Having one or multiple roommates is naturally a part of the college experience, as it helps you to not only expand your social life but also save money in the long run.
Whether it is during your freshman year in a dorm or post college in an apartment, living with your new house mates may be either a dream or a nightmare. Sharing your life with one or a couple of roommates is not easy, but there are ways that you can actively make your experience smoother and more enjoyable.
Are you nervous about an impending or current roommate situation and do not know exactly how to handle it? Check out these top five tips on how to live with multiple roommates!
Keep the Doors of Communication Open
This rule applies to living with one roommate as well, but especially when you are one out of four people living in a dorm or apartment, you’ll want to make sure everyone is communicating effectively. Doing so requires no passive aggressive Post-it notes, subliminal messages, etc. but rather, openly talking to all of your roommates.
You may have an issue with roommate #1 because they constantly use your shampoo without asking, or roommate #2 makes you crazy because they eat all of the snacks your mom got just for you. The bottom line is this: speak up. There is nothing worse than having a problem with the person (or persons) you are living with and just letting their actions get under your skin.
It is infinitely more beneficial to confront your roommate with your problems rather than letting the tension build for no reason.
Establish Common Rules
Before you even move in with your future roommates, it’s important to establish some basic ground rules of living. This can include no guests after midnight to alternating who takes out the trash every week. While this is incredibly simple, it will definitely be helpful in the long run.
Once everyone gets a glimpse/idea of each other’s boundaries, standards, etc. each roommate can collectively work toward maintaining a good environment that is suitable for not only them but also everyone else!
Arrange Roomie Dates
Between the the busyness of everyday life, like having a job or taking classes, it’s hard to maintain a strong social life without driving yourself crazy! It’s especially hard to find time to actually hang out with your roommates because you’re so used to seeing them all the time.
As a way to keep the vibes good in your living situation, set up a day or night for everyone to hang out. Figure out what everyone’s schedule is like and make a plan to go to a party or have a movie night. Doing this not only can help everyone catch up, but it’s also a great way to create a better, closer bond with your roommates (plus it can be a nice escape from the busyness of life).
Give a Little, Take a Little
Roommate relationships, like any other relationship, require patience, temperance, and good old fashioned compromise. When you’re living with multiple roommates, things will not go 100 percent the way you want them to and your living situation will certainly not be perfect.
As someone sharing a space with others, you may have to compromise on some of the original rules/ideals/standards that you established, and the same goes for your roommates. As you live with your roommates longer, you’ll learn more about their habits and idiosyncrasies and perhaps have to establish new rules, and that’s ok!
Try to make yourself flexible and free while you’re around all of your roommates, as this will help make your experience less stressful and more enjoyable!
Needing Space is OK
Listen, just because you have roommates does not mean that you have to spend every second of every day with each other. Sometimes doing so can create rifts and tensions and sometimes it can be great — it all depends on the person.
However, do not feel obliged to have to do everything with your roommates because it’s good to have your own friends too! Friends can not only help with any roommate problems you’re having but also be an escape for when you are experiencing a hard living situation. So whether you’re on your bed blasting music through your earphones or are venturing to see a friend, just know that needing space is okay!