College Roommate Tips
When living with a roommate, there is so many things to consider in regards to your living situation. Splitting bills like rent, electricity, and water, sharing food, maintaining boundaries, etc. are all important lifestyle elements to think about/implement when sharing a living space together. One large factor figure out, especially in this day and age, is how to decide a decent cable and/or internet service that will satisfy both your and your roommate’s needs.
Today, unless it is your choice and your lifestyle does not require it, internet is a necessity to navigate the world around us. It helps us with travel, work, school, and just about every other aspect of our lives. Standard cable, for at least a lot of younger people, is not as necessary or relied upon as it once was years ago. Instead, people are turning to other outlets for entertainment, but nonetheless, it is something that plenty of people still enjoy- like myself!
Are you currently living with a roommate? Trying to figure out how to pick the right cable and/or internet provider for both you and your roommate? This guide will help you in your journey to deciding the best services for your home!
Evaluate Your Wants and Needs
A lot of what you get in terms of a cable/internet provider is determined by what you want and what you need. Before just diving into the basic or most expensive package you can get your hands on, ask yourself some important questions in terms of what you and your roommate need/are looking for in a cable/internet provider. Will you need the fastest internet possible? Are you looking for a large variety of channels to watch? Get a decent idea of you want, which will ultimately help you in terms of what you’re looking for!
Depending on your schedule and how you spend your time, cable may be either a necessity or a waste of money. For some, its nice to have a few channel options to watch on TV to help you unwind and relax after a long day, or watch the latest sports game on the weekends. For others, cable can be a waste of money and an unnecessary add on for an internet package. Which person do you more identify with? Is cable something that you can’t see yourself without or is it something you can do without?
• Look Into Cable Providers in Your Area: It is relatively easy to find out what providers are in your area, and sites like AllConnect and Digital Landing can help you find the best cable providers in your area (and the best deals too)!
• Decide What Channels You Want: Part of what can make selecting a specific cable package so difficult is deciding what channels you want. Are you someone who just likes to watch the local news and more basic channels? Are you a sports fiend? Love watching entertainment channels? Determining what you want and what you can do without can help to narrow down your options.
• Look Into Streaming Services: Before even diving into getting an all-inclusive package that includes cable and internet, consider looking into streaming services to help cut down the unnecessary costs of getting a plan. Instead of getting package that doesn’t suit you, you can just opt for internet and subscribe to a streaming service such as:
• Netflix: $12.99/month
• Hulu: $5.99/month with Ads
• Hulu TV: $44.99/month with Ads (and no extra channels)
• Youtube TV: $40.00/month
• Sling TV:
• Sling Orange: $25.00/month
• Sling Blue: $25.00/month
• Sling Orange + Blue: $40.00/month
Unlike cable, having internet is something that is necessary in order to properly function and navigate day-to-day life. Need to research for your paper due on Friday? You’ll probably need the internet. Want to check the weather to see if you need a sweatshirt on your way to class? Consult the internet! Choosing an internet provider can be tough since there are so many different options out there, but after considering a few things such as speed, availability of options in your area, and specific deals/promotions, you’ll find the perfect one that will work for you and your roommate!
• Evaluate the Speed That You Need: Speed is something incredibly important, if not the important thing to consider when deciding on internet. Speed, or bandwidth is measured in megabits per second and is the maximum rate at which you can download data from the internet to your computer, phone, etc. If you’re only using the internet for web surfing, email, or social media, you’re good with 1 Mbps, but if you’re doing high-definition streaming, you’ll need something faster like 5-8 Mbps.
• Research the Available Options in Your Area: Sites like Broadband Now and In My Area can help you figure out what internet providers service your area and thus help with evaluating different packages.
• Check Out Deals and Promotions: Internet providers are always promoting different deals to help entice you to choose their specific packages, it’s just how these providers compete with each other. But in the end, it can benefit you! Look into what services are giving out the best promotions and choose the package that you can get a good deal on!
Choosing the right cable and/or internet provider can seem overwhelming because there are so many options out there. However, if you determine what your wants and needs are, and just do a little bit of research, the process can be a breeze. As always, good luck!
Finding the right roommate for your college career is very important. It can be a very important factor that can make or break your experience in school. A good roommate helps you to flourish, supports you, helps you maintain a stress-free environment, and has a compatible living style with your own. A bad roommate, however, brings you down, stresses you out, adds drama to the mix, stops you from achieving your full potential, and has a lifestyle that just does not mix well with yours.
Many students, in pursuit of the best roommate possible, think that the best roommate for them might actually be their best friends. However, living with your best friend can have both its pros and cons. Sometimes it works out while other times it ends up in disaster, which is definitely something you want to avoid. So should you actually live with your best friend? Read on to learn some factors you should consider before making any final decisions.
The first thing you should consider before deciding to live with your best friend or not or each of your habits. Your best friend might be a truly lovely person. Outgoing, upbeat, and maybe they even share the same sense of humor as you. But maybe you are a slob and they cannot stand any mess in the kitchen. Or maybe it is the other way around—they are the slob and you cannot abide by anything being out of place or having any mess. While this might not affect a friendship because you are not spending all day, every day together while you cohabitate, it will definitely affect your relationship if you live together.
This is just one of several examples of habits that can make or break a best friend turned roommate relationship. Maybe they have a dog that barks through the night and you are a very light sleeper. Maybe you have a pet cat and your best friends comes to think that you do not empty the litter box often enough—though you are doing your best. Maybe you hate personal items being left in the living room while they hate dishes being left in the sink.
