College Roommate Tips
As we get deeper into the summer season, many aspects of our lives are experiencing some form of change. For some of us, that change could be arriving in the form of higher utility bills as the weather gets warmer and you and your roommates are adjusting to the temperature change. Everyone has different responses to the warmer weather. For some, it’s a welcome change as they love sunny days and warm temperatures. For others, the heat leaves them feeling miserable and doing just about anything they can to keep cool. One of the easiest ways to keep cool, of course, is blasting the AC and every fan possible to keep your home chilly despite the warm weather outside. Unfortunately, this plan of action will result in a higher electricity bill that will definitely challenge your carefully planned budget.
While you may be okay with spending more time in a warmer apartment for the sake of cutting your electricity bill, your roommate may not be okay with your new strategy. Before you know it, your electricity bill could be your latest source of roommate conflict in the summer months. If you aren’t sure how to tackle the conflict, keep reading for tips on how to talk to your roommate about keeping apartment costs low in the summer.
Avoid passive-aggressive actions and keep open communication
Just as you would approach any roommate conflict, avoid being passive-aggressive as a solution. If you notice your roommate has turned on the AC a little too high or has multiple fans going on, don’t be quick to just turn the appliances off without consulting your roommate. While turning them off may be the quickest solution in your mind, it will likely only build up more tension and ill feelings surrounding the conflict from both ends. For you, you are not giving yourself the opportunity to explain the intentions and reasoning behind your choice to turn off the AC and creating more opportunities for misunderstandings. For your roommate, they’re likely going to feel like their wants are being ignored and are going to get the impression that you only care about things going the way you want them to.
Instead, get ready to tackle the topic head-on by discussing the situation with your roommate. Come ready to the discussion ready to discuss your side of things. Why are you feeling the way you are about the situation at hand? How would you like it to be resolved?
Be ready to compromise
When you are discussing the conflict with your roommate, it’s important to not come into the discussion expecting to get your way at the end of it. If you are coming into the discussion with that mindset, you are already creating a mental block in your thought process. You are not going to be able to hear and understand your roommate’s way of thinking if you are completely deadset on your own. More than likely, the discussion is going to end in a stalemate where both parties aren’t willing to compromise or even at least try to understand the other’s point of view.
Sure, prepare your talking points in order to get your point of view across, but don’t make it the focus of the conversation. Say your piece and be ready to listen to your roommate’s in full. You may find that you understand where they are coming from more than you thought you would. As much as you want your roommate to just go with your way of thinking, that’s probably just wishful thinking. Be ready to come up with a compromise that leaves both you and your roommate satisfied.
Introduce alternate ways to keep cool
Part of crafting the perfect compromise is introducing alternate solutions to the conflict. While your roommate may not exactly be getting their way of blasting the AC 24/7 until the weather cools, that doesn’t mean they have to suffer through the heat for the rest of the summer. Come up with some ideas that will keep your living space (and roommate) cool while keeping costs low this summer.
– Share common spaces when both of you are home. If you and your roommate are planning to blast the AC or keep a fan or two on, why not do it in the same room? Keeping one room cool is going to be a lot more budget-friendly than keeping multiple rooms cool, so discuss keeping the AC or fans on in shared spaces like the living room so you and your roommates can enjoy the chill and keep electricity usage low.
– Cool down during the nights. It may seem counterproductive to let outside air in during the summer months, but if it gets chilly at night, use the opportunity to leave a few windows open overnight to let your space air out and get some cooler air in.
– Keep the sun out. While the sunny weather is bringing tons of natural light into your living space, it’s also bringing in the heat. Consider keeps your blinds shut during the sunny hours of the day to limit sun exposure and keep your living space cool. If your blinds are fully covering a window that is getting direct sun, you can reduce heat gain by up to 45%.
If you are able to offer efficient solutions to the conflict, your roommate will likely be more willing to see your side of things and be more likely to reach a compromise. With these tips in mind, you can approach your roommate with full confidence and make this conflict one of the past.
Navigating the world of romance can be tricky. Breakups are hard, and helping someone through a breakup often means treading on thin ice. This is especially true if the person you are helping is someone close to you, like a roommate. Helping someone through a breakup can push the boundaries of your relationship, and it is important to approach the situation delicately. If this someone is your roommate, it is even more important to be prepared and proactive. Whether you are good friends with your roommate or merely acquaintances that live together, certain tips and tricks can make helping someone through a breakup, especially a roommate, a smooth process.
