In the spirit of the new school year, we’ll discuss the good and bad of living with a roommate. Most important for living with someone else are compromise and communication.
1. Equality is Key: If possible, move into the apartment at the same time so that one doesn’t feel ownership over another. Starting out together means that you will adjust to living in your new apartment together, rather than having to adjust to not living alone anymore. It’s also good for roommates to have similar financial situations, so that one doesn’t end up paying more or less on rent and utilities.
2. Communicate From the Start: Be honest and open about expectations and potential problems from the beginning: everything from visitors to chores should be discussed.
3. Don’t Get Angry: You’ve probably heard the marriage advice, “Don’t go to bed angry.” The same applies to roommates. Letting little annoyances build up leads to resentment, which leads to problems. Address issues immediately, but don’t lay the blame: communicating positively insures your roommate won’t get angry too.
4. Be Willing to Compromise: Remember that your roommate has expectations for you, too. Sometimes you will drive each other crazy, but being willing to compromise helps make daily interactions go more smoothly.