In your lifetime, you’re going to go through your fair share of roommates. Some will be awesome, some will be very not awesome, some will be your friends, some will turn into ‘just somebody that you used to know’, some will be your personal reason for the existence of whiskey, some will remind you of Kimmy Gibbler, some will make you wish you never left your parents’ house, and some will be the holy grail of roommates.
I remember being so excited to finally get my very own place. It wasn’t a dorm and it wasn’t the sorority house. It was off campus and all mine…along with four other girls.
I remember my mom stomping on my parade, saying something along the lines of ‘having roommates can get complicated’. I batted aside her comments and told her we were all really cool girls and everything was going to be fine.
Oh man. Five girls in one house…just add liquor. For the record, there were also mass amounts of good times and memories I will cherish for a lifetime. But, I must confess, (long sigh) #lakme strikes again. That’s my mom for those of you who are just tuning in. She was right. Having roommates can indeed get complicated.
Just because you are friends does NOT mean you would be good roommates. TRUST me. There are lifestyles and personality types to be taken into consideration. Don’t get me wrong, I adore all of my friends but not all of them are as tidy as I prefer and others are TOO tidy. No one wants to live with a Monica, unless you are a Monica.
Especially and mostly if you’re in college, imagine that at any moment the entire place could blow up into smitherines. This is how you should gauge what to contribute to the house. Collegiates, while so fun, are bi-polar alcoholic lifesize antfarms. Your house WILL look like the set from Animal House at one point or another. Even if it’s just a day. If you are gonna lose your mind and ugly cry if you come home to see someone using your wok to make fettuccini alfredo, don’t bring your wok. Trust me. Maybe keep grandma’s couch and fine china at home.
Remember that not everyone was raised the way you were. Dynamics vary from household to household. So as far as chores, dishes and “house rules”, there needs to be a conversation. Be PROACTIVE instead of REACTIVE. Otherwise, you’re gonna get all crazy every time there’s a pile of dishes in the sink and when they are still there a week later and you ask your roommate if she could please clean her two week old dishes you’re gonna come home to find those plates in the trash can and then end up pulling said dishes out of the trash and placing them on her bed to prove a point. Hypothetically speaking.
Before stepping one single foot with a box of any of your things in it through the door, know the game plan for rent, paying the bills and costs for household items. I promise if you do this, it will stop the arguments about toilet paper before they even begin. There is enough stress on this planet…toilet paper should not be one of them. And DO NOT be the roommate that is constantly having to be hunted down for money. For starters, it’s awkward but also, grow up. You are not living with bounty hunters. Pay your share on-time always. Fin.
Attention all single kids!! You need to learn how to share. I kid, I kid. Kinda. I don’t care how many siblings you have or don’t have, sharing is a must. Whether it be clothes, food, the TV, parking spots, the shower, the mirror,the DVR- whatever it is, you’re gonna have to share. After all, you are sharing a living space. Please keep in mind that sharing requires communication and permission. Sharing is NOT eating your roommates food and then refusing to admit eating said food when she gets home from work super excited about a meal that no longer exists. Hypothetically speaking.
Be respectful. At the end of the day, this person/these people are who you come home to every night. It is zero fun having to walk around on pins and needles in your own home. So if there is a problem, hash it out like the grown up you’re trying to be. If there is something you need to say, say it. Don’t write it on a piece of paper, a post-it, a toilet paper square, or a pizza box- it just comes off as being passive aggressive. Use your voice. If you want to borrow something, ask. Remember that you decided to be roommates for a reason and I would presume that you, at the very least, LIKE this person in one way or another. So when times are tough and you find yourself yelling at eachother at 2 in the morning about shampoo and Doritos, remember that.
My ultimate advice would be to live by yourself. I’m actually mad that it took me so long to find the oasis that is my studio apartment. I don’t have to answer to anyone. I can drink straight from the jug. My food never goes missing. If there is a mess, I only have myself to blame. There is no judgement except my own and it’s magical and amazing and a beauty every person on this planet should experience at some point in their life. I can turn on my AC knowing I won’t wake up in the middle of the night Greek sweating because my roommate adjusted the thermostat so she could save $10 to NOT buy paper towels or detergent. Hypothetically speaking.
So to all of my former and future roommates, cheers! I apologize for all the times you woke up to upside down cups all over the house. I have since learned how to properly get rid of spiders. And to the rest of you, good luck! Happy living situations to you all!!