How to get along with your roommate

Categories: How-to

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October has arrived which means the honeymoon period (September) of living with your new roommate has likely worn off. The “endearing” idiosyncrasies of your new roommate are becoming unbearable and their bad habits are becoming more and more annoying. We thought we’d share some strategies to get along better with your roommate and, hopefully, improve the satisfaction around your living situation.

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Set and follow rules

This is an integral part of a peaceful cohabitation. Right off the get-go, you’ll find out about their pet peeves and what’s important to them. Make sure to discuss bills, groceries, and guests: how you’re going to split and pay your bills, whether you’ll be sharing groceries or buying your own, when guests are allowed and how often. These are all important questions to ask in order to avoid conflict and create a respectful environment for you both to live in. Don’t be afraid to add to the list later on if something comes up.

Communicate

Talk to your roommate! If you’re concerned with the noise or they ate your last box of KD, I’m sure they’ll appreciate you calmly explaining your concerns over complaining about them to someone else or acting in a passive aggressive way. Reduce hostility and make your environment an open and communicative one.

Focus on behaviours not personalities

Every person has both good and bad qualities. No one is perfect. Rather than saying someone is a “bad roommate” or an “inconsiderate person”, focus on the specific behaviours that are upsetting you. This will allow for a more constructive discussion so the other person can have an opportunity to actually alter their behaviour or actions.

Respect the others’ possessions and space

It should be a given that you don’t eat your roommates food (unless you share groceries) or invite unsolicited guests over without clearing it with them first. It’s important to set clear boundaries with the person you’re living with so you, hopefully, don’t run into these issues. Make it clear to one another what you’re comfortable sharing and not, and what spaces will be shared or private. If you’re tired of borrowing your roommates stuff, or vice versa, make sure you grab a seat on our Shop & Shuttle this month to get everything you’ve been needing.

Studying and sleep trump partying

It’s university. Your sleeping and studying patterns will undoubtedly differ from each other and that could lead to some tension in your home. It might be worth setting up quiet hours or a bedtime (at least during the week), especially if your roommate is a night owl. You’ll need to find common ground on this common issue while also keeping in mind that studying and sleep trump any partying your roomie might want to do.

Address issues before they become bigger problems

Holding your feelings in will not solve the issue, and it’s likely to make it worse. Try settling an issue and making rules around it before it becomes a huge problem. A conversation is always better handled than an argument.

Be flexible

Much like any relationship, cohabitation is about compromise. Don’t go into any conversation thinking you’re going to get everything you want, just like the other person won’t. Be flexible to the needs of your roommate and expect the same treatment from them. Speaking of which…

Be nice (and follow the golden rule)

We all grew up with our parents and teachers (and basically every other adult) telling us to treat others the way we want to be treated. This couldn’t be more applicable to your roommate situation. You’ll get the same treatment as you give so make sure it’s a respectful and considerate one.

 

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