Photo via Unsplash
Be A Good Listener
Going through a breakup is, as it sounds, heartbreaking. Your roommate will most likely be experiencing a lot of painful emotions that will be difficult for them to process on their own. Your roommate may need someone to listen to their struggles. If you are helping someone through a breakup, you can be the ear that listens.
It is important to remember that everyone processes their emotions differently. Helping someone through a breakup doesn’t always mean giving practical answers to their problems. Is your roommate actually asking you for advice? Or, are they looking for a safe space to express their feelings? If you are helping someone through a breakup, don’t try and solve their problems. Instead, listen intently and put yourself in your roommate’s shoes. When you avoid giving out unwanted advice, you also avoid damaging your relationship. Helping someone through a breakup means being an active and empathetic listener.
Lessen Their Workload
There are many generic ways you can go about helping someone through a breakup. However, as a roommate, you have the chance to provide a special kind of support that only roommates can give to each other. Helping someone through a breakup can mean giving emotional support, but it can also mean providing physical support where it is needed. As a roommate, you can be the perfect person to lend a helping hand.
Many people develop systems to avoid certain roommate problems, like uneven chore distribution. These are important expectations to uphold to ensure that everyone is living fairly and carrying their own weight. However, going through a breakup is just as physically exhausting as it is emotionally. You may notice that your roommate takes longer to complete their chores, or is less enthusiastic about participating in the household overall. Helping someone through a breakup can sometimes mean extending grace and being understanding. You can do this for your roommate by lightening the household workload for them while they a grieving. Consider offering to complete their least favorite chore for them, or doing the grocery run for the week. You don’t have to completely take over their tasks, but helping someone through a breakup by lifting some of their burdens can speed up the process and show your roommate that you care.
Set Healthy Boundaries
Breakups are always hard on those who have ended relationships, but they can also be difficult on their support system. This is because helping someone through a relationship often involves a lot of emotional support. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and it is very easy to over-extend yourself to those you care about, like your roommate. Finding a balance between being a good friend while also taking care of your own well-being may be the most important thing to consider while helping someone through a breakup.
All good relationships, whether they are romantic, professional, or platonic, thrive on maintaining healthy boundaries. This is especially true when it comes to your relationship with your roommate. You may feel obligated to ignore your own needs to help your roommate through this difficult time. Because you live together, it is very easy to cross important lines that you may not have tolerated before. You may give up your privacy to make your roommate feel like they can always come to you. Your roommate may be struggling with their sleep schedule and pull you into a routine that doesn’t work for you. Understand that it is within your right to say “no” to someone when you need to. Helping someone through a breakup doesn’t mean giving up your own mental and physical health to help them heal. You cannot be a good support system to someone if you are also struggling. The best way to get your roommate through their heartache is by first taking care of yourself.
Helping someone through a breakup is a complex situation. It can become more complex if that someone is your roommate. Because you live with this person, you will most likely see them at their lowest point. It is important to approach their heartbreak with as much empathy as possible. This can look like being a good listener and lessening their workload. It is also important to take care of yourself and establish boundaries to protect your relationship with your roommate while they are navigating an emotional point in their life. The relationship you have with your roommate is unlike any other relationship in your life. Helping them through a breakup will show them that you care about them and their emotional wellbeing.
When college gets stressful, we always want something that gives us a sense of peace, comfort, and love. Sometimes this comes in the form of an ooey-gooey warm cookie at 12 a.m., other times it’s hanging with friends and watching something cheesy on Netflix. While these small activities are great, nothing quite compares to having a warm, cuddly animal to soothe your soul on those bad days.
If you live alone, you can make the decision on whether or not you want a pet. When living with a roommate, however, things can get a bit more complicated. While your roommate may want a pet, it might not be the best for you and your current situation. You don’t want to feel obliged to take care of the pet if your roommate falls behind, but if you don’t have the time or resources to do so, this can become an issue. Prior to a situation like this happening, it’s important to have conversations that establish ground rules with your roommate about having a pet in your shared living space.
Are you currently living with a roommate? Looking for ways to approach setting ground rules with them regarding their pet? Here are five different suggestions, and how to best set rules with your roommate!
Image via Pexels
Before Setting Rules
● Evaluate Your Boundaries First: Just like it is important to evaluate your wants and boundaries with your roommate regarding other living situations like bills and cleanliness, it’s important to do the same regarding their pet. Perhaps you’re completely easygoing and don’t mind the quirks of having a pet in your apartment, or maybe you are a bit more reserved about what you can and cannot tolerate. Regardless if you are one or the other, or maybe fall somewhere in the middle, it’s necessary to figure out what you can put up with before coming to your roommate with a set of rules. Doing this will give you a clear mind and make it easier to state your rules with your roommate.
