A new year of college brings new college roommates! Living with new roommates can mean new memories as well as new challenges. Often, roommates come with different living patterns and bring old habits to a communal space. You deserve to feel at home in your apartment and to be able to have a structured environment. Your living space can significantly affect how you feel about yourself and the people around you.
To avoid long-term issues and unhappiness, it’s essential to consider the agreements you and your roommates have in place. Your landlord or living space may likely have already pre-set rules or obligations. However, you can take that a step further to ensure that your home is where you want to be. Use the tips below to get started on dealing with difficult college roommates!
1 – Review Landlord Policies
The first step before setting clear boundaries and guidelines for your living space is to review what policies your landlord already has in place. Each living space varies; sometimes, there are strict rules and other times, it is more relaxed. Regardless, having everyone in your apartment be on the same page is crucial. Ensure you have all reviewed the landlord’s policies and are aware of the community rules. It may also be helpful in your living area to have a document easily accessible and readable as a reminder of the guidelines.
2 – Establish Boundaries
Every person is different, and what they want from a college experience is different. With college comes many levels of new exploration and activities. Sit down with the people you live with and determine what type of living space you want and what activities you will allow. Start by referring to your lease or landlord policies, and then establish what you absolutely cannot tolerate on a personal level. Discussions around boundaries can be difficult, and it’s essential to remain open-minded.
3 – Remember Your Priorities
While many things can go wrong in a roommate situation, it’s essential to narrow down which issues and concerns are a priority. Small things may bother you, but they don’t affect your daily happiness or safety. Those are immediate issues if there is anything possibly putting you in danger or not allowing you to be successful.
4 – Understand Your Roommates
When living with new people, it’s always good to remember that everyone comes from different backgrounds and experiences. How you have grown up and learned to live is likely very different from others. It’s not usually until you live with other people that you realize the little quirks that make or break your living experience. Amid issues, remind yourself that others’ experiences play a significant role in how they create their space to be.
5 – Speak With Your Landlord
Sometimes you’ve attempted to work out living issues directly with your college roommates, and there are no solutions. If the problems persist and it’s significantly affecting your everyday life, it’s going to be essential to speak with your landlord, resident manager, or property manager. Often, it can be helpful to bring in a different opinion and someone who does not live in the apartment.
6 – Handle Issues Immediately
One of the biggest mistakes in roommate situations is waiting to handle issues. The more that time passes, the more resentment will build, and the issues will only worsen. Both parties will be more upset if the issue is prolonged and not discussed when it occurs. Remind yourself that it’s ok to have difficult conversations, and you will feel much better when it is resolved.
7 – Communicate Clearly & Often
Regardless of your relationship with the people you live with, it would help if you communicated regularly to discuss your living space. The longer you go without communicating, the more likely things around your home will fall through the cracks. Consider starting a group message or a weekly meeting time where you can review how things are going and how they can improve.
8 – Divide Tasks Equally
Living together comes with specific tasks that you need to divide everyone equally. One issue that roommates commonly encounter is someone taking all responsibilities. When you first start living together, create a list of assignments and the routine of how they will be accomplished. An organized task structure will ensure that the burden is not falling on one individual, and that will help you avoid even further issues down the road.
9 – Determine Time Policies
Different schedules may likely become an issue with your roommates. You likely have different times for class, work, social activities etc. One of the best ways to solve this issue is to set up times for curfew or use communal spaces. With each roommate’s best interest in mind, you can set guidelines for which times are acceptable to have people over and which are not. Time can be one of the most significant conflicts when sharing a space, so be prepared to communicate beforehand.
10 – Make A Roommate Contract
If you’re continually running into issues with your college roommates with little resolve, it may be time to establish a roommate contract. A roommate contract will outline what everyone expects and how to uphold them. It’s easy for things to get messy when it’s all done by word of mouth, and having a written contract can make a huge difference. You can avoid much more trouble down the road with proper documentation!
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Categorised in: Apartment Living
This post was written by Isabella Housel