Roommate vs. RoomHate

Your college roommate is the first time you get to decide whom you live with - make a good decision

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I assume you’ve been living at home up until now, and whom you live with is totally nonnegotiable. That’s about to change. Now that you have a little choice in the matter, how do you pick a good roommate?
It’s a delicate situation: many friends have become enemies; and many strangers have gotten weird when trying to live together. It may seem like a great idea to room with your best friend or go random and meet someone new, but a few tips at the get-go will go a long way.

I think the best test of roommate compatibility is finding someone who lives the same type of lifestyle that you do. You might think you want to live with your very best friend, but you remember she plays video games eight hours every night, or he parties hard on weeknights. Remember the goal is to get your degree and not go insane in the process. A roommate who wakes up at 6 a.m. to do kickboxing downstairs might just need to stay your friend and maybe not your roommate.

I had a random roommate my freshman year of college, and I was so lucky! Her name was Kayla and she was super cool - we’re still friends. There are some horror stories out there, though. If you’re filling out a housing application, be conservative. If you’re allergic to some animals, you should probably be safe and go pet-free. Also, remember people aren’t always honest. When you move in, there are some important getting-to-know-you items to cover (and uncover). Remember you’re not stuck. If you’re living in a dorm on campus, you have a chance to change rooms.   

Now for the boundaries. Almost everything comes down to boundaries, everything from borrowing your phone charger to who cleans the tub. It’s not a particularly fun conversation to have, but I promise, the more thorough you are, the easier life will be. Think about it beforehand and even write down what is important to you (that’s what I always do to make sure we don’t miss anything). A few popular reasons to argue: visitors, boy/girlfriends, cleaning schedule, noise, who buys paper towels, parties, food sharing, TV time, smoking, and study hours. Also if you’re living in an apartment, make sure you’re clear on who pays the bills; if there is a pet, be clear who is looking out for it, and let your roommate know if you’re wanting to get to be friends or just stay friendly strangers.  

Best of luck! I hope your twin bed is comfortable and your elevator works! 


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