I’ve heard horror stories about people and their roommates and how they just wanted to rip each other’s throat out.
I, on the other hand, was lucky enough to have an amazing roommate with whom I shared an abundance of laughs, streams of tears, lazy days, movie nights and cooking mishaps with. She was truly amazing and to this day we’re still really close.
I met my roommate in college. We were in the same program and had all the same classes, but we never really hung out outside of school. Then one day during our final semester, one of our teachers asked us what our plans after graduation were and both our answers indicated moving to Toronto at some point and start our career. BAM! We knew right then. At that time we were more like acquaintances, but at least we weren’t complete strangers and wouldn’t have to live through a move away from home on our own with absolutely no support system.
But even before we started packing, we met up and sat down to discuss our questions, concerns and “demands” if you will, or what we absolutely could not live with or without.
I’ve written down a few things to keep in mind and consider when you’re moving out and going to live with roommates.
BEFORE THE MOVE
- Meet up and discuss everything you want to lay on the table. Don’t hold back. You may regret not asking about her relationship with that person and have to hear them “together” all night long in the bedroom next to you or hear them argue over and over again.
- Discuss your boundaries. You need to make sure they know you don’t want them to borrow your stuff without your permission, hog the couch all day or go into your bedroom when you aren’t there. If those are the cases, let them know!
- Discuss chores. No one likes doing them, but at one point, they will have to be done. If you don’t mind doing dishes, then say so. If you don’t mind dusting the entire place, then speak up. This will ensure that everyone is doing their part equally without making you resent them or vice-versa.
- Discuss furniture. Write down everything that you have and are planning to bring with you, then compare. There’s no sense in taking 2 microwaves or 2 Panini presses when 1 will do just fine. If you guys are missing a big item piece, decide together who will be buying it and keeping it afterwards, or if you guys want to buy it together and then sell it once you move out. Whatever works for you.
AFTER THE MOVE
- Leave notes. They’re a fun way to communicate when you guys miss each other because of your busy schedule. And sometimes it’s just nice to receive a cute little booster left on the bathroom mirror.
- Spend some time together. Yes you both are busy bees, but it’s still important to take the time to get to know the person you’re living with on a deeper level than just knowing what they do for a living. Go out grab a bite to eat, go for a walk or attend an event. Really the possibilities are endless, but you’ll build a solid friendship (or more) for the rest of your life.
- Talk it out. Arguments happen. To everyone. So take the time to express your frustration with them if that’s the case and explain why you’re feeling this way without putting blame. The sooner the better too. Don’t wait for another argument to bring up something that happened 3 months ago, that’s just low, and to be honest, you should have spoken up earlier about that specific issue.
- Keep your promises. If you said you’d clean the bathroom that day then do it. If you said you’d wash the dishes then do it. Yes, some emergencies come up and every now and then we get sick, but take the time to keep your promises and stay on top of things so that your roommate doesn’t have to pick up your slack and you find yourself having to deal with number 3 again.
- Be reasonable and courteous. Not everyone lives the same lifestyle you do. Yes, that means that not everyone likes waking up at 5:45am for their morning workout. So if that’s you, try to be as quiet as possible in getting ready or doing your workout as to not wake your roommate. Also, don’t take all the hot water in the shower. Oh and warn your roommate if you’re inviting people over. You don’t need their approval, but just as a courtesy, so you know, they’re extra diligent in how they’re dressing around the house (and not have a face mask on).
- Listen and be there. Some painful moments happen in everyone’s lives. It could be a breakup, a failed class, a rant on how your prof is the absolute worse, or something else. Just sit tight and listen to what they have to say. Give advice if asked and just let them know that if they need anything, you’re there. Emergencies also happen and one of you may end up in the hospital at some point. Go with them. I’m saying this out of personal experience, there’s nothing worse than waiting in the emergency room in the middle of the night alone. Unless that person’s family is around and are meeting them there, grab a book and head over to the hospital with them, call their family or significant other and be patient. You know you’d want that for yourself too.
That’s it guys, if you have any roommate stories you’d like to share, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below. I’d love to hear your stories!