconceived idea for how everything is going to go—for instance, don’t start picturing you and your roommate watching your favorite movies or going out together before you actually find out if your roommate is interested in those things. Trying to force your roommate situation to be the way you’ve imagined it can lead to awkwardness; instead, wait to see how you and your roommate click, and try to just go with the flow.

 

Make Sure Your Habits are Similar on the Important Things

 

While you probably won’t be able to find a roommate who shares all of your day-to-day habits, it’s a good idea to think about what you’re not willing to compromise on before you decide to live with someone. For instance, if you’re a neat-freak and know that you won’t be able to live with someone who tends to be messy, make sure you ask your potential roommate about their cleaning tendencies before you finalize anything. Little annoyances can sometimes make or break a roommate relationship, so it’s important to find someone whose habits won’t get under your skin.  

 

Find Someone Who Has Some Similar Interests

 

Especially at the beginning of the school year, it will be much easier for you and your roommate to bond if you have at least a couple of similar interests, such as a similar taste in movies, a TV show you both watch, or a school club you both want to join. Having some interests in common will ensure that you have something to talk about when you’re first getting to know each other and might also give you something that you can do together.

 

Ask What They Want Out of their Roommate Situation

 

Not everyone wants to be best friends with their roommate; in fact, some people prefer not to be friends with their roommate, opting instead to do their own thing. Before you get ahead of yourself and decide that you’ve found the perfect roommate match, make sure that the person you want to room with is on the same page. Ask them what their ideal roommate situation would be to see if it matches up with yours. If you want to be best friends with your roommate but they’d prefer to just be friendly while keeping their space, you may end up in a situation that neither of you is happy with; to avoid this potentially awkward situation, make sure that your prospective roommate wants to be friends as well before you move in together.

 

              Finding the right roommate can make a huge difference in your college experience. If you’re imagining your roommate becoming your future best friend, make sure you put a lot of thought into who you’re going to live with in order to make that happen—and get to know them as much as you can before you actually move in! Though it’s difficult to predict how well you and your roommate will get along until you meet in person, following these tips can get you off to a great start.


5 Common Roommate Issues and How to Solve Them

04-10-2018

By Tamiera Vandegrift 


For many people, college marks the first time that they will have to share space with a roommate. In a perfect world, every roommate situation would be completely perfect. All of you would share all of the same interests and hold the same moral values. You would both have compatible schedules to avoid those pesky 7 a.m. rustling noises when the other roommate has to shuffle off to their morning classes. There would be no squabbling over who had a loud, rambunctious party until the wee hours of the morning during school nights because both your roommate and you respect the sanctity of academic rules. Neither of you will have to ever worry about going out to social events alone because both you and your roommate appreciate the same types of activities and totally enjoy each other’s company. While this roommate situation sounds like an absolute dream, it isn’t always a reality.

Living with a roommate can be an absolute challenge. It’s hard to suddenly adjust all of your living habits to suit your roommate’s needs, just as it’s hard for your roommate to do the same. While most students dream of the ideal roommate living situation, more often than not, roommate living situations are met with drama. However, no matter how messy or sticky the situation, there is never a reason to give up and learn to cope with roommate drama on a regular basis. Roommate drama is extremely common are plenty of ways to solve this drama and coexist peacefully. So, keep reading for some of the most common roommate issues that college students face - and how to solve them!

 

The Problem: They’re a Neat Freak

This might seem like a completely ridiculous thing to complain about. After all, who wouldn’t like to have a roommate that always keeps your living space completely spotless all of the time? Unfortunately, this situation can become uncomfortable and out of hand very quickly. Those dishes you promised you would have time to do after your group study meeting? Your roommate got angry and impatient and threw them on your bed with a passive-aggressive note.

Did you leave your clothes in the washing machine for too long by accident before you left the house? Your clothes are slowly beginning to reek of mildew because your roommate threw them on the ground in an angry fit. It’s one thing when your roommate respects your space and wants to keep it looking nice for both of your sakes. It’s something completely different (and unacceptable!) when your roommate decides to become so controlling and disrespectful of your space in the name of “cleanliness”.

The Solution

It’s likely that this type of roommate has some serious control issues and for that reason, it might be very difficult to confront them about it. However, such an issue does not have to turn into a volatile eruption of emotion. Bring up the issue gently at first by using “I feel” statements instead of “You did(n’t)” statements.

