You've graduated from high school…what's next? Chances are you're looking at housing options and suitable roommates. If you plan on living on campus, the university may assign you a roommate. If you choose to live off-campus, you'll be able to select a roommate yourself.
Either way, chances are it's the first time you'll be sharing a room with someone who isn't family. While the process can be exciting, it does pose some challenges. Getting along and adapting to roommates takes time.
Good news: we've compiled a list of tips that will help. Read on to learn more!
1. Prioritize Communication
This is perhaps the most important thing you can do to live peacefully with your roommate. Neither you nor they are mind readers. If something is bothering you, or you feel like something needs to be addressed, discuss it with them.
You rarely solve an issue if you keep your feelings bottled in. By prioritizing communication, you ensure everyone's on the same page regarding housing rules and boundaries.
No one said having a roommate would be easy. Every issue has a solution as long as you can meet each other halfway and compromise.
For example, you may not enjoy having guests over, but your roommate's family lives in the area. Compromising means allowing friends and family to come over every so often. Be sure you've set ground rules that you both agree to.
Another example is bedtime. What does your night routine look like? Do you go to sleep early or late? Compromising would mean keeping noise levels to a minimum by 8 pm when you're used to staying up until 10 pm.
Let's say you and your roommate have similar living habits. This is great! However, there will still be areas where you'll need to compromise to establish a healthy living space. Be open to this idea, and you'll have an easier time living with your roommate.
3. Set Boundaries
Sharing is nice; however, some items are off-limits. Discuss these items from the start.
Explain to your roommate that, for example, you're uncomfortable with the idea of them using your hairbrush. Perhaps they don't clean up after they use the kitchen or leave the dishes to you.
Set boundaries by going over what you're comfortable with vs. what you're not comfortable with. Ask your roommate to do the same so you both have a better understanding. This may not seem like a big deal at first, but after a while, seeing someone eat the snacks you bought will get tiresome.
4. Exchange Emergency Information
Roommates usually end up knowing your university schedule. They know when you're in the dorm, when you're out, or when you have classes. It's a good idea to exchange emergency contact information.
Perhaps you end up in the hospital. Who should your roommate call? Do you have any medical issues they should know about beforehand? Any allergies?
It's important to be safe and look out for each other. Many times, roommates or people who live together are the first ones to notice things are off or something is wrong.
5. Take The High Road When Needed
This can be hard for some, but learning to take the high road in certain situations can prevent ruining relationships. Set your pride aside. If there's anything that bothers you, ask yourself if it's worth getting into a fight over.
Sometimes, all you need to do is take a deep breath and come back to the issue later. Most times, that problem won't even matter anymore.
6. You Don't Have To Be Friends
Good friends don't always make the best roommates, just like good roommates won't always make good friends. But who knows? Maybe this ends up being the beginning of an amazing friendship. You'll have to learn as you go where you want your boundaries, but you don't have to be best friends or hang out outside the dorm room.
If you feel that you like to be alone, knowing your roommate's schedule lets you know what time the apartment will be empty or quiet. Of course, that doesn't mean you should avoid your roommate all day. Be sure to follow the other tips for an amicable relationship with your roommate.
7. Divide Chores
Sadly, your dorm will not come with a housekeeper. That means you will have to come to an agreement on who does what and how it should be done. Someone's idea of “cleaning the bathroom” could be wiping the sink and sweeping. Others won't find the bathroom clean unless they clean the toilet, shower, mop the floors, wash the towels, mats, etc.
Does washing the dishes include drying them and putting them away? Or do you each wash what you use? These may seem like tiny details, but if you're clear on your chore schedule and how you both prefer things to be done, everyone will be happy.
8. Create A Roommate Agreement
University students aren't always taught how to live amicably with roommates. However, creating a roommate agreement is a great place to start.
The agreement needs to include boundaries, rules, expectations, and anything you and your roommates agree on. Give everyone a copy of the contract or code. This helps in case you forget what you agreed on or if there's a disagreement. You can go back to see what you both agreed to.
Get To Know Each Other And Have Fun!
Whether you're being paired by the university or you know the person you're rooming with, having a roommate takes time to adjust to. Aside from all the housing rules and compromises you will make together, don't forget to get to know each other and make the best of the time you will be spending together.
Friendships won't always blossom from roommates, but the ones that do make living together much more fun. You don't have to spend every single second of your free time with them, but you should make an effort to enjoy the time you do spend around each other.
Reach Out Today
If you’re looking for housing with roommates in the Rexburg, Idaho, area, Hillcrest Townhouses offers affordable BYU-I rooms for those seeking balance and like-minded university living standards. With these tips in mind, you'll be one step ahead of the game to procuring your ideal living space.