These might seem like little frustrations but when you live with someone, these little frustrations quickly and easily build up. And you do not want to lose your best friend over something so silly.
If your best friend and you have the same kind of lifestyle habits or you can overlook each other’s quirks without building resentment or you can even complement each other’s way of living, then living together might work very well for you. Take the time to get to know what living with your best friend might actually be like before you act on the idea.
The next aspect of the relationship between yourself and your best friend that you must broach before deciding to live with them or not is how approachable they are. You might be really close, but can you approach them about an issue with the living situation? Do you feel comfortable to do so? Can each of your handle it and discuss any issues that arise maturely?
Maybe they have a temper and can escalate these kinds of situations into a confrontation. Maybe you really dislike confrontation and feel uncomfortable approaching anyone, even your best friend, about a situation that makes you uncomfortable. Maybe they are not the best communicators and have trouble expressing themselves about a situation or why it makes them uncomfortable while you are very sensitive and can take things that people say about you very personally and have a hard time getting over any comments.
If you guys can’t talk things out, smooth out an issue, or even approach each other when you have upset each other or done something wrong, then these are definitely issues that you should work on. However, living together might not be the best way to work to improve those issues with each other.
On the other hand, if you feel like you can go to your best friend about anything, that nothing either of you could say could perturb the other, and that each other’s feelings of safety and comfort are of the utmost importance to you, then being roommates just might work for you.
In the end, your relationship with your best friend is incredibly important. After all, this is your best friend you are talking about! You are already pretty lucky if you get to live in the same city or attend the same school as your best friend. You do not want to break a healthy relationship over something petty so really thinking it out and investigate so that your best friend in college is not just your best friend in college but instead, your best friend for life.
When it comes to living with a new roommate, there are always so many factors to consider in your relationship: each other’s sleep schedules, whose side of the room each of you gets when either of you gets to have friends over … the list can go on and on. Maybe you’re familiar with some of the typical advice surrounding roommates (e.g., don’t leave passive-aggressive Post-It notes around the room), but there are bound to be some tips you’ve overlooked before.
1. Make a chore chart.
One piece of advice you’ve probably heard a million times is to remember to do your chores while in college -- things like do your laundry, vacuum, make your bed, etc. When you have a roommate, doing chores could get a little bit trickier, especially if you have multiple shared spaces such as a common area or a kitchen.
To figure out how to divide up your responsibilities with your roommate, create a chore chart. The chart could be any shape, size, or format -- as long as it’s organized and kept in an easily accessible place where both you and your roommate can check it regularly. Investing in a whiteboard or chalkboard could be useful if you want to draw a chart and easily erase and replace certain chores with new ones each week. Or you could create a fun circle chart that allows you to spin the wheel or arrow to decide who has what responsibilities for the week.
2. Pick up after yourself … everywhere.
Depending on what your living accommodations are, there could be multiple places where you might possibly leave a mess. Even if it’s not your turn to complete a certain chore, you should still be obliged to pick up after yourself if you happen to leave behind a small mess.
Your shared room is definitely one place where this rule applies. Be mindful of keeping your stuff on your side of the room, as you don’t want to infringe on your roommate’s space. Also, try your best to pick things up off the floor -- nobody wants to come home to a cluttered floor, and besides, having too many things lying around could be hazardous.
The bathroom is another area where you should pick up after yourself. If you happen to have long hair (and consequently shed a lot whenever you’re showering or brushing your hair), make sure to pick up your hair from the bathroom floor and even from the shower drain.
If you and your roommate share a common room and a kitchen, make sure those areas are kept clean as well. If you’re cooking in the kitchen, remember not to leave your food all over the counter or your dirty dishes in the sink for too long. A huge part of being a good roommate is being courteous and respectful of the other person’s space.
3. Learn how to deal with silences.
When you first meet your new roommate, you might be expecting to get to talk to them all the time, nonstop. And sure, maybe that’s how it will be sometimes, but there will also inevitably be silences between the two of you -- and that’s perfectly normal. It’s important that you both learn to be comfortable with these silences when you’re in the room together. Doing so allows you to give each other some much-needed, non-awkward space, perhaps at the end of a long day.
In that same vein, don’t try to force a friendship. You may have had the idea of becoming automatic best friends with your roommate, but the truth is, you can’t force these things or speed up the process of becoming friends. Instead, give each other time to warm up to one another so that neither of you feels pressured to become the best of friends right away.
4. Respect their finances.
If you’re living in an apartment and splitting the rent with your roommate, it’s important that you handle your own money responsibly and that you respect your roommate’s finances as well. Essentially, that means paying your rent on time. If there are other expenses that need to be paid in addition to rent, it may be helpful for the two of you to sit down and have an honest, open talk about what you expect from each other financially. Having a plan in place will provide security in case something unexpected comes up.
Living with a roommate can often be a fun, joyful, and memorable experience. Make the effort to be friendly and agreeable, and you’re sure to enjoy living with someone new.
When it comes to getting along with your roommate, the inevitable is true: you will have a disagreement with them at some point during the school year.
For some, this is expected. For others, this comes as a shock. The truth is, when you move two people that don’t know each other well into the same room for an entire year, problems are likely to ensue, it’s just to what level.
Whether it’s an argument over an electric bill, a tiff over control of the TV or a situation in which one roommate feels smothered, these are all common occurrences that you can plan for and get ahead of, before they even happen.
So, in an effort to help you combat this issue and ensure you and your roommate get along all year through, here are ten methods to help you get along with your roommate all year.
1. Set Boundaries
First and foremost, it’s important that you immediately set boundaries with your new roommate. There are likely some things that you won’t put up with, as there are likely things on the other end that they won’t put up with.
