By Anita Ginsburg
Your college years should be a fun and exciting time in your life. In most cases, you will find yourself sharing your living space with one or more roommates in order to save money. Your college roommates can turn out to be your lifelong best friends unless things go terribly wrong and they end up being your sworn enemies. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help improve your relationship with your roommates.
Avoid Loud Parties
Unless you and all your roommates are complete party animals, you need to observe normal home rules. Remember, you are all college students that need to study in order to be successful. Don’t blast your music or invite a bunch of people over to party into the wee hours, even if you don’t have a heavy homework load. Chances are, your roommates would prefer that time of the night to sleep or study. Talk with roommates before having parties at your place, even during the weekends.
Your mother is no longer around to pick up after you, and your roommates don’t want to live in a mess. Clean up after yourself in common areas, and be willing to set up a cleaning schedule you can all live with. If you simply have too much stuff to keep in your bedroom, then consider renting a storage unit to prevent your belongings from infringing on your roommate’s space. Finding a good storage unit for your items is a cost-effective option for many college students, say the professionals at The Self Storage Place.
No Chronic Overnight Visitors
Each of you is paying a portion of the rent and utilities, and nothing will make your roommates angrier than having you move in your sweetheart who isn’t paying a dime. It’s fine to have someone over for dinner or even overnight once in awhile, but you should know a person well before you bring them to your home. Any one who will be staying with you weekly or more often should talk with roommates first.
Open Lines of Communication
Consider suggesting a bi-monthly house meeting where each roommate can openly discuss any problems they are having with each other in a safe environment. Work together to make home life the best it can be for each of you. Even if you don’t hold meetings, make it a point to make each other feel comfortable enough to talk about problems without causing conflict.
Pay Your Bills
Don’t expect your roommates to cover for you if you decided to buy some new shoes instead of paying the rent. You all need to depend on one another, and you should pay the rent and other bills in full and on time each month. If possible, see if the landlord will split the bill evenly with each tenant to avoid conflict. Set deadlines for roommates to pay each other back for rent and utility bills.
Buy Your Own Stuff
Your roommates aren’t your siblings, so don’t eat their food or use up all their hair care products. Remember, their leftovers may be what they are planning to have for dinner. Use your own items, and ask your roommate if they would like to share certain things to save on costs, but don’t use stuff without their permission.
Nothing could be worse for your peace of mind and general well-being than knowing you must return home to people you despise. It’s in your best interest to follow these tips, and do the best you can to get along well with your roommates. If you absolutely can’t get along, be sure to try to find a suitable replacement to take over your share of the rent before you move out.