Author: Kailey Guillemin
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Moving away from home and into campus is an exciting time. You’re growing up and becoming an adult. No more do you have to worry about parents telling you to clean your room or to go to bed. You are in total of control, unless you have roommates.

Whether you are living with friends or have no idea who your roommates will be, there are dos and don’ts to remember. If you plan to do whatever you want and do not care about those you live with, don’t expect to make friends. But, if you want your roomies to be your bestie, there are some “rules” you’ll want to follow.

It’s time for a little Campus Roommates 101 run-through that you’ll be thankful you read.

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Be Respectful to One Another

It may seem like common sense, but it cannot be stressed enough that you need to respect your roommates. That also should extend to any belongings that are not yours. Just remember, if you don’t want them rummaging through your bedroom and using your stuff, don’t do that to them. Be polite and ask if you would like to use something.

Respecting your roommates also means their privacy. When living together on campus, you will have to sacrifice a bit of your privacy with shared spaces. The plus side is if you all get along, you’ll always have people around. However, when the time comes that people need their space, respect your roommate's privacy.

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Try to Maintain a Clean Space

Don’t be that roommate in which people complain they never do the dishes. An easy way to irritate each other and start a fight is by not doing your part to keep the place clean. Take the few extra minutes each day to put your belongings away and please, just do your dishes.

When it comes to the bigger tasks like vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom, talk to each other and come up with a cleaning schedule. Take turns doing the cleaning to keep things fair. You could post a schedule on the fridge or even use chore apps to keep tabs.

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Communicate With One Another

Part of being an adult means you deal with life issues as an adult. Yeah, you could ignore problems or shove a passive-aggressive note under your roommate’s door asking to clean up their garbage. Typically, it’s easier. But don’t expect that to get you very far. Communication is vital when you are living with other people.

If a situation arises, approach the person calmly and appropriately. Clearly explain what the issue is and how you feel. Don’t be confrontational and aggressive towards the person as it will only make matters worse. Having proper communication between roommates will lead to a calmer and stress-free environment.

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Be Willing to Compromise

Face it, when it comes to real life, your way is not always the right way. There will be times when you need to compromise with one another due to disagreements. You won’t be able to control everything in the apartment. Trying to will likely cause arguments and lead to a very stressful environment.

Compromising doesn’t mean you have to cave to peer pressure or let your roommates walk all over you. However, if you and a roommate disagree on something, try and find common ground that will make everyone as happy as possible.

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Discuss Your Schedules

Living with roommates means you are sharing things like the kitchen and bathroom. That means you cannot all be showering or cooking lunch at the same time. Don’t wait until a conflict arises to discuss your schedules with each other.

When you know when your classes are, compare schedules with each other. If you have the same schedule as someone else, develop a system that works for both of you so that everyone has equal access to the apartment amenities.

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Don’t expect to be best friends with your roommates after the first day. Likely, it will take a bit of time to see if your personalities work together. Expect to have a few conflicts that come up while living together. Just remember to be considerate and talk with one another, and your living situation should be smooth sailing.

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Kailey Guillemin

Kailey graduated with a degree in Journalism and Religious Studies from the University of Regina, Saskatchewan. Now she lives a double life in Manitoba – writer by day and dance teacher by night. When she’s not at her computer, you’ll find her curled up with a glass of red wine and knitting, or obsessively taking photos of her puppy.🐶🐾

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