Starting a conversation surrounding boundaries and what you feel is and isn’t acceptable will ensure that the two of you are working together and understand one another’s needs.
Without this initial conversation, arguments are likely to ensue. Remember that just because something is acceptable to you does not mean it’s acceptable to the other person and vice versa. Keep in mind there may be cultural differences, philosophical differences or simply differences of opinion as it relates to everyday occurrences.
So, before the issues begin, make sure that you set boundaries with the individual you’re going to be living with.
2. Keep Your Place Clean
The second most common reason for arguments with a roommate is cleanliness. Often, you’ll have two types of people: one that’s clean, and one that isn’t. And, more often than not, the two individuals will have clashing opinions on this topic.
As far as cleanliness is concerned, the answer is simple: keep your place clean. As far as methods go, make sure you outline those with your roommate upon moving in.
For instance, should you both be responsible for your own side of the room? Should you switch off responsibilities such as dusting and vacuuming? How often do you want to clean? Should you work together to clean once a week? If so, is there a specific day that works best for both of you that you should set aside? Who is responsible for cleaning when guests are going to stay?
While the idea of keeping your place clean can be a simple one, the methods behind it are not so simple. For this reason, speak with your roommate to answer these questions, determining the best method for both of you to move forward with.
Obviously, there will be some times in which you need to assess the situation on a case by case basis. However, outlining your cleaning initiatives before you even move in is the best way to ensure arguments are kept at a minimum.
3. Share Responsibility
In building upon the above example, it’s important that you and your roommate are sharing responsibility around the apartment or dorm room.
While cleaning is one of these elements that you should be concerned about, you should also think about other situations in which you and your roommate should be sharing responsibility. For instance, when thinking about cooking, are you both going to cook your own meals? Will you share meals and one person will cook them and you’ll switch off?
Outside of that, who is responsible for certain bills, or will you split all of those evenly? What is the likelihood that all roommates can be trusted to pay the bills on time? Is there an easier way to set up your billing?
Again, there are plenty of areas in which you can share responsibility with one another, it’s just a matter of having these conversations and setting up your process prior to any arguments.
4. Spend Time Alone
One of the biggest faux pas of a roommate relationship is wanting to spend a lot of time with your roommate. While this is entirely normal and expected, it can also become overwhelming and you can become annoyed with one another much more easily.
Basically, when you’re in close proximity to someone all the time, it starts to wear on both of you. For this reason, make sure that you are spending time alone as well (or with other friends).
When you get wrapped up in your roommate, it’s a good thing, but can play out negatively as well. This is why it’s important that you balance out your experiences with your roommate and ensure that you spend time together, but that you also spend enough time alone to make up for that.
5. Organize Your Food
Staying organized is never an easy task (unless you’re a bit of a neat freak, like me). However, when it comes to certain shared spaces, it’s important that you are always organized.
For instance, in regards to food, you’ll want to organize this in advance so you and your roommate get along much more easily. For instance, do you share food? If not, how will you separate it to ensure the other roommates don’t accidentally take your food?
Are there shared pots and pans? If so, who is responsible for washing them? Are there any kitchen items that aren’t shared amongst the roommates? What’s up for grabs versus what isn’t? How are you going to let everyone know?
Some roommates opt to share the kitchen space, meaning they take turns cooking for one another and share their groceries. Others buy and cook for themselves.
While either method can work, it's important that you set up those boundaries in advance, as arguments over stolen food and someone not cooking when they’re supposed to, or not washing a pot/pan in time, are not far behind if you don’t.
Obviously, one of the most important things you can do when living with another person is to listen to them. What are their concerns? Is there anything that you can do to ease the living situation? What about the other way around?
Communication is key when it comes to living with another individual, which is why listening is so important in these situations. What are their needs? What are your needs? How can the two of you meet in the middle?
Is your roommate complaining about something repeatedly? If so, what are you doing to warrant these complaints?
On rare occasions, you will end up living with someone that you just aren’t compatible with. However, more often, roommates don’t get along because they don’t listen to and communicate with one another.
So, prior to going through awkward and painful conversations about switching roommates, try to communicate with one another and make sure you’re listening to one another’s needs.
7. Set Up Study Plans
Another common argument that roommates tend to have relates to studying. For most, the argument is surrounding the amount of noise in the apartment or dorm. For instance, if your roommate is watching TV and you’re trying to study, this could create an issue.
Or perhaps your roommate listens to music while they study but you can’t think when music is playing nearby.
Basically, the question becomes: how can the two of you coordinate your study times and habits to ensure everyone is happy.
For one, you’ll likely want to set up rules. For instance, if a roommate is watching TV, they’d like to do so on their television that they pay for. So if you need to study, you should either go into a separate room or, if that isn’t an option, visit the campus library or a classroom.
Conversely, if your roommate needs music to study and you don’t, they should put in headphones to accommodate your needs.
While these seem like petty arguments, they can turn into huge conflict, so it’s best to set up a solid plan regarding your study habits before you even need to have the argument. That way, everyone is happy and the terms are entirely fair.
8. Be Respectful
Living with a roommate isn’t easy, but you should always be respectful throughout your living situation.
While tensions can sometimes get high, you should always attempt to keep a level head, avoid saying things you don’t mean and, in situations where it’s necessary, walk away and only come back once you’ve cooled down.
There are lots of pain points in a living situation, so avoid these tense situations by being respectful at all times, and you’ll likely get the same treatment right back, ensuring there are minimal arguments between you and your roommate.
