Roommates: 5 Tips on How to Be a Good Housemate
Healthy communication is the key to success when living with a roommate. Here are 5 tips for creating a good environment for you and your roomies.
Congratulations on this new step in your educational career! Moving away from home for school is a new and exciting milestone that's so important for many students as they build independence, autonomy, and really learn more about themselves as an individual.
Here at King's we are still accepting applications to our residences, so feel free to check out more information and apply here.
Being a good roommate doesn't mean you're silent all the time or never home — in fact, it's the complete opposite! Being a good roommate means that you respect your roommate(s) by maintaining the standards set out when you first moved in.
Step 1: Have a roommate meeting
In this meeting, discuss what it is exactly that you both need to cohabitate in a friendly, productive, and happy manner. Talk about the difference between private versus shared spaces.
If you're sharing a room, are you comfortable with your roommate or their friends using your half of the room, or would you like them only to use their half and vice versa. Talk about shared spaces; are there specific dates that you don't want visitors coming over? Perhaps you agree to allow visitors Friday through Sunday and would like Monday through Thursday visitor-free?
Talk about cleanliness of shared spaces. Are dishes a once a day task, before you leave the kitchen, once a week? Regardless of what you come up with, it's crucial that you do go over living styles and boundaries right from the get-go so everyone is on the same page.
These are just a few examples; the more you think about what shared living means, the more scenarios you'll come up with!
Step 2: Get to know your roommate
Remember that this is a new experience for your roommate as well! If they're a stranger to you, you're a stranger to them. Get to know one another!
Your shared interests are a great way to bond and form strong friendships. What kind of shows do you both like? Do you play any sports? Plan friendly outings: Go out to dinner or to the arcade.
Sharing experiences with one another is the best way to make fast friends. Becoming friends with your roommate is such a wonderful and special experience and can often lead to lifelong friendships!
Step 3: Be thoughtful
If your roommate lets you know they have an exam the next morning, don't watch your TV on full volume or have friends over until the early hours.Be considerate and make accommodations! Maybe you watch TV on your phone or computer with your headphones in, or you visit your friend and their house and make sure you're quiet coming home. It's the Golden Rule: Treat your roommate how you would like them to treat you.
Step 4: Check in with one another
Having the original roommate meeting at the beginning of the year is great, but as the year progresses, things may change, or you or your roommate may want to raise some concerns. Make sure you set either a monthly (or even weekly) roommate check-in meeting where you allow one another to share any issues you have.
Remember that when receiving feedback, you don't need to take that feedback personally! Hear their concerns with an open mind and try to view issues from another perspective.
The same can be said in reverse: when sharing concerns, be mindful that the other person most likely isn't doing these things intentionally. It's important that the foundation for these conversations is open communication as a team. Think of it as "both of you vs the problem," and not a "you vs them" situation.
Step 5: Enjoy your time
First year is such an exhilarating and amazing experience — make sure that you take the time to stop and smell the roses.
Try new things, make new friends, share experiences, and be sure to put yourself out there. Having a roommate to go to orientation week events and concerts and other fun activities is a huge bonus, so make sure you let your roommate know just how much you appreciate them!
Wishing you all the best in your first year!
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