Most places you live on campus, you’re going to have between 1-3 roommates/suitemates. Living in the Greenbelt, I am proud to say that I live with seven other girls in one cabin. It was a little intimidating at first (mostly because I was added to our cabin late and everyone else had already known one another before move-in), but now I wouldn’t trade it for the world. So here’s some tips for living with roommates, whether you’ve got one or a ton!
1. Chore Cycle
One of the first issues we ran into was how do we decide who does what chores when? It’s complicated when you’ve got multiple people with their own chaotic schedules trying to make sure that they don’t live in a sty. Our solution was rotating between the roommate pairs to make sure each set of us was in charge of cleaning the living space for a week. We also take turns with the bathroom. We try to clean up our own dishes as we use them, but working on a revolving cycle makes sure that the work doesn’t fall solely onto one person.
Not everyone becomes best friends with their college roommates. There’s certainly people I live with that I’m closer to than others, but we all get along and try to get off campus to hang out when we can. (Pro tip: there are two Goodwills close by for a fun excursion on a college student budget!) Even when we can’t get off campus, we like to study together or watch a movie. Getting to know your roommates can prevent tension later on, and spending time with them might even lower your stress levels!
3. Talk It Out
We’re lucky to have not had any real arguments since move-in. But we have made a pact to talk out our issues instead of letting them pile up. Don’t be the passive aggressive roommate you see in a Buzzfeed article titled You Won’t BELIEVE These 23 Roommate Disputes!! when there are much easier ways to come to a consensus. Talk it out and communicate, whether you like your roommates or not. It’s so much easier to get your feelings out in the open, rather than letting them fester (especially if you’ve got more than one roommate!)
4. Be Courteous And Be Kind
I get that sometimes it’s difficult to be patient with roommates. Maybe you’ve had a long day, or you’ve got an exam tomorrow for that class that’s kicking your butt. But at the end of the day, we’re all just trying to make it through college together. If you know your roommate prefers a cleaner room, take a few minutes to make your bed or toss trash away. If your roommate has a class at 8:30, don’t be loud when you come in late from studying. A little courtesy goes a long way in mending roommate relationships.
5. If You’re Unhappy, Don’t Sweat It!
This tip doesn’t come from personal experience, as I’ve always been content with my random roommate assignments. But, if you’re unhappy with whomever you end up living with, don’t worry. Room changes are common and the housing department is pretty cool about it. RA’s can also help mediate any disagreements and hopefully stop an issue before it grows out of control. No matter what ends up happening, you’ll be okay!
Living with a lot of people is a great experience, but it definitely can have its struggles! Try to go into the situation with an open mind and you may be surprised by how well you and your roommate can get along. Worst case scenario, you move somewhere else on campus. Best case scenario, you end up living in a real life version of FRIENDS.