Andrea Wrights tells us the key to living peacefully with other people.
Starting college is exciting, whether it is your first year or your final year. It is especially exciting for those who are moving out of home: new living arrangements means new roommates. Chances are these people will be complete strangers, but that is what college is all about; trying new things and meeting new people (as well as learning, of course). In a perfect world these people will become some of your closest friends and living together will be a fantastic experience, but that doesn’t mean they might not get on your nerves from time to time. Living with the same people for a long period of time means that you are not going to agree with every little thing so it is important to keep an open mind and remember these few pieces of advice when dealing with roommates.
 

Passive aggressive notes do not work.

In fact they will probably make everything worse. If someone has done something that has ticked you off just talk to them about it. That’s the best thing to do in most situations. Even if it is just about washing dishes or replacing the toilet paper then be straight about it because chances are they have no idea that it might be causing a problem plus it shows respect on both ends.

 

Make your room a personal and relaxing space that you can enjoy spending time in.

Having some ‘me’ time is just as important as socialising so make it a place that you enjoy being for that short term escape when everyone is stressing about exams and assignments.

 

Sharing is not always caring.

Borrowing without asking always seems to be a common problem between roommates. I understand that you paid for your food and it shouldn’t be used without your permission. Make it clear from the get go that you have no problem with it once someone says it to you or replaces it. Set the record straight from day one and hopefully you won’t need to bring the subject up again. If you really don’t want to share then label your stuff or give everyone a shelf in the fridge.
 

Asking for the party to be kept down a bit does not make you a party pooper.

No one can keep going seven days a week and sometimes not wanting to go out is as good a reason as any - especially during exam season or final year. If you are not a party person and your roommates are or vice versa then there has to be a mutual respect for that.

 

Keep the balance.

In an ideal situation everyone would do their bit with the cleaning - after all you all want that deposit back at the end of the lease. Everyone is different so find out who your housemates are, what they are like and learn to live together in an environment that everyone is happy in. No one wants to feel left out or uncomfortable either. Be aware of what you are doing in the house also. Feel free to hoover the living room or stock up on the tea bags. If you have a suggestion about the house then make it. If housemate meetings need to become a thing then so be it. Communication is key when living with other people. Everyone wants it to be a home just as much as you do.