How to Make the Most of a Short-Term Summer Roommate

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Many college students experience a variety of roommate situations during their college years, from random roommates in their freshman year dorms to living with close friends in their later college years. Another common type of roommate situation for college students are short-term summer roommates. You may opt to sublease another apartment in between leases or your roommate may have sublet their share of the apartment to another while they traveled elsewhere for the summer months.

If you are lucky, these short-term summer roommates may be someone you are already familiar with, such as a classmate that mentioned needing summer housing or a friend of a friend. However, your short-term summer roommate may be a complete stranger to you prior to move-in.

Like with any roommate situation, there are things you can do to make the experience easier for everyone involved and keep any issues to a minimum. Keep reading for tips on how to make the most of a short-term summer roommate.

College Roommates: How to Make the Most of a Short-Term Summer Roommate

Create a set of roommate guidelines
Regardless of how long you and your short-term summer roommate will be living together, you will want to create some roommate guidelines for the both of you to live by during your time together. It may seem like extra work if you are not going to be sharing a space for more than a few weeks, but establishing some guidelines can get you and your short-term summer roommate on the same page and minimize the amount of clashing you can experience while living together.

The sooner you can create guidelines, the better. This doesn’t mean you have to create an in-depth handbook that covers any possible issue, but you should definitely discuss different talking points that can make your time together headache-free. Some things you will want to consider may include:
– Guest policy. Discuss how often can people come over, how many people are allowed over, and if guests are able to spend the night.
– Cleaning duties. Discuss how each roommate is responsible for the cleanliness of the apartment, from taking out the trash to cleaning common areas like the kitchen and living room.
– Parking. Depending on where you are living, you may want to discuss your parking situation, especially if you are splitting a designated parking space among several roommates.

Getting some guidelines established prior to moving in, or in your first couple of days together, can get the tough discussions out of the way and make way for a carefree summer together.

Start a crash course on getting to know each other
You may already be familiar with your short-term summer roommate depending on the situation, but you may also have no clue who you are going to be living with for the next couple of months. The downside of a short-term roommate is that you will not get all the time to get to know each other as you live together for a longer period of time – the busy months of summer will fly by before you know it. Rather than accepting you are going to be living with a near-stranger in close quarters for a couple of months, get to know each other.

If you know who you are going to live with a few weeks in advance, use the time to reach out to your soon-to-be summer roommate to get to know them a little better prior to move-in. Just having a few conversations to become more comfortable can help put your mind at ease. If you happen to live in the same area already, you can also plan to meet up once or twice in person before you move in to get acquainted.
Living with a complete stranger can be daunting for anyone – getting the opportunity to become acquainted with your roommate before you actually have to share a living space can help eliminate some of that anxiety for both you and your roommate.

Don’t force a friendship
As much fun as it is to live with a close friend, it’s not for everyone. While you do not want to live with a complete stranger for your summer living situation, you shouldn’t force a friendship between you and your summer roommate. You or your roommate may be super busy between school, work, and their personal lives, leaving little time to foster a close relationship during the limited time you two have together.

With that being said, you should not expect your roommate to spend all their time with you, and they shouldn’t expect the same of you. Yes, you may instantly click and become friends, but it is completely normal to not be more than acquaintances as you spend a very short amount of time living together.
Short-term summer roommates are just one of many types of roommate situations you may experience during your college years. With these tips in mind, you can make the situation stress-free for you and your short-term roommate.

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