As students prepare to head off to school in in the coming weeks, many of them will be living away from home for the first time. Along with that comes the prospect of living with a roommate for the first time, too. Worried about how to make the transition from home life to roomie-life? We've put together a few tips to help freshman students and roommates make the most of their time together.
Set Rules from the Start - When you first move in with your new roommate (or roommates!), sit down together to set up your house rules. This can include what time should be quiet time (i.e. no loud music after 10 pm), who will take care of paying the rent on time, how you will split up the bills, how you will share groceries, and anything else you can think of that should be discussed early on.
Respect Their Stuff - Just as you probably wouldn't want someone going into your room and using your things without asking, the same goes for how you treat your roommates' possessions.
Talk Things Out - Before a small problem becomes a big problem, take the time to talk it out. Does your roommate always leave their dirty dishes lying around the house and never bothers to take out the trash? Let them know, nicely, that they need to pitch in and do their share so the living situation is happy for everyone.
ALWAYS Lock the Door - A common issue for students that live in a house with several roommates is leaving the door unlocked. Don't assume the next person that comes in will lock the door - lock it each and every time. The same goes for windows.
Who Buys What? - If you plan to share groceries or buy your own, it's important to decide that right from the start. There's nothing worse than opening the fridge to grab the drinks you bought, only to discover that your roommate finished them all.
Finally, remember that you don't have to be best friends with your roommate. While it would be ideal to be able to spend time together without getting on each other's nerves, understand that it is OK for you or your roommate(s) to want to spend some quiet time by yourself. Don't feel bad if you don't become inseparable BFF's.