Living with your friends can either be one of your most memorable college experiences or ruin friendships. Currently living with friends, I have picked up on a few things that have allowed us to master the dynamic.
One of the most important things to remember is that, although you can be friends with your roommates, it is important to be respectful of each other’s boundaries.
Sometimes, they just need time to themselves. Remember that your roommates are just like anyone else: they have their own thoughts and feelings. You may have been friends before you were roommates, but being respectful and mindful of someone’s space is crucial, especially when you share it!
Living-related issues with people often stem from shared spaces.
I bet a lot of you pictured your kitchen when you read that. I’ve heard horror stories from friends whose roommates left dishes in the sink for weeks on end. Be mindful of your mess in the areas you share in your apartment. Even if you don’t have time to wash your dish, at least rinse it so food doesn’t accumulate in the sink. My roommates and I usually take turns washing whatever is in the sink, even if we didn’t use it. That way, we have a clean sink and no tension, and we know that someone else will return the favor when we need it. It’s important to speak to your roommates about expectations and standards so everyone can have a comfortable living experience.
Take out the trash.
Another major problem for people is garbage. My roommates and I usually try to take out the trash together. Our apartment complex collects recycling, so we take down our recycling bin and trash together, making sure one person doesn’t end up having to do it all on their own. This collective effort only takes a few minutes out of your day, but has the potential to save someone else’s. Of course, there will be instances of miscommunication, but this method has proven successful for us.
It all comes down to communication.
You need to openly communicate with your roommates so that everyone can have a comfortable living experience. Sometimes, bringing an issue to light can be awkward but not doing so will only make a small situation 10 times worse. Your roommate may have no idea that something they are doing is bothering you, so tell them about it (respectfully, of course).