Learning to live with a college roommate can be a bit of a minefield. For me, it was extra stressful because I am an only child. I had never shared a room before, so I hit a couple of extra stumbling blocks. So learn from my mistakes and do these six things to make your life a little easier!
First thing is first, you have to know what it is like living with you. When you are filling out those questionnaires for finding roommates, don’t lie! If you are messy, own it and find a roommate who is okay with that. If you have quirks or pet peeves, be up front about them! Take a mental inventory of everything you are and are not comfortable with. Think of things like cleanliness, frequency of visitors, if friends can stay the night and other such concerns. It’s easier to set boundaries when you think of these things beforehand and know how you stand.
Early on in your roommate-ship, sit down and outline some boundaries about your room or apartment. Let your roommate(s) know things that you would and wouldn’t be comfortable with in your place. If you are comfortable with sharing everything, let them know! If there are some things you don’t want borrowed, let them know! Set standing rules for visitors, personal spaces, and communal items. Do you have to text the other before inviting someone over? Can the other sit at your desk or use your TV? Also, try to figure out a system for communal chores like cleaning the bathroom, taking out trash and sweeping.
Communication is Key
I CANNOT stress enough how important communication is between roommates. If something bothers you, just let them know! Nine times out of ten, they’ll just say “okay” and fix the issue. Without talking to your roommate, nothing will change. This doesn’t just apply to when you are having issues. Even if you and your roommate are just cohabitants and not friends, have friendly conversations. Just keep them updated about what’s going on in your life and how your day was. Ask them questions and listen to what they have to say too! When you stop talking to your roommate, that’s when things get AWKARD.
Don’t Hold Grudges
I know, easier said than done, but grudges will only make things ten times worse. There will be times when you get annoyed by your roommate. It’s not a poor reflection on you or your roommate, it just happens when you share so much time and space with someone. If you hold onto those annoyances, everything else will seem so much more annoying. Resentment can start to build up over the tiniest things and really hurt your relationship with your roommate. It’s better to either say something or let it go.
Don’t Spend All Your Time in Your Room
Go to the library, a friend’s place, the gym or just anywhere else. You need time away from your room, both for yourself and for your relationship with your roommate. If both of you are always in your room, even if you’re best friends, tensions will build up. Having time outside your room gives you some physical and mental space.
Don’t forget that your roommate is also a person who has troubles and triumphs of their own. It’s easy to loose track of that. You can get all wrapped up in how things affect you and how you feel about it. It helps so much to take a step back and put yourself in their shoes. Be understanding and kind! Trust me, by keeping compassion in mind, you can make having a roommate so much easier!
I hope this post can help y’all navigate life with a roommate! If it did, pin the graphic down below!! But, I’m still figuring it out so if you have any advice let me know in the comments!!