A lot of new students are afraid of living with roommates, but after going through this stage in my life I can say that I cherish it. I like that I had an opportunity to live with someone who was a complete stranger at first – it was a very useful experience. That’s why now I want to address those who are moving in with roommates for the first time and explain how you can make this process less stressful.
- Meet your roommate before you start living together. If you do this, then your future roommate will cease to be a total stranger and it will be less stressful to see each other in the room that you will share for a long time. You can discuss such important things like who’s going to bring certain items (like TV), whether you need a futon or not etc. You can also talk about your hobbies and get to know each other better. Who knows, maybe you have a lot in common?
- Create a roommate contract. There are schools that require a roommate contract so if you’re studying in one you may not have a choice about it. And if it’s not obligatory you can still create one, because it’s a great way to clarify everything from the very beginning. Roommate contract can allow you to avoid surprises and discuss what’s good and what bad. It can include quiet hours, you can decide if you can have overnight guests, clarify if you can eat each other’s food and many other things like that. Even if you see that you’re getting along well, it’s better to have a roommate contract to avoid unnecessary problems.
- Respect the schedule of your roommate. As you start living with each other you will learn each other’s study schedules, sleep schedules and class schedules. Chances are these schedules will be completely different and you will need to adapt. In any case, you should be respectful and even if your schedules don’t match it is necessary to work around it. If you need to work at night while your roommate is sleeping, use headphones and behave quietly.
- Clean up after yourself. Even though this point seems obvious, many students overlook it. Maybe they’re just lazy? Anyway if you don’t clean up after yourself it might become a source of problems which you don’t want to have.
- Be honest. If you accidentally broke something that belongs to your roommate tell about it right away. Honesty and trust is a ground for any strong relationships. Also if there’s something that you don’t like about your partner’s behavior it’s better to tell it right away. Chances are that your roommate will be ready to change it.
You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate. Respecting one another would be enough.