Roommates: We’ve all had them or will have them at one point in our lives. Living with other people, whether you’re used to it or not, can be difficult – but there are some ways you can make it easier.
I recently experienced the life of having roommates for the first time this year. It would be a lie to say I wasn’t worried, but fortunately it worked out for the better. Not only do my three roommates and I manage to live under the same roof, but we actually get along! We get along so well in fact that we’re almost inseparable.
But it wasn’t like that at first. Like all good things, it takes a little work to make your living environment with roommates a nice place to come home to. So whether you will in the near future or are currently living with roommates, follow these three steps to grow towards an easy-going household.
1. Give and Receive Space (Even if You Lack It)
I understand living in a tiny eight by eight room leaves little to the imagination in terms of space, but it’s vital to have it. As much as you may seem to get along together in that tiny space most of the time, it isn’t healthy not to have alone time. Stress gets the best of us, and it may seem easy to take our frustrations out on those nearest to us, so find time to give your roommates space when they need it.
Make a schedule with your roommates to see when both of you just need to be alone. This can be during finals week or important business meetings, or even just after work. As much as my roommate and I get along, we know when to leave each other alone and let the stress subside so that everyone can get alone wonderfully.
2. Make an Effort and Vice Versa
It may seem easy to get caught up in doing your own thing and completely forget about your roommates, but you’ll never be close with them if you don’t at least make an effort. Invite your roommates with you when you go out to engage in late night talks and just learn about each other. Also don’t ignore efforts they make to try to get along with you. They might ask you to if you want to take a trip to that new overrated cupcake vending machine. Go, even if you aren’t interested – you never know how that trip can bring you closer together.
It’s not always easy finding ways to get along with your roommates, but making an effort doesn’t hurt. As scared as you are about living with roommates, imagine them feeling the exact same way. I know I feared living with people I had nothing in common with, but I made an effort to find out how we could find commonalities. For the first week I lived in my apartment we couldn’t hold a conversation with each other but now we can’t get each other to shut up. It all takes an effort to live in harmony with roommates.
3. Be More of Hannah and Marnie Season One Type Roommates than Season Two
If you lost me at the Girls reference, basically I mean don’t start hating each other over petty things. Find the good in each other even through the bad. If they don’t do their dishes but are an amazing cook, that’s the good – always try to make the positive outweigh the negative. Living with a roommate is a time in your life that could be hell, but it can also be the only time you ever get to live with someone who is your best friend, who sees you at your worst and still listens to your rants at 2 am about pizza (I have done this, no lie.) There are things that you all need to accept about one another in order to live in harmony, accept the bad and embrace the good.
Living with roommates is definitely one of life’s challenges to us but it’s not as hard as it seems. Working on your relationships with your roommates really does pay off in the long run.