9. Set Up a Financial Plan
While it took a little while to get to this point, it’s a very important one. Financial arguments are a huge concern when living with another individual. For instance, who is going to set up the bills (such as water, gas and electric)? Are you going to split these down the middle? Does everyone want cable? If not, how do you plan on splitting that bill?
What is the process for paying your rent? Do you all need to combine finances or does your rental office allow you to pay your parts separately?
Essentially, when worrying about finances in a living situation, arguments are just around the corner. For this reason, get ahead of the arguments by setting up your payment plans well in advance, ensuring everyone is accountable for their own bills.
In addition, you’ll want to ensure you are both on the same page as far as heating and air conditioning. There are plenty of thermostat arguments to be had, so make sure you come up with a compromise that fits both of your needs before it escalates into a large issue.
10. Use a Third Party
Last, but definitely not least, when you are living with another person, there are bound to be arguments in which you don’t agree with one another at all. Rather than allowing an argument to escalate to this point, you should pull in a third party to give you an unbiased opinion.
While the need for this third party is likely to be slim, every once in a while, you may benefit from bringing in a third party to help you settle a disagreement, or even to set up a compromise that’s entirely unbiased.
You’ll want to choose someone that’s completely unbiased, so they can’t be closer with one of the two of you, and you’ll also want to ensure they have a full picture of your situation prior to making their judgment.
Again, living with a roommate that you just met (or even those that you have known for some time) is likely to turn into an argument at some point, whether you’re prepared for it or not. Whether big or small, these arguments can be detrimental to a relationship, which is why it’s so important to get ahead of them before they even begin.
So, in an effort to combat this issue ahead of time, take the above ten steps upon moving in with your roommate (and throughout the rest of the year) to get ahead of any larger, potential problems that may be lurking down the road.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list, this is a good place to begin your partnership for the next year, as it not only shows that you want the relationship to work, but it also allows your roommate to voice any concerns they may have, ensuring everything is discussed in advance, before it becomes a problem.
There are countless items that you can discuss with your new roommate, but as far as starting off right is concerned, the above ten steps are the best way to get along with your roommate all year long.
Finding a great roommate can sometimes seem like an impossible task. You’re looking for someone that you’ll be sharing your space with for likely an entire year. Of course, you know what you want in an ideal person, but what really matters when it comes to looking for a roommate?
1. Compatibility in living styles
There is no one perfect roommate for everyone. Because everyone has a different living style, the right roommate for you will largely depend on how you live. It is of the utmost importance that you and your roommate figure out what your style of living is and whether or not they will work well together.
Ideally, a great roommate will have almost the exact same living style as you. You may be tempted to live with someone with a completely different way of living, but usually this ends up in annoyance, and further down the line, conflict. The best way to avoid those scenarios are to choose a person that lives in a similar way.
Think about what a typical weeknight or weekend might look for you. Are you someone who likes to stay in most of the time? Do you prefer things to be quiet or do you like playing music and TV shows out loud? Do you enjoy having friends over all the time or would you rather meet them somewhere else? Are you an early riser or do you stay out late? All of these questions will lead you to your living style. It may seem like common sense, but if you like to enjoy the quiet and relax in the evenings, you aren’t going to want to live with someone who likes to invite people over and play loud music.
Another big concern about living style is cleanliness. Most arguments that happen between roommates occur because of differences in how clean the apartment should be. Have an honest and frank discussion with a potential roommate. Ask things like, “How do you feel about clutter?” and “How long would you let dishes sit in the sink before cleaning them?” This will help you gauge what kind of mess each of you thinks is normal. If you have similar opinions on what needs to be cleaned and when, then you’ve likely found a great potential roommate. If you have quite a few differences, then you may want to find someone else.
2. How they handle conflict
Even though this process of finding a good roommate means cutting down on potential conflict, there will still inevitably be an argument about something. Knowing how this person argues is essential to understanding how they will act when something may go wrong. You should also think about how you react when conflict happens. Some questions to ask and think about may be: Are you confrontational or do you avoid problems? How do you handle issues that occur between friends?
When it comes to someone being your roommate, you aren’t necessarily looking for a person that handles conflict in the exact same way that you do. However, you may already know that you don’t like handling things in a certain way, and if that person does, then it might become a bigger issue in the end. For example, if you know that you don’t like loud, confrontational people then you should avoid roommates that react in this way.
3. How responsible they are
This one can also be difficult to gauge, especially if you don’t know a person very well. It can also be kind of awkward because it can often bring up topics like money and savings. However, regardless of how difficult this conversation may be, it is very important to know this information before signing a lease with someone. Choosing someone that is irresponsible with money means that there will be lots of roommate conflicts down the line.
Firstly, a potential roommate shouldn’t have problems with deadlines. If they consistently find themselves forgetting to pay rent in the past, then it is likely to continue and will then become your issue too. You don’t want to be stuck having to cover their half of the rent or chasing them all the time to pay you back. If they’ve never had to pay rent before, maybe ask about how they are in school with turning things in on time. This is often another good indicator of how responsible they are.
As always, remember that nobody is perfect and neither are you! Finding a great roommate doesn’t mean finding a perfect person, it just means finding someone that you will be comfortable and happy living with. It is totally fine if there are some things you can compromise on and others that you care deeply about. Trying to find the right roommate isn’t a strict process, so remember to always trust your instincts.