● Have a Clear Idea of Who the Pet Belongs To: While this is something obvious and seemingly simple to do, not doing this can cause unnecessary tension and problems in the future. If it was your roommate’s idea to get a pet, then they are the primary owners. However, if you both jointly made the decision, then you both own the pet and share the responsibilities of taking care of it. Having this established between the two of you helps to ensure that the person (or people) who are supposed to take care of the animal are indeed taking care of it, rather than putting the responsibility onto someone else.
When You Have a Pet
● Set Boundaries on Where the Pet Can Go: When having a pet in your home, whether you wanted it or not, there may be certain places you don’t want it to go. Is the bedroom off-limits? Is the pet allowed on the furniture? Is the pet allowed in your office space? These are all important questions to ask yourself and once you know your boundaries, bring them to your roommate so you both can compromise and establish a shared set of rules.
● Ask What is Ok vs. Not Ok: Maybe when your roommate is gone, you’re warming up some food and you give the pet a piece of your lunch. While this seems harmless in the moment, it might be completely wrong to do and against the wishes of your roommate. Dive into these more complex topics and figure out what all of the rules are. Covering treats, discipline, routines, and rules about furniture and various apartment spaces will help you know what’s ok and not ok so even if your roommate isn’t around, you’re maintaining the pet status quo. And this is applicable to any pet and its unique situation!
● Figure Out Who Does What: If you share ownership of your animal, one necessary rule to set up is who does what in terms of grooming, taking the pet out/cleaning their litter box, and vet appointments. You can do this by creating a schedule and having days where you alternate who does a different duty, such as cleaning up the waste, taking the pet for walks, annual checkups, etc. Doing this helps to split the responsibility as evenly and equal as possible, and avoids any confusion on who does what. If you don’t share ownership, then you aren’t obliged to do any of the general tasks that come with taking care of the pet, though you may want to! Just establish what you are comfortable with doing with your roommate and make clear boundaries so the situation works for both of you.
● Determine the Costs: Owning a pet is not cheap, in fact, it can become quite costly depending on the pet you have and what they specifically need. If you and your roommate share the pet, then you both share the costs of taking care of it and you need to agree on how costs are handled. Establishing a shared cost for taking care of your pet is necessary and the right thing to do, as no one deserves to be taken advantage of by draining their bank account when the other could easily chip in. If you don’t share the pet but don’t mind chipping in here and there, talk to your roommate! Communication is key to making these situations stress and tension-free.
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Living with a roommate that has a pet can sometimes be complicated, even if you don’t jointly own the pet. Maintaining open communication and establishing ground rules in both situations will guarantee a smooth living experience for the both of you, as well as your pet!
By Elise Nelson
Catching feelings: it happens to the best of us. As many of us know, catching feelings can sometimes cause a tricky situation. Maybe it’s feelings for a coworker, or feelings for a friend’s ex or sibling, or feelings for a roommate; in any of these cases, things can get very awkward, very quickly. If you’re reading this, then you and your roommate have probably fallen for each other and are wondering how a relationship will work. The good news is that it’s possible, as long as you both remain practical and think critically. Dating a roommate can sometimes stir up trouble in the home but following these tips can help you remain unscathed.
Consider the “What ifs”
In most scenarios, it’s better to avoid all the “what ifs” that take over your brain and focus on what’s happening in the moment. However, when dating a roommate, you actually might want to consider a few of those possibilities in your head. What does happen if you break up? In any other situation, you’d probably just go your separate ways, but it’s trickier when you’re living together.
Will one of you move out if the breakup is too messy? If you have shared items in the home or a pet, who keeps them? You don’t have to map out an entire plan right away. However, it’s best to at least have an idea. Nobody likes to think about the idea of breaking up, but sometimes it’s just part of being practical.
Discuss with other roommates
If you’re living with more than one person, it’s courteous for you and your roommate-turned-significant-other to sit down with your other roommates to talk about the relationship. This is especially true for groups of three. Consider the situation from their side; perhaps you started as three friends moving in together, but now two of you are a couple and they might feel like a third wheel.
It’s better to avoid sneaking around to keep the relationship a secret because this can only lead to more drama later. Have a talk with the group to set some boundaries and discuss what will change now that the two of you are dating. Ask them for any concerns that they have. You might find some possible issues you hadn’t thought about. Your roommates will likely appreciate that you took the time to consider their feelings and they’ll be more understanding about the relationship.
