Living with roommates can be a very fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be a difficult transition. I was put in a room with two other girls. One was a friend from home that I had known for years. We had planned on rooming together for a while, and didn’t expect to get a third roommate- but then a third was thrown in. At first, we had a hard time getting to know one another. It was a challenge to get comfortable, but we sat down and we established some ground rules. These rules helped us to build a better relationship with each other! Now all three of us are good friends, and we get along really well. Whether you like your roommates or not, it’s still very important to establish boundaries and work together in order to create a healthy living space.
If you’re still struggling with your roommates, below are 5 tips that you can follow in order to build better relationships with your roommates and keep things pleasant throughout your time together.
Let’s start with a base: the roommate agreement. This is a contract that will lay out all of the ground rules. It covers house rules like lights out, times, quiet hours, division of household duties, division of expenses, how you’ll handle guests in your living space, etc. Every person you are living with should sign the roommate agreement- and if any of the rules are broken, it should be brought up in conversation. Roommates get into heated arguments all the time, but putting the written agreement in place can make it so less arguments happen. Roommate agreements also help you get rid of bad roommates. According to Wonder.legal, someone that has harmful intentions is less likely to sign the agreement because it forces them to be responsible for their bad behavior. If your roommates refuse to sign the agreement… it is a sure sign that your living situation probably wont work out. Sitting down together and creating the written agreement can seem like such a hassle, but it is a great way to protect not only your roommates but yourself as well.
Communication is key. Remember that it works two ways: talking and listening. It is important to start off on the right foot. You need to talk to your roommates and address issues when they arise, because if you don’t, your roommates won’t be able to do anything about it. Getting potential problem areas out in the open will also help to decrease conflict in the future. Most of the conflicts that happen between roommates are due to miscommunication, or, in some cases, lack thereof. In order to communicate in a healthy way you need to talk to your roommates directly, take into consideration what both of you are saying, and respect each other’s differences. Addressing problems with your roommates can be much easier than you think, and communicating your issues can help find a solution that works for both of you.
Setting boundaries is extremely important. Doing this may be difficult in the moment, but it’ll make your living experience way healthier. Both you and your roommates will be happier in the long run. How do you go about setting these boundaries though? According to roomsurf.com, you need to start by establishing what makes each of you comfortable. Make sure you work together to set the boundaries. Both of you need to be flexible and understanding. Lastly, you need to recognize that this process is ongoing. If your roommate breaks any of these rules, you need to make sure you both have a conversation and you work together to fix the problem. It can be difficult to confront your roommates when they break these rules, but it is important to do so. This way everyone involved is happy and there are no issues.
Remember to always be friendly! Even if you don’t like your roommates, this is very important. Also remember that you are living with this person, and a bad relationship with them could possibly lead to the destruction of your stuff and having to deal with living with someone who doesn’t follow the golden rule. Obviously there are going to be disagreements and arguments. This is normal, but it is important to be the bigger person and not try to start these arguments on purpose. Being friendly with your roommates can also build some amazing friendships and make living with the person less awkward.
Make the Most of It
Finally, just make the most of your living situation. These are people that you are going to be staying with for at least the next year or maybe more, so it is very important to make the most of the situation. Having a positive roommate experience is extremely beneficial for students. According to thearisesociety.com, students with a positive roommate experience can have a higher first-term GPA than those who live alone, have better peer connections and social integration on campus, build stronger social networks that can be used as support systems, are less likely to be homesick, and are more likely to return to school for the following semester. As long as you make the most of it, college can be a really amazing experience.