When you move out for the first time, you will soon realize that living on your own is very expensive. One of the quickest ways to cut living expenses is to add at least one roommate so that the amount of money you pay is cut by half. There is plenty that can go right with having a roommate: less expensive rent, an extra person to keep watch over the apartment when you are gone, and good company. There is also plenty that can go wrong, like clashing personalities or living styles. Lucky for you, there are also steps you can take to minimize the amount of clashing that takes place between one of your roommates.
Conflict can often break out when it comes to decorating your living space when you and your roommates have different styles. Instead of letting the issue create a rift between you and your roommate, try some out some of the following tips to help you and your roommate out when combining your roommate's style with your own.
Discuss your "must-haves"
When you have a different style than your roommate and you need to start combining your roommate's style with your own, it is easier to view it as a negotiation. Just like any negotiation, start it out by defining what each roommate really wants (and really doesn't want) at the end of the process. It is a bit more complicated when it comes to decorating your living space, as each person's "must-haves" can be the things that clash the most when it comes to style. Despite their name, "must-haves" do not necessarily have to be things that have to end up in your shared space, but can act as great starting parts when it comes to combining your roommate's style with your own.
For example, one roommate may like an extremely bright space with lights in every corner and everything with light colors to make space look a lot brighter than it actually is. However, you may like a more dim approach to make your living space look more cozy and comfortable. Those are two very opposing styles, but rather than rule one out in favor of the other, combine them. Rather than putting lights everywhere or holding back the lighting, try finding a middle ground where both of you are happy. Different sources of light and various ways of controlling natural light can be plenty of help. Instead of putting lamps everywhere and getting sheer curtains to let as much natural light in as possible, try getting lighting options that offer different levels of light. Light bulbs with dimming options or yellow versus white light can help control how bright a room can get and help both of you feel comfortable in your space.
Break up space for individual style
Sometimes styles will clash and rather than stopping the clashing of styles, embrace them by placing each style in your living style. Break down the living space that you are working with each space as something you can work on as an individual space. If you are working on decorating your room, designate parts of the space to each person. Try grouping each person's belongings, like one half of the room holds your bed, desk, and other belongings and the other half holds your roommate's belongings. Each person should be able to decorate their half as they please.
Think of them as two separate rooms, if it is harder for you to do so visually, try physically breaking up space. Get a room divider or two to make clear divides between the different sides of the room and styles. Or, instead of a room divider, choose a piece of furniture that you both can use to make the "room divider" more functional. Try out a bookcase - it can serve as the place marker where you and your roommate's sides meet, and also serve as a place where you can store belongings and decor.
Start small when combing styles
Shared spaces like living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms are going to be harder as they are the rooms where everyone has an equal right to the space. Rather than going all-in on one person's style like you may have done with individual sides of a shared room, try placing touches of each person's style into shared spaces to make each person feel like their style is represented in the shared spaces.
There are various ways to incorporate different styles in small ways: decorate pillows, rugs, potted plants, tapestries, art prints, and so much more. These "small touches" can contribute to the living space looking a lot more lived-in and cozy. Combining multiple styles does not have to have visually clashing decor when you limit representative styles to smaller touches throughout a shared space.
Combining your roommate's style with your own does not have to result with you being unhappy in your space. As long as you put effort into making sure each person feels represented in your living space, you both can enjoy a space that reflects the both of you and makes you feel comfortable to call home.
A new semester is here. Whether this means getting a new roommate or being with the same roommate as before, there are a ton of activities this semester that you can do together on campus. These can help you get to know your new roommate or bond even more with a roommate you had before.
Go to an athletic event
For some colleges, football is life. For others, they may be more known for sports such as baseball or hockey. Either way, going to a sporting event with your roommate is a great way to relax while bonding. Even if you are not a big fan of the sport, or of sports in general, your roommate may be. It is also fun cheering your school on against the competitor.
Catch a movie
Some colleges have their own theaters where they play previously released movies at discounted prices. Even if your college does not have this, you can find a nearby movie theater to see a movie at. Make a night of it and grab dinner before or after the movie. Find a movie that you both want to see, or make it a monthly outing and alternate who chooses the movie so that you each get a chance to pick.
Plan a fun night in
Pick a day each week that you can have a night in to spend with your roommate. Whether you have a spa night or just have some wine and watch a movie, staying in can help you bond closer while saving money. You can also invite friends so that your friends can meet your roommate and their friends to help you get even closer.
Attend a campus lecture
If there is a lecture outside of class time, see if your roommate wants to go with you, especially if it is something that either one of you is interested in. Many times, you do not get a chance to take classes you are interested in that are outside of your major. Going to lectures allows you to explore your interests and gives you something to talk about with your roommate.
Join a club together
You and your roommate may have similar interests, so joining a student club or organization is a great way to bond while doing something you both love. If you have different interests, you can join something neutral, such as a service organization or Greek life. Either way, joining a club together is a great way to make new friends, boost your resume, and get to know each other even more.
Retail therapy is fun, especially if you and your roommate are both having a stressful semester. If you can afford it, go shopping with your roommate. Buy new outfits between seasons so that you are prepared. Even if you do not have a ton of money, it is fun to look around and see what new things are out. This gives you ideas for what people can get you for gift-giving occasions. You can also see what your roommate likes so you can get an idea for gifts for them.
Attend a paint night
Even if you are not a good painter, going to a paint night can be a lot of fun. During these events, an instructor walks you through how to paint a predetermined picture. Find a local paint night and sit down with your roommate to decide what painting you want to do. These events can be a fun way to get artwork for your dorm or apartment while making memories with your roommate. If your painting does not turn out as planned, you can laugh about it and remember the fun you had.
