By Yashita Mamtora Atmaram
A core part of the university experience is living with others. If you’re lucky, long-lasting friendships, bonds, and memories have come out of it. Although, not everyone has a great experience and if you’ve read any roommate horror stories before, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Don’t let that scare you away! This phase in your life is all about learning how to grow into a “responsible adult” (as your parents would say), so we’ve put together a list of things that can help you prepare for it.
1.WhatsApp or Facebook groups are a must.
It’s 2018, just do it. A group would enhance communication and organization easily.
2.Schedule bathroom times.
This is important if you share similar schedules. Some people prefer to shower multiple times a day, in the morning, or at night, so figure that out with your roommates.
3.Everyone has a different version of “early mornings” and “late nights”.
Don’t be surprised if you hear your roommate banging pots in the kitchen because their mornings start at 8 and yours start at 11. On the other hand, keep in mind that while you think it’s okay to blast music at midnight, your other roommates may already be in bed.
4.Schedule clean up days.
In doing so, responsibilities are set beforehand and you have company while doing chores. Pro tip: come up with a “Cleaning Playlist” to get you through it. Trust me, it works.
5.Everyone has a different version of “clean”.
This will become clear after your first cleanup day.
6.Don’t overreact if your roommates are into different types of music.
You might hear rap one day and K-pop the other day. Don’t rain on their parade; you might even grow to liking (or just tolerating) it.
7.Everyone has a different version of “quiet”.
You might have to ask your roommate to turn down their music more than once until they get the idea.
8.Get to know them.
If you’re going to be spending over 6 months with them, this is the least you could do. Spend time doing things you have in common or have a movie night. Who doesn’t like a movie night, right?
9.Inform your roommates if you’re bringing people over.
Just make this a common courtesy, please. It helps you avoid awkward run-ins and uncomfortable conversations. Also, your other roommates may have other plans (e.g. study); so, it’s best you let them know so a compromise can be made.
For example, make the divisions in fridge space and cabinet spaces clear to avoid future mix-ups. You can even set boundaries until when music can be played out loud.
11.Men and women can live together peacefully.
Each gender can be equally messy, so let’s leave the sexist comments out of this.
12.The walls are very thin.
Need I say more?
13.Sometimes you just won’t get along.
Do you live in a Disney movie where everything works out? Realistically speaking, problems are bound to rise.
14.Different types of “dish people” exist.
Some do their dishes immediately after, some do it the next morning, some do it the next week, and some don’t do them at all. I hope for your sake that you have the first two types.
15.Each apartment has a mom/dad.
Within the first few weeks, it will become clear who is the most responsible to keep everyone else in check, whether it’s to pay rent or tell others to do their dishes. Every house needs one, so it’s totally fine to be that person!
16.Your apartment might have a “ghost person”.
This person lives with you, but you rarely bump into them and they stick to themselves. You will just have to accept them and let it be.
17.Just because you are good friends doesn’t mean you will be good roommates.
You will be in very different situations at home and elsewhere. Keep an open-mind.
18.Everyone needs “alone time”.
Some people need more time alone than others. You may want to share every detail of your day with them, but they may not be in the mood to hear it. I know, I know, it’s a tough pill to swallow.
19.You should share some things.
Consider buying and splitting the costs of common household items like toilet paper, air freshener, salt, garbage bags, and cleaning supplies.
20.Some people don’t know to change the trash bag if it’s full.
You would think people like this don’t exist. Newsflash: they do.
21.Everyone has a different version of “hot” and “cold”.
If you have centralized heating in the apartment, be prepared to compromise to crack open your windows at night because your roommate prefers it “warmer”.
22.Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
The benefit of not living alone means you always have someone you can text nearby for help. Don’t be shy!
Be considerate of each other’s privacy and knock before entering. You don’t want to walk into any awkward/embarrassing situations.
We hope that you will be able to relate to some of these lessons and take them into consideration when moving into a new place!