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Pros and Cons of Having More Than One Roommate

By Alicia Geigel

 

A large part of the college experience, outside of striving to earn a degree in your desired field, is living with a roommate or multiple roommates. Outside of the educational aspect, the social part and living with roommates is always heavily emphasized when you talk to peers, adults, counselors, etc. about going to college. For many people, living with roommates is an exciting opportunity that brings about the chance to break out of their comfort zone, meet new people, and



build long-lasting relationships.

Whether it is during your freshman year in a dorm or during your junior year in an off-campus apartment, living with your multiple roommates may be either a dream or a nightmare. Sharing your life with one or a couple roommates is not easy, and it does come with its benefits and at times, disadvantages.

Are you nervous about an impending or current roommate situation and do not know exactly how to handle it? Not sure if living with multiple roommates is the right move for you? Check out this simple list of the pros and cons of living with multiple roommates below to help ease any questions or concerns your mind may be wrestling with!

Pros

  • Dividing the Bills: One super important 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 but it will definitely save you any kind of money-related trouble in the future. When living with multiple roommates, all the expenses are divided up (minus ones that each person has individually), which can help cut the costs down for you- a definite pro!
  • Companionship/Always Having a Friend Around: Between endless papers, labs, extracurricular activities, and jobs it’s hard to maintain a strong social life in college without driving yourself crazy! Part of the great thing about having multiple roommates is you don’t have to travel too far (i.e. outside your bedroom) to sit back and hang out with some friends. You can plan to have a movie night, cook a meal together, or play some games. The point is, when life gets hectic and sometimes lonely, it’s nice to be able to have friends around like your roomies!
  • Cleaning is a Joint Effort: 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. However, that’s why living with roommates is so great- because all of the chores don’t get put just on one person, rather, it is a joint effort! You can alternate between who takes out the trash every week, who cooks dinner on Tuesday nights, who washes dishes after dinner, who vacuums on weekends, etc. to make things smoother!
  • Sharing is Caring: Another great thing about having multiple roommates is you guys practically share everything, from furniture to dishes to even food (that depends on the person, be careful)! Having shared items takes some pressure off of you to have to come up with items that you might not have or be able to afford. In a blog post by Rent.com, they write, “If you’re renting your first apartment, purchasing all the necessary furniture and kitchen supplies can be expensive. Pooling your resources with a roommate will make the process of furnishing your apartment much easier.”

 

Cons

  • Sacrifice 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.
  • Conflicting Schedules: Not everyone can have the same schedule, and this goes for roommates. One of your roommates might have classes in the morning and work at night, while another might have to study all night long and take classes at night. Having conflicting schedules can sometimes be difficult because your roommate’s daily routine can interfere with yours. CollegeXpress writes, “Conflicting schedules tend to cause riffs between roommates for many different reasons. Maybe you like to go to bed early, but your roommates always make noise when they come home late. Perhaps you prefer to stay up late watching TV, but your roommates have to get up early for work.”
  • Potential Frenemy: Unfortunately, roommate situations don’t always turn out positive. Sometimes, due to conflicts of lifestyles, cleaning habits, schedules, opinions, etc., roommates argue and end up resenting each other. This can happen whether you live with one or multiple roommates, but a sour roommate situation can be more award amongst a group of roomies, rather than just between two.

 

Going from living by yourself to living with roommates can be a large adjustment and have both its benefits and disadvantages. Just remember to trust your gut and have an open heart; 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!


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