We all know someone with a roommate horror story from college. It’s not always easy to leave home for the first time and then live with someone you may have never met before. However, it is crucial to develop a healthy relationship with your roommate to ensure a fun and safe living experience. Here are some tips we suggest you follow when living with a roommate.
Make an Effort to Get to Know Your Roommate
When moving in with a new roommate, it is essential to get to know who you will be living with. Make the first effort to ask them questions about their likes and interests. For example, ask them about their favorite television show or movie. This can spark an easy introduction conversation, which can bloom into a friendship.
Communicate & Set Boundaries
Communication is an essential skill you need when moving in with someone new. It is necessary to let your roommate know your boundaries so you can feel comfortable in your living situation. For example, it is essential to discuss what personal belongings you are comfortable with them using. Likewise, respect your roommate’s property, and do not break their trust. When an issue arises, make sure to say calm, cool, and collected. You are both adults, and it is okay to express your concerns. When defining your problems, make sure to express yourself in a constructive and respectful matter.
Be Considerate & Friendly
School and living with others can be stressful. We all have important exams, lots of papers, and immense amounts of readings. Be considerate of your roommate and their needs. If your roommate asks you to be a little quieter, respect their wishes. For example, if they ask you to turn down your music, it is easier to put in some headphones instead of trying to argue.
Your common space is a shared space. If you want to invite your friends over, it is important to ask your roommate’s permission. You and your roommate do not need to be best friends, but you should still have a friendly, respectful relationship. Treat your roommate how you want to be treated; otherwise, you risk a toxic living environment. While a situation might make you heated in the moment, a passive-aggressive note or rude tone does not solve any issues.
You Don’t Need to Be BFFs
It's okay not to be besties with your roomie! Good friends do not always make the best roommates. While you might be upset that you aren’t besties with your roommate, it actually might be a good thing! Being besties with your roommate can lead to a lot of social pressure and stress. Living with someone who hangs out with others socially can reduce unnecessary drama in your relationship and space. If you are struggling to meet people and make friends it is important to partake in what your university has to offer. It’s always a good idea to join on-campus clubs, Greek life, or spiritual groups. The more clubs and activities you join, the more people you will meet.
Remember, it is usually better to take the high road when living with others. No one likes conflict, and it is hard to reverse actions or words once demonstrated.