For instance, if your roommate does something with your clothes that you don’t appreciate or does something to disrespect your belongings, say calmly but firmly, “It doesn’t feel very nice when you disrespect my belongings. I would not do something like that to you.” Try to put themselves in your shoes to make them think about how they would feel about a roommate that was so intrusive and rude. If this behavior continues, even after you voice your feelings, do not hesitate to bring the situation up to your RA or property manager.

The Problem: They’re a Slob

Your roommate has clothes and textbooks scattered all over the room. It has come to the point that you can’t even recognize your own floor anymore. Your roommate’s dishes have compiled into such a mountain in your sink that even Mount Everest would be put to shame. On top of that, the room reeks of something you dare not inquire about. And the bathroom? We don’t even have to talk about the bathroom. You might have made gentle, friendly suggestions about the room being in need of some serious scrubbing, but these requests are ignored or brushed off with a nod or a simple “Mmhmm” as your roommate piles another glass on the dish pile in the sink, as the cherry on top of a very disgusting sundae.

It’s fair to say that college is stressful and that after a long day of classes and extracurriculars, the last thing you want to think about is laundry or the dishes from this morning’s breakfast. The same sentiment goes for your roommate. So, how can you address the elephant (or the stench of a million elephants) in the room without causing unrest between you and your roommate?

The Solution

The truth of the matter is that everyone has a different idea of what cleanliness is. What your roommate might view as a satisfactory room situation, you might view as a complete pigsty. First, you need to make sure that you bring this issue up with your roommate early on instead of letting your frustration fester. Make sure that you don’t make the issue personal by accusing your roommate of being a slob or criticizing their behavior.

Instead, ask “Would you mind doing your dishes?” or “Can you pick up after your side of the dorm?” It’s possible that your roommate might not even realize the effect of their actions. If this request is not automatically met with a “Sure!” try setting up a compromise that works for both parties. Make a chore schedule to divide the responsibilities equally so that both of you are pulling equal weight in the house. If this doesn’t work or your roommate becomes rude and defensive, it’s time to bring up the circumstance to your RA.

The Problem: They’re a Homebody

It’s always nice to have some roommate bonding time. After a long day of hard work and craziness, it’s nice to come home to someone you can vent to and spend copious hours eating snacks and watching silly shows on Netflix. However, it is still important to have “me time” as well. If your roommate is always in the room, it can cause you to feel smothered and overwhelmed.

You might not want to be rude by saying, “Oh my gosh, can you get the heck out of here?”, but deep down there are some passive-aggressive thoughts brewing deep within you that are waiting for an opportunity to escape. Even if you like your roommate and enjoy their company, you will eventually get sick of each other if you don’t have any time apart.

The Solution

Chances are that if your roommate is a complete hermit they might not have a big social circle or any interest in extracurricular activities outside of school. It could also be possible that they are suffering from some form of mental illness, like depression or anxiety, that makes it difficult to leave the house. Either way, you need to be patient and understanding, not rude and passive-aggressive. Have a talk with your roommate and see what’s going on in their life. Ask about their interests and if they enjoy doing anything outside of classes.

From there, look into other clubs and organizations and suggest them to your roommate to see if they would be something they’re interested. You could even bring them along with you to one of your club or organization meetings just to stimulate their interest in something besides the glow of their television screen or the many pages of a good book. If you think your roommate might be more of an introverted type, let them know that there are plenty of good places on campus to enjoy some alone time and that you would appreciate having the room to yourself every once in a while. Don’t feel guilty for voicing these feelings to your roommate. After all, it is your space too and you have the right to make it comfortable for yourself.

 

The Problem: They’re a Ghost

We’ve all heard stories of that roommate that completely ghosts on other people. Students return home to find an empty dorm or apartment except for a dish or two and a few bites out of the leftover takeout in the refrigerator. When you envisioned your college roommate relationship, you might have imagined a super close bond consisting of study sessions and road trips, but instead, you’re stuck eating ice cream in the middle of the night wondering when or if you will hear the rattle of a key in the front door.

Whether your roommate has a significant other that they tend to spend a lot of time with, if they visit their hometown rather frequently, or if they’re just too busy to spend time in the dorm, it can be a real shame not to have someone in the living space with you.