Establish some basic living rules
It’s important to set healthy boundaries in any relationship, but even more so when you start dating a roommate. The change from roommate to significant other will likely be sudden, so it’s important to recognize what will be different now for both of you. Rent.com suggests discussing if you will sleep in the same bed; after all, you probably both already have your own rooms. You may want to keep your bedrooms intact so that you have your own spaces (we’ll get to that later), but sleepovers in each other’s beds are likely. You may want to establish how often this will happen, especially if you think it will make things awkward between you and other roommates in the home.
Go out for dates when possible
When it comes to spending time together, your first instinct may be to just hang out at home. After all, you’ve probably hung out together at home as roommates plenty of times before, and it’s cheaper than going out. However, it’s important to throw some date nights out into the mix for a few reasons. For one thing, this time out of the home will help differentiate between actual date nights and those times when you just hung out as roommates. Date nights out on the town may help you feel more like you’re in a relationship. You don’t have to go out every time or spend too much, but once in a while will help.
Going out may benefit your other roommates, too. If you often hung out as a group before, it can be difficult to establish what is now supposed to be a date and what isn’t. They will feel less like a third wheel, and you two can have some alone time. Win-win!
Give each other space
On the flip side, it’s important that you both have time to yourself. Moving in together often comes after several months of getting to know each other’s needs and habits, but when you’re already living together before dating, the transition can sometimes be too much to handle. You probably didn’t spend every waking moment together as roommates, so there’s no need to do so in a relationship. Make sure that you each have alone time and your own spaces; this is why keeping your separate bedrooms is a great idea. Establishing and maintaining space from each other on a regular basis is one of the first boundaries you should set.
Evaluate the risks
Before jumping into things, make sure that you both evaluate the risks of dating a roommate and figure out if it’s worth it. Do you know that it will cause a rift between you and another close roommate? Will you be unable to move out in the event of a breakup due to financial or lease reasons? If you do remain roommates after a breakup, how difficult or awkward will it be? You may find that the relationship is not worth the risk of losing a close friend.
At the end of the day, dating a roommate comes down to respect, practicality, and maturity. As long as you think everything through carefully and try your best not to let feelings cloud your judgment, you can end up in a happy, healthy, long-lasting relationship.
Living with roommates for a year is an experience unlike any other, but when it comes time to part ways, things can get a little tricky, especially when it comes to items you either bought together or that everyone utilized.
If you lived in an apartment or dorm room in which the mentality was “sharing is caring,” it’s possible that you’re now at the point that you need to divide your belongings amongst everyone. So what exactly is the best way to do that without hurting feelings? Here are a few tips to help divvy up your belongings with your roommates.
1. Determine Who Paid for What
First and foremost, you should be dividing belongings based on who contributed to paying for them, and who did not. For instance, if a roommate bought a pot and pan set for all roommates to use, that set still belongs to the individual that purchased it.
This can get tricky when individuals split bills and paid for items together. In these instances, the individuals involved should discuss who gets what and come up with a fair solution that benefits everyone.
2. Sell Shared Items
One option, especially when dealing with multiple roommates contributing to a single item, is to sell that shared item and split the earnings amongst those that contributed.
While this isn’t always going to be a possibility, it is a quick and easy way to ensure that one person doesn’t end up with more than they deserve and to make sure everyone actually walks away with what they contributed. Again, if this isn’t a possibility, there are other options, but if it is an option, you’ll likely avoid an argument.
3. Go Through the Process Together
In other words, don’t take an opportunity in which your roommates aren’t home to begin going through their things and allocating based on your own personal preference. The best way to make sure everything is sorted fairly is for everyone to be present.
You can always turn this into an event – order in some food and drinks and begin sorting out and packing belongings together. This not only makes the time go by much faster, but it also ensures that everyone is on the same page and has the same information, which also helps to avoid conflict.
4. Don’t Get Argumentative
Tensions can get high, especially when multiple individuals believe they are in the right, which is why it’s so important to keep a level head when divvying out your belongings.
If things begin to get heated, everyone should step away from that item and return to it when they’ve cooled down. You can also use an impartial mediator to help make tough decisions, such as when an item was bought by two individuals with a 50/50 split of the bill. Just do whatever you can to avoid argument here.
5. Try to be as Fair as Possible
Life isn’t always fair, and unfortunately, there’s not always going to be an easy way to split up belongings. While it makes sense that someone that spent a majority of the money on a piece of furniture would be the one to take it away, that’s not to say those that contributed just slightly less are going to be okay with it.
