Living with Roommates

You may just share a bathroom and kitchen on a traditional dorm style floor with a number of people, you may be in an apartment style and share your living space with a few people, or you could physically share your bedroom with someone. No matter how you work it out, there will be new people that you are going to have to learn to live with, even if you don’t get along.

We know, it’s a lot to get use to all at once – a big move, classes and now new people. But we have some tips to help you make the most out of your roommate situation.

You’re not going to get along with everyone. That’s okay. But be sure to respect one another.
Set ground rules. It’s best to discuss everyone’s expectations at the beginning rather than make assumptions.

  • Clean your own dishes. It sounds like a very easy task, but it can make or break roommates.
  • Clean up after yourself in general, you no longer live at home. No one is perfect, we know sometimes we just need to drop something off and go, but remember to go back and clean it up.
  • Talk about what is communal and what is personal. For example is everyone going to buy their own frying pan and container of ketchup, or will everyone share?
  • Exchange emergency information. You might be the best of friends, or dislike each other, but if something happens you want to know who to contact.
  • Understand that not everyone has the same amount of disposable income. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when you are planning a night out, or even a roommate night in, it’s important to think about these things.
  • Communicate, don’t passive-aggressively leave messages.
  • Learn how to help and support each other.
  • Don’t use someone else’s razor, toothbrush or bar of soap…. that’s just gross.
  • Buy headphones. People are loud so block them out and listen to something else if you don’t want to hear them.
  • You’re in someone else’s living space. Understand how to compromise. Example, Friday night your roommates want to go out and are a little loud getting ready, but you’re studying for an exam on Saturday morning – go to the library.
  • If you are physically sharing a room with someone give them some alone space every once in a while.
  • If you need alone space just ask.
  • Think about a chore chart. It’s something to discuss. When it works, it works well. But when it fails, big fights are around the corner.
  • If you are going to have people over, let your roommates know.
  • Communication is key. This helps nip problems early.
  • If you lend something out, remember you may never get it back.
  • Have fun, you will learn a lot about other people and a lot about yourself.