The Solution

Rather than suffering in silence, voice your feelings to your roommate, but not in a way that seems rude or uncomfortable. Ask them if they would like to hang out whenever they have spare time or if they would like to study with you. Try to go out of your way to be social and get to know your roommate and their living situation. If your roommate has a significant other or a friend that they spend a lot of time with, let them know that they are welcome to bring this person into your living space to hang out.

Don’t feel bad if your roommate rejects your suggestions and definitely don’t take it personally. Some people just aren’t very social and prefer to hang out with people that they are already comfortable with. Either way, you will have plenty of opportunities to form friendships outside of your apartment or residence hall!

The Problem: They’re Mean

The fact of the matter is that there is no guarantee that you will “click” with your roommate. After all, everyone is different and you just might find that you don’t vibe with some people as much as you do with others. Another unfortunate fact is that some people are just plain rude and mean.

You could end up with a roommate that makes fun of your sense of style or mocks your program of study. You could end up with a roommate that will talk trash about you in front of other neighbors right outside of your door (Been there, done that). Unfortunately, not everyone will have the same kind heart as you, but living with someone that is toxic and mean can be detrimental to your level of comfort in the living space as well as your own mental health.

The Solution

First, let’s make one thing clear. No one has the right to treat you poorly. Do not tolerate this behavior or dismiss it because doing so will only perpetuate it and make you severely uncomfortable in the process. As scary as it might be, it is crucial that you communicate your feelings very early to avoid an uncomfortable situation in the future when you’ve reached your boiling point. Let your roommate know that you do not appreciate their behavior and that they need to treat you with more respect than they have been.

It’s possible that your roommate might not even realize their behavior is so upsetting because they have a different sense of humor or way of socializing than you. If this is the case, they will almost definitely make changes right away. If they do not respect your feelings and continue to be nasty towards you, it’s time to take the issue to an authoritative figure like an RA. If possible, try to request a roommate reassignment. After all, the school year is meant for nothing but personal growth and positivity. Anything else should be eliminated right away.

During your time in college, you might encounter several types of roommates. Unfortunately, this can come with a lot of roommate drama. Instead of getting down about it and living in utter frustration, find ways to communicate your feelings and solve the issues right away. Doing so will ensure a smooth semester and the potential for a pretty beautiful friendship.

 


How to Deal with a Messy Roommate

04-04-2018

 

By Amanda Cohen 

Living with a roommate is tough. Regardless of if you are living in a spacious apartment or a shoebox of a dorm room, it’s an adjustment either way. However, it is even more of an adjustment if your roommate is messy. If you are someone like me who likes everything to be organized and orderly, if your roommate is the complete opposite it can make your life a living h-e-double-hockey sticks. So, what can we do about it because, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you will have to deal with the issue in some way, shape, or form in your life. Well, have no fear because I have suggestions on how to deal with this! If this at all interests you or if this seems like a problem you will have to deal with in life, read on!

 

 

Even though it’s terrifying to deal with a problem head-on, it’s a necessary first step. If your roommate’s mess is getting out of control and it is causing you to lose sleep at night, you need to talk to him/her. You don’t need to start World War III; sometimes all it takes is a, “Hey, can I talk to you about something?” If your roommate is halfway decent, he/she will say, “Yeah, sure, of course,” or they will ask if you can wait until later today because he/she has a huge exam to study for, in which case you should oblige. Once you do have the conversation, all you have to say is that the mess is driving you a little crazy (try to throw some humor in there to make it more light-hearted) and ask if he/she can be better about cleaning up after themselves, I guarantee they will say no problem and you both can move on.

However, this is the real world and, unfortunately, the problem will not be solved in a day. This situation might have to be dealt with using multiple conversations, but if casual conversations aren’t working out, you need to sit down with your roommate and come up with a plan. You want to make sure you tell your roommate that you understand that many people don’t love to scrub the counters and organize your closet as much as you do, but that you are desperate to meet each other halfway.

You can explain that you realize that it’s their stuff, their room, etc., but that you share that space and you need them to be more considerate. You can say that you will also be more conscientious and understand that you need to also be flexible. Once you get the conversation out of the way, create a plan. For example, if your roommate doesn’t want to fold their laundry, instead of he/she leaving it spread out on their bed or the floor, have them pile it into the laundry basket instead.