Chances are you both have a lot of classwork that needs to be done, which can cut into the time you spend with each other. They say misery likes company, so study together with your roommate. You may have a class that you are struggling with that your roommate is great at, and vice versa. Read over each other’s essays and check each other’s work. You may even have a class or two together, so be each other’s study buddy
Grab something to eat
Everyone loves food, so grab a bite to eat with your roommate. Whether you meet up for lunch or have one night a week where you set aside time to have dinner together, finding this time is crucial for bonding and making sure you are staying in touch on roommate issues. While going to a sit-down restaurant is nice, even ordering takeout or hitting up the popular spots on campus can be fun.
Spending time with your roommate is crucial for surviving the semester since you are living together. Even if you stay in, there are plenty of things you can do together.
Let’s face it guys, getting your first apartment is a big deal. Whether you are paying for it completely on your own or getting help from your parents, having a real place with a roommate or two is one of the first ways to officially categorize yourself as an adult. After all, whether you moved out of your parents’ house or moved out of a dorm, having an apartment is a completely different ballgame.
The responsibilities of living in an apartment are completely different than living at home or in a dorm. While being at home or in a dorm requires a certain amount of independence, having a place to yourself (even if you’re living with roommates) in an apartment requires more of you as there are a variety of things to manage.
Living in an apartment for the first time is a beautiful and eye-opening experience that comes with great freedom and great responsibility. When planning a move into an apartment for the first time, keeping track everything and determining what to have in your place can become overwhelming. If you are about to move into an apartment and need some help, this comprehensive guide will help you figure out everything you need from the living room to the kitchen!
What to Do Before Moving In:
Moving into a new apartment isn’t exclusively about the cost of rent or what your electric bill will be. There’s a lot to take into consideration as well as what to stay on top of. For one, create a budget detailing the costs of moving in, including deposits, moving costs, purchasing items for the apartment, etc. to give you an idea of what money you need. Additionally, here are a few more things to do to ensure your space is ready to move in!
○ Change the locks
○ Check for bugs and rodents/call an exterminator: Before you do all the work to move in furniture, be sure to check for creepy crawlers and rodents. You don’t want to have to go through the hassle of moving everything again if an exterminator needs to come out!
○ Design the layout of your space: Measure the square footage of the area and try to come up with a general idea of where you think your furniture will go. This will make things a lot easier and less overwhelming once you start the physical part of the move.
○ Get your multi-plugs figured out: A blogpost by Unpackt notes the importance of this, writing to, "attach multi-plugs to power outlets in the areas you will need them before your stuff gets in the way."
○ Clean, Clean, Clean!
When You Move In
Now that your move-in day has come and the process is happening, it's easy to get lost in the chaos of unpacking and figuring out what to do with all of the stuff you’ve accumulated. Before you dump out all of your boxes and plop of the couch to take a power nap, there are a few things that can make your life easier!
○ Document Your Space: Before you fill up the apartment with your items, be sure to document the condition of the space first. Adrienne Breaux of Apartment Therapy writes, “If your landlord has asked you to fill out a condition report, do it as soon as you’re able to, and follow their instructions on whether you’re to drop it off to them or send a digital file, and include photos if you can. Also, make plenty of notes and photos to keep yourself.”
○ Put your boxes in their corresponding rooms
○ Introduce yourself to neighbors
○ Work on one room at a time
When moving into your first apartment, you may be compelled to want to get the best furniture that’s out there. Luxury style couches, recliners, and other nice furniture may come across your mind as things you need to have in order to have a nice apartment- but that couldn’t be further from the truth! You don’t have to spend a fortune on furniture for your apartment to be both stylish and comfortable. Rather, you can save a lot of your money and make the process of getting furniture a lot smoother in the process.
There are a few ways you can get furniture on a budget, like getting older and unwanted items from friends or family, for instance! A lot of times, people like to get rid of furniture they have been holding onto for years, and this is a perfect opportunity for you to see if there’s anything you could possibly use! Couches, chairs, tables, desks, dressers, bed frames, etc. that people get rid of are all things that you could use in your new place. Additionally, getting used furniture at a store like Goodwill or even at a local yard sale is a great option because the prices are cheap and affordable.
For the Living Room
The living room is perhaps one of the most important, if not the most important, areas of your apartment. It is the common area where you will most likely spend most of your time or where your guests will congregate when you’re hosting a party. If you’re moving into an apartment on your own for the first time, you definitely won’t have loads of money to spend on an expensive coffee table or luxury wrap-around couch, and that’s ok! As stated earlier, you don’t have to splurge for your place to look nice and put together, all it takes are the right items that can make for the right feng shui. For your living room/area, these items can give you both functionality and balance.
● Couch: A necessary item for seating not only yourself but any guests who come over!
● Coffee Table: A coffee table is nice, but not necessary, to put small items like plants, the remote, or drinks on!
● Lounge Chair(s): When the couch is taken up, an extra lounge chair can help seat an extra person.
● Floor Lamp: If you have overhead lights, sometimes a floor lamp can provide more warm and cozy lighting!
● Table lamps: Similar to floor lamps, table lamps are both decorative and functional.
● Bookshelf: Are you a bookworm? Perhaps a collector of old VHS tapes? A bookshelf is perfect to not only have a place for these items but also to show them as well!
● TV, with stand or fixtures to hang on the wall: Not everyone has a TV in the living room, but it’s definitely great to have when you don’t feel like being in your bedroom or if you want to have a group movie night at your place.
● Desk and Chair: The open area of a living room is the perfect place for a mini-office set up with a desk and chair.
● Alternative seating: When you don’t have a lot of money to spend on chairs, alternative seating like bean bags or couch cushions can do the trick!
