It’s not all fun and games when you’re living with people! There are going to be some moments where you want to flip a table because someone is getting on your nerves. That’s fine! You’re a person, not a robot! If you think something is going to be a problem early on, it’s best if you and your roommate talk about it before it becomes a mess.
Expect Noise 📣
There are going to be some times where you’re trying to get some peace and quiet and someone else is out there in the living room living it up with their Netflix stream or with some friends over. Or you might be the one who wakes up earlier than the rest and there’s no real way you can quiet down your morning routine so you don’t wake up the rest of your apartment. If tensions rise over noise levels, make sure to bring it up and talk it over! Don’t let it stew because then it’ll just bad times later on for everyone involved.
College is all about meeting new people with different personalities! If it turns out that you’re living with someone who’s not exactly on the same page as you, don’t let your first reaction be something negative like resentment or seething rage (some people get like that tho, so it’s probably best if you give them their space first). Don’t be that person who oversteps their boundaries and pushes their roommates out of their comfort zone too often. Remember, you’re all sharing the same living space. And if you find that you’re the person who’s getting pushed around, it’s definitely ok to stand up for yourself and call the other person out on it!
Often, one of the main sources of tension with living with other people is the division of chores. Yes, you’ll all be busy! You have classes to study for, jobs to work at, a personal life to live, etc . . . but if your main contribution to maintaining the household is doing your own dishes and putting them away, you might need to do some more. Don’t let just one person do all the work! Talk to your roommates and make a to-do list. Who’s going to take out the trash? Who’s gonna keep the kitchen clean? If it’s too much work for one person, it’s probably a good thing to ask if someone to help out.
The short answer is ‘if it doesn’t belong to you, you should probably ask permission to use it’. If your roommate says it’s alright to use something like a vacuum cleaner or a blender without having to always ask, then go on ahead (just take care of their thing and clean it if it gets dirty after use). If it’s something more personal like shampoo or a laptop computer, don’t just automatically assume that your roommate will be alright with you borrowing it. Even if you’re fine with the idea of your roommate borrowing your things for short term use, it doesn’t mean the reverse is the same. Ask first.
Actually Living Together
One of the perks of living with other people is being able to enjoy their company and do things together! It’s the little things like saying ‘have a good day’ before they go out the door or ‘do you wanna get some 2am pancakes, fam?’ that make you appreciate the apartment life more. Don’t be shy! But don’t get all up in their face either. If your roommate rainchecks you or is more on the quiet side, don’t take it personally if they can’t go out with you or talk to you all the time! Conversely, if you want to be more involved with your roommates, but you don’t make an effort to get to know them, don’t get offended when they don’t invite you out or ignore you. Your roommate isn’t purposely trying to be a ‘bad roommate’. They’re people, just like you. If you want to change something in your dynamic, don’t be scared to step up and say something.
Be kind and support each other! You’re all living in the same apartment, so make the best of it and hype each other up. For better or worse, you’ll be together, so don’t be a stranger and have fun!
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Written by: Jessica Tsien