Give this plan a couple of weeks because it takes time to develop new habits and to stick to them. If your roommate still doesn’t seem to be getting the hint, you tell him/her that you are tired of having to clean up after him/her and that you really need them to meet you halfway so that you aren’t driven completely crazy. Sometimes a little confrontation is good in order to get your point across. I’m not saying that you should have a screaming match, but you definitely should be sterner in your voice and in your actions.

For example, if your roommate leaves his/her dirty dishes everywhere because they are used to having you pick up after them, leave the dishes. You could even leave your own dishes out because sometimes, in order to gain some appreciation, you need to have an eye-for-an-eye, or in this case, a dish-for-a-dish. If the dishes end up getting cleaned, then I think you have gotten your point across for good. However, if the dishes are not cleaned, the frustration should bubble up organically and then you and your roommate can have an actual conversation.

I promise you that you will come up with a solution, but if you don’t then you don’t have to live with that roommate forever. If a solution doesn’t come to fruition, then you may have to keep picking up after your roommate or pushing his/her clothes to the other side of the room so that you don’t go completely insane. People don’t always agree on how neat to keep their living arrangements, but don’t let it ruin your life and don’t let it change how you live your life and how you clean your room. Just remember that if a conversation doesn’t work, you shouldn’t have to push it further than that because your roommate should respect your words and if he/she doesn’t, then that’s on them, not on you. If you have this problem, just remember that living situations aren’t permanent!


3 Reasons Why Living with a Roommate is Better Than Living Alone

03-26-2018

 

By Kailey Walters

 

For most of us college students who live away from home, either in the dorms or perhaps somewhere off campus, we’ve probably all dealt with the decision of either living with a roommate or alone. As with all things, there are definitely pros and cons to both options -- but the big question is which one is a better choice for you, which really depends on your personal preferences, your lifestyle, etc.

However, I’m here to tell you why living with a roommate is pretty much always a better choice than living alone. Even if you think you would be better off in a single room in the dorms or renting an off-campus apartment on your own, hear me out on the following reasons as to why living with someone else might be a better option.

  

 

1. You can live with your best friend. 

When else in your life would you have such a fantastic opportunity to live with your best friend? Sure, the two of you might have talked about one day renting an apartment together in the city and having a grand old time, but why not live together now while the chance is right in front of you?

After a long, grueling day of classes, you can return to your room knowing that someone you appreciate and love will be there for you to talk to (or even not talk to, as your best friend will understand and give you space to breathe if you’re not in the mood to talk). After all, your best friend gets you, so you most likely won’t find yourself struggling to be someone you’re not or dealing with potentially awkward or tense situations. Plus, if you happen to feel bored or lonely or just want someone to hang out with in the moment, having your best friend right there next to you is always a great feeling.   

Also, rooming with your best friend will undoubtedly lead to many more new, wonderful memories between the two of you. Your best friend can be the one you turn to at any time and say, “Remember when we pulled an all-nighter together/spontaneously decided to get ice cream and drive around town at 1 a.m./had so many deep talks that lasted for hours and hours?” Even if you can already say these things to them (which is great), living with them will only enhance your friendship and allow you to get to know them on an even deeper level.

 

2. You can meet someone new. 

Some people might shy away from living with someone new, perhaps because they’ve heard of roommate horror stories or they simply don’t feel like interacting with someone in their personal “me time” space. However, even rooming with someone you haven’t met before can be an amazing and rewarding experience. Personally, having not known a single one of my freshman year suitemates, I can now say as a junior that living with them was one of the highlights of my freshman year and that we made so many wonderful memories together. Even now I am still quite close with several of them, which just goes to show how lasting new friendships can become!

So, if you’re still hesitant about living with someone new, at least give it a try. Make an effort to reach out to the other person and get to know them better; perhaps suggest some time to hang out, just the two of you. Or you could spontaneously end up having a conversation with them and learn a lot about them that you didn’t know before.

Whatever happens, there is certainly the possibility of developing a wonderful connection with your roommate until it becomes a lasting friendship.