For the Kitchen
Some of us love to spend our lives in the kitchen, baking and cooking all kinds of recipes, while others stay as far away from the kitchen as possible. Whether or not you have a good relationship with your kitchen, you need it to serve a functional purpose in your home. Even if you eat ramen noodles every day, there are still basic, necessary items you need to have! You don’t need to have everything on this list, and you can continue to stock up and grow what you have in the future!
○ Pots and Pans: A large frying pan, a medium and a large pan are perfect for just starting out.
○ Dishes: No need to go crazy on dishes, a set of four (two plates, two bowls) is great.
○ Flatware Set: Include forks, spoons and butter knives.
○ Drinking Glasses: Four is fine!
○ Mug: For those days when you need a hot cup of tea or want to enjoy some coffee. I suggest having two or three!
○ Coffee Maker: How can us adults function without some coffee?
○ Crockpot: Not necessary, but it can come in handy for busy days/weeks in preparing meals that can last a few days! You can get a crockpot for less than $20 at Walmart.
○ Measuring Cups and spoons
○ Cutting Board
○ Knife set
○ Cooking Utensils
○ Baking Sheet
○ Oven Safe Dish
○ Oven Mits
○ Dish Towels
○ Dish Drying Rack
○ Garbage Can
Remember that you don’t need to spend a ton of money on fancy, high-quality dishes or a set of pots and pans. Goodwill is an excellent option to get several of these items, as well as places like Walmart or Ikea!
For the Bathroom
Unlike the living room, you probably won’t be spending most of your time in your bathroom (at least, I hope not)! While your bathroom isn’t a highlight of your new apartment, you will definitely use it, as will guests, so it's important to have some essentials for both functionality and comfortability. You don’t have to get all of these items right away, but its good to have a guide to evaluate what you need now versus what can wait!
○ Shower curtain and liner
○ Bath mat
○ Bath Towels
○ Hand towels
○ Hand soap
○ Trash can
○ Plunger, toilet brush, toilet cleaner
○ Storage containers
○ Toilet Paper
○ Toothbrush/toothbrush holder
○ Toiletries (deodorant, hairbrush, perfume, face/body wash, etc.)
For the Bedroom
The bedroom is the space you can call your own at the end of the day when you’re settled after work or when everyone leaves after a weekend party. It’s your own little getaway, so it's important to have the essentials, but also indulge a little bit if you can.
○ Mattress: Like I said, if you can indulge a little bit, go ahead and get yourself a comfortable mattress because sleep is a coveted necessity in adult life. If you have a tight budget, a futon or an air mattress is cool too!
○ Storage, such as a dresser, under the bed containers, or plastic organizers
○ Trash can
As much as some of us wish we could avoid it, cleaning your apartment is necessary for your health and cleanliness. Some people like to go all out, scrub their floors every day, spray the countertop every hour, etc., while others are a bit more laid back about the upkeep of their apartment. Regardless, you’re going to clean your space at some point, and in which case, you’ll need some supplies to help get the job done.
○ Broom and dustpan
○ Feather duster
○ A mop of some sort, the Swiffer Sweeper is great!
○ Disinfectant wipes
○ Laundry detergent
○ Paper towels
○ Dish soap
○ Bathtub/tile cleaner
○ Rubber gloves
○ Trash bags
Yes, there’s a category in this list for stuff that doesn’t have a designated space. Sometimes there are little things here and there that aren’t super important, but you know you’ll be lost without them.
● First aid kit
● Extension cords
● Light bulbs
● Pen, paper, to-do list
● Phone Chargers
● Electronics chargers
● Internet Plan
When moving into your apartment, the first thing on your mind is usually getting all of your furniture and necessities into the place, like couches and bedroom sets, tables and lamps, etc. But once all of that is done, you don’t want to be left with no food in your apartment and an empty kitchen! Though it seems obvious, it can be easy to forget that you need to stock up on food to have in your apartment as well as with everything else! Here are some items you need:
● Nut Butter
● Condiments like ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise
● Cooking Oil
● Canned vegetables
● Canned fruit
● Pasta sauce
● Spices like salt, pepper, etc.
● Snacks like chips, cookies, etc.
Living in an apartment with a roommate for the first time takes a great deal of responsibility, but you also get to learn a lot about yourself along the way. Though they may seem silly now, you will look back at this whole experience, especially all of your “firsts” and remember how well you did on your own for the first time and the great memories that came from them. During the move-in process, remember to ask for help when you need it and coordinate with your roommate, using this checklist as a guide to help you along the way. As always, good luck!
It’s exciting moving into a new place with roommates, especially when it comes to decorating your new home. Not only do you have more options for décor and furniture to choose from, but you also get to plan out the vibe your space will give off with your roommates. Before moving into your new apartment, it’s important to get together with your roommates and coordinate what you already have, what you need to get, and how you will decorate your new home.
Pick a Theme
The first thing you and your roommates should do to coordinate furniture and décor is to pick a theme for the common areas. It’s best to pick a neutral palette so it is easy to find furniture and decorations that will all go together. You can choose to add a splash of color here and there to pull the room together.
A theme doesn’t always have to be a color palette, though. You can choose to have an actual theme such as your school’s mascot and logo or a shared topic you and your roommates absolutely love. This allows you to get creative and have fun decorating your new home.
Make a Checklist
To stay organized while coordinating furniture and décor with roommates, it’s helpful to have a checklist of who is bringing what items. The best way to coordinate is through Google Drive or another cloud-based program so you and your roommates can update the checklist in real-time and you will all be on the same page.
