Keeping your roommates happy

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Graphic by Lena Yang

Living with a roommate or multiple roommates is a drastically different experience from living with family members at home, especially if it’s your  first year learning the ropes of how to make such relationships work.

Although getting along with your roommate may be difficult at times throughout the year, the reality is that your friendships may even outgrow your initial thoughts. And since you will be spending most of your time with them, you have to make sure that you get along.

So, how do you get your roommate to love, cherish and support your evidently studious, hard-working and school-loving self? Well, it’s simple!

Clean up
Gentlemen, this means you too! Consistently dealing with your dirty dishes, laundry, bathroom and other aspects sooner rather than later are the key to building trust, as it demonstrates a high level of maturity and responsibility.

Take initiative and strike before conflict arises over whose dirty dishes have been collecting dust in the sink for longer than necessary. Be clear from the start about who can take on which household responsibilities.

Respect their property
Never assume that borrowing your roommate’s favourite top or eating their last cookie is okay without asking first.

Believe it or not, disrespecting your roommate’s things is one of the main reasons why these relationships break. When given the green light, take tremendously good care of their things.

Always accommodate
Evidently, your roommate’s lifestyle is bound to be slightly different from your own.  Having to compromise about who gets to watch their favourite show in the evening with one television in the house is bound to occur.

Make a fair schedule and be clear about it.

Be Fair
You may not always know what is going on in your roommates’ lives, but if you notice them burying their noses in the books for an upcoming midterm, then respectfully don’t have a swarm of people over to drink before Foxy Tuesday.

Compromising their peace and quiet during such a stressful period isn’t fair, especially if you expect the same kind of respect reciprocated in the future.

Finances
There is nothing more frustrating than when one roommate is late to pay their part of the bill. While it is frustrating, there is no use blaming them and making them feel guilty. It is always important to have a system when organizing payment due dates.

Make sure that you talk to them and enforce the importance of getting their money for the bills on time. If this persists, then it would be time to have a civil house meeting so it fully gets through their head.

Communication
Sometimes we forget to do the easiest thing in the world, which is just talking to one another about what we’re feeling.

Rather than allowing initial small problems to gradually build into larger problems, solve them immediately and start by communicating to your roommate your thoughts, concerns and suggestions for fixing them.

Remember that having roommates is a business contract. Everyone pays rent and that house is all of yours. Be fair and stay cool, calm and collected to endure an extraordinary year with your roommates.

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