 

3. Living with a roommate is often cheaper than living alone. 

In terms of practicality, living with a roommate typically is financially smarter than living on your own. At most colleges, having a double or even a triple room is less expensive than having a single to yourself -- so not only do you get to solidify your bonds with your roommate(s), but you also get to save money that can best be put towards other college expenses, such as textbooks, meal plans, tuition, etc.

Also, if you happen to live off campus, sharing the rent with other people for an apartment or even an entire house is definitely more financially viable than coughing up all the rent money yourself. If you split the rent money with two, three, or as many people as you’d like, your housing costs will automatically decrease.

 

If you’re faced with a big decision on your housing situation next year, definitely consider rooming with someone. There are many lasting benefits that will make your experience that much more memorable and worthwhile!


Living at Home to Living with Roommates: A Transition Guide

03-20-2018

 

By Alicia Geigel

 

Making the transition from living at home to living 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.

Having one or multiple roommates is considered to be a natural part of the college experience, as it not only helps to expand your social life but it can also help you save money in the long run. Whether it is during your freshman year in a dorm or during your junior year in an off-campus apartment, living with your new roommates may be either a dream or a nightmare.

Sharing your life with one or a couple roommates is not easy, but there are ways that you can actively make your experience smoother and more enjoyable. Are you nervous about an impending or current roommate situation and do not know exactly how to handle it? Check out my simple tips below on how to live with multiple roommates!


Deciding Who to Live With:


Perhaps the first and most important part of living with a roommate/roommates is figuring out who to live with.

For a lot of incoming freshman college students, utilizing services provided by the university can help find a prospective roommate. In this case, universities will send out an email detailing instructions on how to fill out a questionnaire for your optimal roommate. Questions in the form may include: do you smoke/not smoke, do you prefer a cleaner/messier room, what time do you go to bed, etc. These questions help the residential advisors and administrators build a reasonable profile for you and place you with the ideal roommate that would compliment your lifestyle/living habits.

If you’re not a freshman, you may be looking for roommates elsewhere. Plenty of college students turn to university class Facebook pages to find people to be their roommate. This is less formal and is a way many consider better to find a perfect roommate. Students will typically post their major, where they are from, hobbies, favorite music/TV shows/movies, interests, etc. Before my freshman year, I found my first college roommate by making a post on my university’s “Class of 2018” page and found someone that was similar to me in interests. We ended up messaging each other, met up at accepted student’s day and decided to become roommates!

Another way to look for roommates is through mutual friends and/or through other social media pages. Many people successfully find roommates through friends or through sites like Roomsurf, Facebook or Craigslist. Finding roommates like this can be perfectly safe and easy, just be cautious of who you talk to and what information you give to them. Though not everyone on the internet is a bad person, there are definitely some bad eggs out there and you don’t want to end up being scammed by one or even go as far as living with one.

 

Tips for Finding a Roommate/Roommates:


  • DO consider university resources (if they are available to you)
  • DON’T rush moving in with someone you don’t know just because you need a roommate
  • DO look around multiple sites/pages to find someone compatible with you
  • DON’T move in right away if you can, spend some time talking and getting to know the person you may be moving in with
  • DO put truthful information out to your prospective roommate regarding you/living habits
  • DON’T lie about important lifestyle choices to appease a roommate and end up surprising them later on

 

You Have a Roommate/Roommates: Now What?


Once you have found a roommate or roommates that you want to live with and have moved in with them, now comes the hard part: actually living together. When it comes to living with others, I consider there to be five elements that are crucial for a smooth and stress-free living experience: chores, communication, privacy, bills, and quality time. These elements are important, as they will help to foster a healthy and balanced roommate relationship!

 

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.

You may be thinking to yourself, “It’s not that simple. My version of clean is different from my roommate’s.” That may be true, but there are definitely ways that you can figure this out.

Kate Legere of Apartment Therapy states, “Determine what the household chores are and agree on a cleaning schedule. Ask questions like: What needs to be done daily, weekly, monthly? How will you split the light cleaning (vacuuming, dishes) and the deep cleaning (refrigerator, windows)?” Doing so will help you understand the tasks that need to be accomplished and when.

Additionally, writing out the chores on a chalkboard, dry-erase board, or calendar can further help by giving you a visual of what needs to get done. An Apartment Guide Blog suggests, “Use a wall calendar to write everyone’s duties down, or create a chart that lists all of the roommates’ names and their responsibilities next to it. This way, there is no confusion as to who is responsible for what. If it works better, rotate the chores every month.”