So, try to be as fair as possible. If that someone chipped in 60 percent of the bill, and someone else chipped in 40, the individual that takes it could toss them back their part (or a part of that contribution) to help even the score. Find a method that works best for you and your roommates and stick to it.
6. When in Doubt, List it Out
Last, but not least, it’s possible your divvying up requires more organization and forethought than a simple conversation could provide, so when you’re in doubt as to whether or not something is fair, make a list.
List all of your belongings, and list out who paid for them. This way, you can not only see that visually, but you can also determine a fair way to split belongings that were paid for by multiple parties, as you can count the number of items going to each individual. There’s a number of ways this could be helpful, so it’s all about your organizational skills and whether or not this method works for your needs.
Moving out is a bittersweet feeling, but splitting up belongings with your roommates can definitely pose a particular challenge that can really put a damper on the mood. It doesn’t matter how close you’ve all become, when it comes to sharing, things can be messy quickly, so it’s important to tread lightly.
That said, rather than struggling through this transition, utilize these tips to not only help you divide everything up but also ensure you’re doing so fairly. Once that ugly step is out of the way, you’ll all be ready to part ways and go wherever life plans to take you next!
Love them or hate them, just about every student lives with at least a roommate or two during their college career. Roommates are just part of the college experience. And a college roommate can make or break your college experience. A good roommate experience makes your time at school happier, easier, less stressful, and more successful. A bad roommate experience, well… you can see why finding ways to coexist happily with a roommate is so important.
If you are not sure how to move forward with a roommate or want some more strategies to help ensure that your roommate experiences are positive, then read on to learn more about peacefully sharing space with roommates!
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Pretty much the most important thing that you can do to uphold your relationship with your roommate is to communicate, communicate, communicate. Honestly, this is one of the most important things you should do in every relationship. But it is especially important in a roommate situation because this is a person that shares such an intimate part of your life.
You split bills and finances with your roommate. You share belongings, like furniture and sundries, with your roommate. You share a living space with a roommate, something very humbling and intimate. Your roommate is the one who sees you stumble into the house after a long and crazy day and is the one to see you stumble back out after a long night of little sleep and lots of studying.
You want to communicate from the outset, you want to communicate to both avoid and resolve conflict, you want to communicate over the course of time. Basically, you want to always be in communication. This does not mean that you have to overshare or constantly have meaningless chatter with your roommate. But you should talk about important things, like creating boundaries and checking in with each other.
If something your roommate is doing is bothering or upsetting you, you need to communicate that. Without communication, the problem will 1) fester, leaving you upset with rising tension, and 2) remain unresolved because even though it may be clear that there is a problem to you, it might not be so clear to your roommate.
In order to both avoid and solve problems, you have to be willing to communicate with your roommate so your time together will be peaceful.
Part of communicating with your roommate is creating boundaries. But what is a personal boundary, and how can you create them with your roommate?
The University of Kentucky describes it like this: “Personal boundaries, just like the ‘No Trespassing’ sign, define where you end and others begin and are determined by the amount of physical and emotional space you allow between yourself and others. Personal boundaries help you decide what types of communication, behavior, and interaction are acceptable.”
For example, if you do not like other people, even your roommate entering your private spaces, like your bedroom, without your permission/knowledge, you can communicate this to your roommate and make that a personal boundary. If your roommate having guests over that you do not know makes you uncomfortable (especially in the time of coronavirus), you need to communicate that and then be willing to work with your roommate to create a system that works for both of you while still respecting your personal boundaries.
Personal boundaries are different for each person and while creating them, you have to be willing to communicate with your roommate and make sure you are accommodating and meeting the needs of their personal boundaries as well, not just your own. You both deserve to feel safe and respected in the sanctity of your own home and your wellbeing does not come at the price of your roommates.
Stick to Your Commitments
The pièce de resistance to peacefully sharing a space using the two strategies listed above is after communicating and creating boundaries, to then stick to your commitments. Creating shared boundaries is making a set of shared commitments, and communicating and setting the boundaries does nothing if you then do not follow them.
Do the things you say you are going to do. Come through on your commitments, just as you would like your roommate to do. And if for some reason you are unable to or feel that these commitments need to shift, refer back to the previous two strategies and communicate how you are feeling, and then create new boundaries, AKA commitments.
It may take some work (and it needs to be from both sides, not just your own) but it is certainly preferable and definitely possible to peacefully share space with a roommate in college as long as you try and implement these strategies, in whatever way applies to your situation.
