Get Good Roommate Karma – Be A Better Roommate

Living with a roommate can be a great decision financially; often splitting a two bedroom apartment with someone is a lot cheaper than paying for a studio. Living with a roommate that you don’t like or get along with can be a terrible experience. When looking for a roommate it is important to find someone who you feel comfortable living with. Finding and being a roommate who is considerate and willing to compromise is key. Sometimes friends don’t always make the best roommates. Living together is a whole other ballpark. Here are some tips on how to find a good roommate and to become a better roommate.

Communicate. Communication between roomates is key, especially when you don’t know the person very well. Talk to one another about the cleaning schedules, when you will be out and if it is alright to bring over guests. Setting guidelines before you agree to move in is a great way to establish what you both like and dislike. If they are not willing to do this, they probably do not value consideration and are a poor candidate.

(See “No Hootenannies After 10 PM” elsewhere in this issue.)

Keep Your Room Clean and Clean up After Yourself. Nobody likes seeing their roommate’s dirty dishes sitting in the sink or dirty socks on the couch; nor does anyone appreciate odors emanating from one room. If you are unable to clean up after yourself for a day because you are studying for an exam or came home late it is understandable, but make sure your mess doesn’t linger around for too long and that you don’t make a habit of it.

Keep Your Stuff in Your Room. Don’t let your things linger in shared common spaces, keep them in your room. Keep track of your belongings and always remember to place things back in your room when you’re finished using them.

Respect Each Other’s Privacy. While this one may be a little more obvious, don’t borrow your roommate’s property without their permission. Be mindful and avoid entering your roommate’s room unannounced or without their permission. Don’t invade their privacy by going through their phone, computer or journal.

Respect Your Roommate’s Sleep and Study Habits. Everyone has a different schedule and can sleep in different environments. Respect your roommate’s sleep schedule and avoid having friends over or making noise while your roommate is asleep. Similarly, don’t bother your roommate when they are studying, especially if they have exams the next day.

Guests. Tell your roommate when you will be having guest over and how long you expect them to stay. Never bring someone over without informing your roommate about them. Have visitors over at reasonable times, not when your roommate is studying or sleeping.

— Scott Lakeram

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2018-01-01 digital edition