While this may seem incredibly simple, it will definitely be helpful in the long run. Once everyone gets a glimpse/idea of each other’s boundaries, standards, etc. each roommate can collectively work toward maintaining a good environment that is suitable not only for them, but for everyone else!

 

Communication

 

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 relationship. 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. Doing so requires no passive-aggressive post-it notes, subliminal messages, etc. but rather, openly talking to all of your roommates.

You may have an issue with roommate #1 because they constantly use your shampoo without asking, or roommate #2 makes you crazy because they eat all of the snacks your mom got just for you. Bottom line is this, speak up. There is nothing worse than having a problem with the person (or persons) you are living with and just letting their actions get under your skin.

It is infinitely more beneficial to confront your roommate with your problems than let the tension build for no reason. If you find yourself in a real pickle and you definitely can not talk to your roommate, bring your issue to your RA or a friend/parent and they can certainly help you settle it, it’s their job!

 

Tips for Communicating Effectively with Roommates:


  • DO be direct with your roommate(s) when there is a problem that arises between you both/all of you. 
  • DON’T go behind their back and talk nastily with other roommates about your personal problems with that person. This can not only cause drama but it also makes it hard to trust one another.  
  • DO respect them and their differences. 
  • DON’T belittle, talk down to, or yell when you don’t get your way or you cannot see eye-to-eye. 
  • DO both talk and listen. 
  • DO ask if there is anything you can do to make the living situation better and point out what they do that makes you stressed/angry. 
  • DO go to a family member or campus counselor to get their input on the situation if you do not feel up to talking to your roommate just yet but feel that you need to vent about the situation.
  • DO compromise. According to Rick Moreci in an article by Brian Burnsed of US NEWS, “Compromise does not have to mean sacrifice. It means working together with your roommate to determine the rules for your new living arrangement that you can both be comfortable with.”

 

Privacy


Everyone loves the chance to spend time by themselves, unwind, watch the latest episode of their favorite TV show, and not have to worry about anything. Privacy when living with a roommate/roommates can sometimes be violated, as it can just naturally (and accidentally) happen while living together. Sometimes you want to be able to call your mom or best friend without having someone else breathing down your throat or take a relaxing shower without worrying about who wants to jump in next.

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. However, do not feel obliged to have to do everything with your roommates, it’s good to have your own friends too!

Friends can not only help with any roommate problems you’re having but they can also be an escape for when you are experiencing a hard living situation. So whether you’re on your bed blasting music through your earphones or are venturing to the dorm across campus to see your friend, just know that needing your own space is ok and healthy!

 

Tips for Respecting Roommate Privacy


  • DO establish boundaries of what is ok/not ok with you in terms of privacy
  • DON’T use/eat something without asking
  • DO ask before hosting a party at your place
  • DON’T assume that it’s always ok to have friends over

 

Paying Bills


One super important element of 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 but it will definitely save you any kind of money-related trouble in the future.

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 paid, and who is responsible for paying what amount. While this may sound obvious, too many times roommates will wait until the last minute, causing stress, tension and possibly late bills.”

To make splitting bills easier, put together a chart or spreadsheet of expenses that each person owes to organize payments and keep track of who pays what. Tayne notes, “Each expense should show details such as due dates, the amounts owed, and the person responsible for paying.” Once you get payments and billing figured out, a huge burden will be lifted off your shoulders!

 

Roomie Time


Between endless papers, labs, extracurricular activities, and jobs, it’s hard to maintain a strong social life in college without driving yourself crazy! It’s especially hard to find time to actually hang out with your roommates because you’re so used to seeing them all the time. As a way to keep the vibes good in your living situation, set up a day or night for everyone to hang out. Figure out what everyone’s schedule is like and make a plan to go to a party, have a movie night, or even go on an adventure around campus! Doing this not only can help everyone catch up, but it’s also a great way to create a better, closer bond with your roommates (plus it can be a nice escape from the busyness of life).

Going from living by yourself at home to living with roommates can be a large adjustment and can at times, prove to be difficult, but if you trust your gut and follow my tips, I guarantee you that you’ll look back the years with your roommates as some of the best of your life. As always, good luck!