College students have a lot of expenses and a limited budget. If you live with a roommate or two, buying taking advantage of buying in bulk can help save money. While sharing things like your favorite snacks or health products, sharing various other essentials can help save on costs. There are stores specifically designated for bulk purchases, but those often require a paid membership. Even buying things in bulk at your local grocery store can help you save money.
While buying food items in bulk on your own can seem unproductive as they may go bad, buying cooking essentials like eggs, seasonings, milk, ketchup, cooking oil, and flour in bulk may be useful. These things are used frequently across multiple recipes, so it is useful to have the bulk of these items so you and your roommate have enough for all the things you like making. If you have specific needs or brands that you prefer in these items over ones your roommate uses, make sure you have your own stash.
You and your roommates may have individual snacks that you buy in regular portions, but if you know that you all enjoy a specific snack and find yourself eating each other’s stash, you may want to consider buying those snacks in bulk. You may even be able to find healthy snacks depending on where you shop. Just be sure you are clear about individual snacks, and if you decide that you want to buy a snack in bulk next time you go shopping, make a note on a shopping list. Be sure to check expiration dates so that you do not end up wasting food and money.
Image: Nico Smit via https://unsplash.com/photos/PTv-B97DHNI
Things such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and razors all cost less when purchased in bulk. Individual toiletry items can cost up to $5, but a large pack of even 100 can be $20. If you take care of these items and store them properly, you may be able to have a stock of toiletry items for the duration of time you are with your roommate. This allows you to split the box and split the cost. Not only will you be saving a lot of money, but you will also help reduce plastic packaging to help the environment.
Soap and cleaning supplies
Whether you live in an apartment with your roommate or a dorm, you will have to keep your space clean. Things like hand soap, shampoo, bar soap, laundry detergent, and soap for cleaning can add up when purchased in individual portions. Buying in bulk will help you save money and make sure you do not run out of supplies when you find yourself having to clean up a mess. You will likely need various types of cleaner, so having these in bulk can help make sure they last while you are with your roommate.
Textbooks, tuition, and a computer are all expensive enough, but as a student, you will likely need things such as pens, pencils, notebooks, binders, and index cards. These things can add up if you buy them individually or in smaller quantities. Since you are all in school, you will all likely need these supplies and will want to have plenty on hand, especially since pens tend to go missing. Before each semester, take a look at your syllabi with your roommate to see if there are specific supplies that you will need. Otherwise, stick with general supplies that you anticipate needing. That way, you will not have to panic when you lose your pen or have to do notecards for a project or exam.
Paper goods such as toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues often come in individual quantities, but since you are living with a roommate, you will likely need to have a bunch of these supplies handy. The good thing about paper goods is that you do not have to worry about them going bad, so you can have a large supply of them so you are not caught in an emergency without toilet paper or paper towels. College students are notorious for getting sick and spreading germs, so having tissues on hand can help ensure that you do not have to make a store run when you or your roommate are sick.
If you know that you will use a bulk item before it goes bad and you know your roommate will use it as well, it is worth buying. Otherwise, buy the smaller portion so you do not waste the money and food. Consider buying the store brand of the bulk items to help save even more money. Only buy things in bulk that you and your roommate both use and be sure to make clear what items are yours.
While the initial cost of buying in bulk may seem higher than buying in smaller quantities, if you sit down and do the math, buying items in bulk actually saves money over time. This is essential as a college student, especially if you have a roommate and can split the costs.
Living on your own versus living with roommates takes a great deal of compromise and patience. Sometimes things are smooth sailing in your roommate situation, and on the other hand, things can be difficult and frustrating. If you are living with a roommate and are unsure about your living situation, here are five signs you might need to make the push to get a new roommate.
1. Personal Boundaries Are Never Respected: When living with someone, it’s not only important but also necessary to respect the other person’s personal boundaries. What does this look like? Respecting personal boundaries can apply to a number of different situations, and not doing so can be borrowing clothes without asking, using toiletries like shampoo or toothpaste without asking, barging in your room at random times, or eating food that you bought for yourself. If you and your roommate communicate that certain items can be shared or used that is one thing, but if your roommate assumes that it’s a free-for-all and everything that is yours, is theirs- it’s time to perhaps start looking for a new roommate.
2. All the Chores Fall On You: No one enjoys doing chores all the time, though they are necessary to maintain a clean and functional living space. Living with a roommate, it should only be right to split the chores among the two of you the way that both of you see fit. If your roommate is grossed out by the bathroom, you take over to clean while they can vacuum and mop the floors. However, if you are the one constantly picking up after your roommate, washing the pile of dishes in the sink, and cleaning your home from top to bottom, that’s not fair. It’s all about balance!
