I’ve had a variety of roommates over the past few years. Some weren’t as compatible as others, but I was fortunate enough to room with people who I got along with most of the time. I had some who were picky and others who didn’t care about much, some who were super clean and others who were messy, some who kept to themselves and others who wanted to hang out often.
My freshman year of college was the only year where I had to share my room with my roommate (since then, I’ve at least had a bedroom to myself). This of course wasn’t the most ideal situation for me as I am an insanely private introvert, but I survived. She was a random roommate, but we contacted each other the summer before college started to get to know each other a little bit before moving in. We ended up making a few mutual friends who lived in our building, so we actually got to hang out with each other a few times. We definitely had different work ethics, but we managed to work it out.
Especially if you’re in college (or in a lease in general) and you have to live with your roommate for a year, it’s best to get along with them. You’ll want a place to escape from school/work, and you won’t want to escape to a hostile apartment. I’ve gathered a few tips that I have learned from my past apartments that should hopefully help you out!
- Be straightforward. I feel like I’m more of a passive-aggressive person myself, but it’s honestly best to be straightforward and communicate with your roommate. Don’t like something? Tell them. It’s a lot better than getting frustrated with them for something they might not be aware of.
- Make a list of rules. It can be nice to have a list of rules that you and your roommate agree upon. For example, maybe you don’t want your roommate to eat your food without asking or you want them to tell you before having a few guests over. This way, you both can be on the same page and understand what will upset each other. Other things to consider? Curfews, boyfriends/girlfriends spending the night, kitchen/cleaning supplies, bathroom schedules (if you’re sharing one), pets, fridge/cabinet space.
- Give space when needed. Especially if you’re rooming with a friend, it might be easy to imagine hanging out with them 24/7. While yes, you should definitely hang out and have fun with them, you should also be sure to give space as well.
- Be respectful. If you respect them, they’ll be more willing to respect you. This pertains to their stuff, time, friends/family, hobbies, etc.
- Share responsibilities. It can be easy for someone to get annoyed if they’re the only one taking care of the apartment. It helps if you both take turns cleaning up, taking the trash out, vacuuming, etc. Also, be sure to clean up any messes you and any of your guests make in a timely manner.
Have you had any memorable roommate stories? Leave them in the comments below!
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