Sharing physical space with someone new can be challenging at times, but it can also be really fun if you get the right start. Everyone’s experience with having a roommate in school will differ, but below are some ways to put your best foot forward and be the best roommate you can possibly be.
Something that you can and should do during the first day or week of school is create some kind of roommate agreement. This can be created on a small notepad or shared Google Doc, but you should definitely sit down with your roommate to talk about your habits as well as icks so that you can both set boundaries and understand each other better.
Communication is key
Whenever something related to your living situation occurs, you should communicate with the other person about it. If you or your roommate are doing something that bothers the other person then you both should feel like you can bring it up and talk to each other about it. There is always two people, not just one, in the equation.
One of the biggest parts of being a good roommate is learning how to be considerate. For example, if you know that your roommate is sleeping or talking on the phone, then you should try your best to be quiet so that your roommate can get some rest and privacy. The hope is that, by being considerate to your roommate first, you will get the same treatment in return; as you can’t expect someone to treat you well if you don’t treat them well first.
Keep it clean
No matter what, you should always keep shared spaces clean. If you have a kitchen then make sure to clean the area, pots, pans, utensils, and dishes every time after using them. The same goes for the bathroom, make sure to keep it relatively clean. You don’t have to do a full deep clean every time you use it, but you definitely shouldn’t leave your clothes or things lying around and you should make sure to clean after yourself.
Shared space and responsibilities
With shared space comes shared responsibilities, so you and your roommate should allocate household tasks on a weekly basis. For example, one person can take out the trash one day and then the other person can take out the trash another day. A good idea is also to do weekly or biweekly deep cleaning, where one person cleans the kitchen and the other person cleans the bathroom and vice versa the week after, so that you can help each other keep the space clean.
Learn each other’s schedule
Part of living with another person is learning their schedule. By no chance does this mean that you have to memorize their class or work schedule, but you both should have a general sense of when you each wake up and go to bed. This will help with figuring out compatibility and allow you to create a schedule that works for everyone.
It is great to hang out with your roommate, but it is also crucial to set boundaries for one another. Discuss what you’re each comfortable with sharing and not sharing. A good practice is not to touch or borrow the other person’s things unless you have gotten explicit permission. This goes for kitchen items, toiletries, food, and etc. Moreover, you should definitely discuss how you want the other person to conduct themselves in your personal space. For example, if you typically don’t like people to wear shoes on your bed then you should voice that.