3. Rent Is Always Late: Sometimes people fall into difficult financial situations- life isn’t always fair or gentle and it can be easy to fall into a bad spot. Unfortunately, life doesn’t wait for anyone and while it is tough to be in a bad financial spot, rent does still need to be paid. If your roommate is behind on bills or unable to pay rent, it can put you in a bad situation as well. Make sure to keep bills organized and determine from the get-go how bills will be split each month and who will take care of making surer they are paid on time. If your roommate is not upholding their responsibilities when it comes to their portion of the rent and utilities, though it may be tough to make the decision to leave, it will be better for your wallet and your renter’s record in the long run.
4. Tension and Fighting Are Constant: This sign may be obvious, but nonetheless, it is important to recognize. Though we all have our differences, it should go without saying that these differences should be respected. While you and your roommate might not be 100% compatible, there should still be mutual respect and a general sense of kindness in your home. If there is terrible tension in your space, such as the very sight of your roommate sends you into a spiral of anxiety, or it comes to a point where you don’t feel comfortable in your own home, it’s time to find a new roommate. Sometimes living situations don’t work out, but that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer in the meantime. When things get bad, get out.
5. Unwanted Guests are Always Over: Again, this can tie into the first sign (respecting personal boundaries) but goes a little bit further, since it applies to who is coming in and out of your home, and when specifically. Part of the excitement of having a place of your own is having people over whenever you want. This is great but starts to go sour when your roommate takes this freedom and runs with it. If your roommate is inviting people over at all hours of the day, on weekdays when you have to study or do work, on weekends when you want the place to yourself, or when you clearly communicate days or times that you don’t want people over and they still don’t listen, it’s a sign to make the switch to a new roommate.
Going from living by yourself to living with roommates can be a large adjustment and can at times, prove to be difficult. If you are in a stressful or unhappy living situation with your roommate, pay attention to these signs and remember to always put yourself first!
Whether you’re living in a college dorm or renting an apartment somewhere off-campus, you’re likely to have roommates at some point or another. If you and your roommates get along really well, that’s great! However, if you happen to have roommates with whom you don’t get along quite so well — maybe they make a lot of noise while you’re trying to fall asleep or leave dirty dishes in the sink — you may find yourself in a difficult situation. Here are some things you can do if your roommates are inconsiderate.
Don’t romanticize the idea of having a roommate.
If you’re a first-year college freshman and have never had a roommate before, it’s too easy to romanticize the idea of becoming best friends with your first roommate. However, it’s not a good idea to get your hopes up because there’s no guarantee you’ll end up becoming best friends with them. High expectations can lead to resentment if you and your roommate have different levels of interest in becoming close. If you begin to realize that your roommate is not that interested in becoming good friends with you, try not to expect too much from the relationship. Then, if they do show signs of being inconsiderate, you won’t be too crushed or disappointed by their behavior.
Make a roommate contract.
If your roommate is starting to get on your nerves, it’s a good idea to create a contract with them. While it doesn’t have to be an official document, it’s still a good chance for you both to set some boundaries and come to an agreement on how you plan to share your living space. For example, you can set some house rules on whose responsibility it is to complete certain chores or how many friends you can have over at a given time. Creating a roommate contract will hopefully help lessen any future conflicts that may arise. Otherwise, if a problem does come up later on, you can both reference the contract you created together and see if you want to make any amendments to it.
Have a talk with them.
In addition to making a contract, you can set aside some time to have a talk with your roommate. In many cases, they probably haven’t even realized that they are being inconsiderate. One way you can start this conversation is by apologizing for not setting clearer expectations. You can start off by saying, “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about x, which makes me uncomfortable,” before launching into the rest of the discussion. Instead of blaming them right away, you’ll be putting the focus on setting new expectations, which is much more likely to yield positive results. You should also be sure to offer a possible solution to the issue; for example, if it bothers you that your roommate leaves your shared living space a mess, you could propose a weekly cleaning schedule. Having a solution ready will shift the responsibility and blame off of them and show that you’re willing to quickly resolve things.
Once you let them know how their actions are affecting you, there’s a much better chance that they’ll respect your wishes compared to if you hadn’t said anything at all. (However, if you are in a particularly bad mood or very angry at the time, you should hold off on having that conversation with your roommate until you are able to think and act reasonably.) If you talk with them and their behavior still doesn’t change, don’t fret; after all, you can’t control how they react. There are still other things you can do to better handle the situation.
