It’s time to start thinking about roommate arrangements for next year, which can be both exciting and slightly nerve-racking. Take some time to sit down and think about the kinds of traits you want in a roommate. Think about your personality, and the sort of people you would get along with. If you already have someone in mind, think about your schedule and their schedule. Think about what their likes and dislikes are. Before making the decision to move in together, talk to your potential roommate about your expectations, and in turn, they will also talk about their expectations. It is important to have an understanding established before the decision to move is made. It’s important to talk about issues like noise, dishes, trash, cleanliness, laundry, weekends, so that each of you has understanding of what the other person is like.
For those of you already living with a roommate, you know what it’s like to share a home with someone else, and at times it can be fun, it can also be a real pain! For those of you who have never had a roommate, there are a few things to consider when deciding who to room with. For example, are you a morning person, or a night owl? Is home for studying or partying? Are you a slob or a neat freak?
When tensions do rise, don’t assume your roommate is doing things to annoy you. Instead of getting annoyed, talk to your roommate(s). Communication among roommates is fundamental to making the living arrangement work. You can’t read minds, and neither can your roommate, so talk about important issues that come up. If you don’t like something, say something. During the process of communication, there will be times when negotiation will have to be practiced. This is the time where you can come up with solutions to issues that boil up. Remember though, you need to be understanding of your roommate and their needs as well as yours.
It is also a good idea to establish boundaries between you and your roommate. If you don’t want them in your room, then set that boundary. It is also important to set roles in terms of chores around the house. Decide who will do the dishes, who will take out the trash, along with others that are an important part of living together. Or, set up a weekly chart for chores, so that way you are both contributing and agreeing to the terms of the chart. And the most important part of having a roommate is to have fun and enjoy it! You’re in this together so it’s important to work it out together!
Remember, we all have our strengths and weaknesses, so let’s harness those strengths and work together to get things done!
Below is an attached roommate contract that can be filled out by you and anyone else living in the home. This is a great resource to turn back to if there are issues that come up throughout the year. You all agreed to the contract, so it’s important that everyone be on the same page.