Creating a checklist will also keep you and your roommates from bringing duplicates of items, such as area rugs, televisions, coffee tables, etc. With a checklist, you’ll be organized and know exactly who is bringing what.
Living with roommates can mean you have to compromise a lot. It’s important to go into coordinating furniture and décor with an open mind when it comes to working with your roommates. You may have a completely different vision than your roommates. Sit down with your roommates and talk about how you envision your new home looking. Listen to what they have to say as well and work together to create a vision that everyone approves of.
Sometimes, you may have to give in to certain things that you do not approve of. However, to keep the peace and a good relationship with your roommates, it’s worth it.
Go Shopping Together
If you and your roommates live near each other, spend a weekend going shopping for items for your new apartment. This will help you get excited for moving into your new home and you can talk about the items with your roommate before purchasing them.
If you do not live in the same area, create wish lists on Amazon or add links to your checklist. This allows you and your roommates to have input on what is being purchased for the apartment.
Set a Budget
It’s important to set a budget when it comes to buying furniture and decorations for your apartment. It’s easy to get carried away with buying things that catch your eye. If you are on a tight budget, don’t be afraid to ask family members if they have any furniture they are looking to get rid of. While it may not be the most attractive pieces, you can always find ways to make them match your desired theme. For example, buying a couch cover is much more affordable than buying a brand-new couch.
When purchasing items for the apartment with your roommates, make sure to talk about who will have it when you all move out. Sometimes it is easier for someone to buy one item and the other person to buy another item so that it does not get complicated when it’s time to move.
Make the Space Comfortable
The one thing that makes a house feel like home is comfort. You don’t want to create a space where you and your roommates feel uncomfortable, whether it’s the furniture or atmosphere. So, work together with your roommates to make your new home comfortable for everyone. Since you will be living there for quite some time, you will want to be able to walk into your house and feel relaxed and comfortable.
Coordinating Furniture and Décor with Roommates
Coordinating furniture and décor may be the ultimate test when it comes to living with roommates. Create a space that is comfortable for everyone and work together to decorate it by going shopping together and creating checklists to stay organized. You’ll have to plan out who is bringing which items, talk about themes, and make inevitable compromises. Just remember that no piece of furniture is worth fighting over and ruining your relationship with your roommates so early on into your lease.
Another academic year has come and gone, and with that often comes reflections of all that transpired. Particularly if you’ve just finished your freshman year of college, you’re probably looking back on everything that happened this past year, comparing your feelings and first impressions to your current feelings on the classes you took, the friends you made, and even your roommate.
After all, your freshman year roommate is someone special in many regards. Even if you won’t be rooming with the same person come next fall, there are some things you can’t help but reminisce over now that freshman year has come to a close. Read on for some before and after feelings that you may have experienced at some point relating to your freshman year roommate.
Before: You can learn everything about your roommate on social media before you meet them in person. After all, their pictures and announcements of what they’ve done in the past do a pretty good job of showing who they are, right?
After: By the end of the year (and hopefully well before it), you’ll realize that social media doesn’t paint a complete picture of who your roommate truly is. If you take the chance to get to know them, you’ll discover that your roommate is so much more than just their photos on Instagram or the posts they wrote on Twitter several years ago.
Before: There won’t be any conflicts or disagreements between the two of you.
After: You may end up getting along perfectly fine with your roommate, but there are still bound to be some bumps in the road. Maybe you two have drastically different schedules and sleep habits, which can potentially lead to conflict (e.g. if one of you consistently stays up until 3 a.m. while the other person is trying to get some shut-eye). Or perhaps one of you prefers listening to music while studying, and the other person can’t stand it. Thankfully, those minor disagreements can turn into valuable lessons that help you and your roommate figure out how to compromise. By the end of the year, you can hopefully look back on the dynamic between you and your roommate and realize that you were able to turn potential conflict into opportunities for growth and communication.
Before: Getting along with your roommate will be a piece of cake.
After: In some situations, this may be true, especially if you and your roommate happen to click as soon as you meet each other. However, as with most interactions and relationships, getting along well with your roommate requires showing respect and sometimes compromising. It’s always important to listen to your roommate, be honest with him or her, and treat him or her with respect.
Before: Your roommate will be your best friend, and the two of you will stay up late having deep conversations about life, binge on Netflix and ice cream together, and share clothes all the time.
After: Your roommate, quite simply, may or may not be your best friend at the end of the year. It’s easy to go into college thinking that the person you’ll be living with will be your closest companion, but only time and circumstances can tell. In many cases, you and your roommate would probably get along reasonably well and even spend time hanging out and bonding, at least in the beginning. You may end up becoming friends, but not the closest of friends. In some cases, the two of you might not even get along very well. And, in other cases, you may actually become best friends. The beauty of looking at the year in retrospect is that you can look back on the development of your relationship with your roommate and appreciate it for how it turned out, regardless.
Before: You may expect that your roommate will be very similar to you, whether culturally, economically, socially, etc.
After: Your roommate could very well be similar to you in all those ways, and perhaps the likelihood of such similarities is greater depending on the location and type of college you attend. However, in some circumstances, your roommate could turn out to be very different from you or from what you expect. Maybe they are a different ethnicity than you and come from a cultural background that you consider foreign. They could have a different sexual orientation. Or they might even have been raised with a different background and values. Whatever it is, this is a chance to embrace and celebrate your roommate’s differences by accepting them and taking the opportunity to learn more about them.
No matter how you feel about your freshman year roommate then and now, remember that the time you do or don’t spend with them is a chance for growth in many ways.