Consider your own behavior.
It’s entirely possible that, while you think your roommate is being inconsiderate, they are thinking the same of you. In such cases, it’s a good idea to take a step back and examine the bigger picture, including your own behavior. How have you been treating your roommate? Do you have any habits that could potentially come across as inconsiderate? Taking time to think about your own actions could at least help you have more patience with your roommate and relate to them a little bit.
Ask an outside source for help.
If all else fails, and if you’re living on campus in a dorm, you have the option to go to your resident assistant (RA) for assistance, as they often have resources to help you work through controversy with your roommate and might even help facilitate conflict resolution. When you tell your RA or anyone else about the situation, do your best to share the whole picture so that you don’t paint your roommate as the bad guy or leave out important details. Sometimes, having a third party intervene can be the best thing for your situation.
Dealing with an inconsiderate roommate can be tricky, but you can handle it by communicating properly and setting clear expectations for each other — which will perhaps help improve your relationship with your roommate.
Living with a roommate is a challenge in and of itself, but that challenge can escalate quite exponentially if living with a roommate of the opposite gender. While that’s not to say that you can’t live with someone of the opposite gender, it is to say that it can change up the rules quite a bit.
With that all being said, here are six rules to set if living with a roommate of the opposite gender to ensure the relationship moves forward as seamlessly as possible.
1. Be Honest About Relationship Situation
Stating upfront whether or not you are in a relationship is important when you have a roommate of the opposite gender for a variety of reasons. For one thing, as with any roommate, if you are dating someone, they are likely to be around fairly often, which can make your roommate uncomfortable.
Additionally, if you are not dating anyone, but plan to be, this raises the potential of having new individuals at your apartment on a semi-regular basis. In either situation, your roommate should be notified/prepared for the stage you are in in your dating life if you plan to avoid any issues down the road.
2. Be Clear with Intentions
Individuals of the opposite gender can and often do live together without ever desiring a relationship with their roommate. That being said, the opposite can also be true.
When moving in with a roommate of the opposite gender, it’s important that you lay out any rules regarding potential relationships. Whether you are already dating, are interested in them in that way, or have no interest in that regard, you should be honest and upfront before signing a lease, otherwise you are creating a recipe for disaster.
3. Any Guest Rules?
As mentioned previously, having guests over to the apartment is bound to happen. That being said, when living with any roommate, it’s important that everyone living together is on board.
For this reason, you should set boundaries when it comes to having guests over. For instance, is there a cut off time when guests should leave? Will you allow overnight guests? If so, are there any rules to be considered there? What happens when a roommate and guest don’t get along? These are all considerations that are important when it comes to setting expectations.
4. Cleanliness Rules
Men and women have different ideas of cleanliness, most of the time. For this reason, when living with someone of the opposite gender, there are bound to be arguments about cleanliness.
As with any roommate situation, you and your roommate should discuss cleaning schedules and responsibilities. Whether you decide everyone is responsible for their own spaces, split up shared spaces evenly, or have one individual clean one week and the other clean the next week, it’s important to talk about who is cleaning what and how often it should happen.
5. Develop Communication Channels
Communication is key when living with anyone, but especially when living with a roommate of the opposite gender. When two women live together, for example, there are certain things that will just come naturally in terms of communication that wouldn’t otherwise.
Sometimes, you’ll have to work a little harder to communicate with one another. It’s natural and should be taken seriously. Set the groundwork at the beginning in talking about things in an open and honest manner. The more upfront you are about the way you feel, the more likely they are to follow suit, which will make things much easier in the long run.
6. Set Up Boundaries
Last, but certainly not least, you should always be setting boundaries with roommates, but especially when living with a roommate of the opposite gender. For instance, is walking around in a towel a no-no? Are you okay with having company over unannounced?
Are there any regulations on using another roommate’s belongings? Do you always need to knock before entering another roommate’s bedroom or bathroom? Some of these may feel like common-sense rules, but sometimes, they aren’t. It’s important that you always set out any boundaries you want honored at the beginning, and you can always revise them as you move forward. But without setting expectations, things can go downhill rather quickly.
Again, living with an individual that’s of the opposite gender can be fun and exciting, but also difficult and rather challenging. Rather than sitting back and allowing things to progress as they will, it’s important to follow the above, six steps.
Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy as moving in together and hoping for the best, and that goes for any roommate situation. So, don’t leave anything up to chance and make sure that all rules are squared away, communication is on point, and boundaries are set in stone before agreeing to live with them.