I’m sure you have heard a hundred variations of this story. The typical roommate “horror story.” Earlier this week, my mother shared her story about her roommate and now I’m here with mine. Except I didn’t have any “crazy” roommates, I just had THREE who were just…ugh. So please, do not let this sway you from going in blind – because the experience itself helped me grow as a person, and some people have AWESOME luck with it and find their best friend! Either way, please learn from my mistakes.
I’m going to cut straight to the chase here and then give you tips on how to deal: I had a roommate and two suitemates. We shared living quarters that included two bedrooms, a bathroom and a living room. During first semester, I was as close as could be with my roommates. The four of us partied together, studied together, ate in the caf together and stayed up late talking together. Following Christmas break and beginning with the second semester, everyone began to diverge onto different paths. We ended up discovering the four of us were nothing alike. My roommates were very petty, had a preferred group of friends and thrived off of drama, whereas I prefer low-maintenance living and having a large group of friends. Needless to say, things ended badly between all of us, and I speak to none of them anymore.
If you are living or are about to be living with people you don’t know, don’t let this freak you out! It doesn’t happen to everyone. But to help save yourself in the end, follow these tips to make sure your roommate arrangement goes smoothly. So here is how to NOT put yourself in my situation:
- Don’t agree to share things personal items. This will save you in the end if things don’t work out. Even if your roommate seems to be your ideal BFF in the first week, don’t agree to sharing! Be nice about it but just make an excuse such as, “Sorry, I’m just OCD about my stuff!” Of course, share things like toilet paper/closet space, but don’t tell your roommate she can wear your clothes whenever she wants.
- Lay down ground rules. I did not do this because it sounded corny. Huge mistake. So many of my friends made chore schedules and laid down general rules like “no dishes on the bathroom counter” or “no dirty clothes on the floor.” This will prevent so many arguments down the road.
- Be careful who you place your trust in. In college, it’s great because no one cares what you do! Everyone is worried about themselves. But this also means everyone has their own personal agendas. So before pouring out every deep dark secret you have to your roommate(s), get to know them. Go out with them, meet their friends, see them interacting with other people, etc. You’ll know whether you can trust her or not.
- Don’t limit yourself. Be social! Don’t confine your social group to your roommate(s) or neighbors. Talk to people in your classes, down the hall, on different floors, in different dorms, working behind the sandwich station at the caf, etc. Don’t rely on your roommates for a social life. It’s college: everyone is looking to be social. It’s not high school anymore: if you smile and say hi to a stranger walking to class, nine times out of ten, they’ll smile back.
What’s your story? Share it in the comments!
Don’t have a good roommate story? Then read some other hilarious tales about roommates here.