How to Be a Good Roommate?- Merey (Kazakhstan)

Photo Credit:Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Living with a roommate is one of the most valuable and challenging experiences you might get from being a university student. You know that you’re going to share your living space with somebody for at least a semester and sometimes it can be difficult and overwhelming. So, how would you make your stay together more enjoyable and positive?

Here are a few tacit rules of roommate etiquette that can foster a healthy roommate relationship:

Pay attention to expectations

Each one of us has our lifestyle habits and expectations, especially when it comes to sleeping schedules and cleanliness. Set expectations and boundaries from the very beginning of moving-in together. Let both of you be on the same page. Yet it’s never too late to discuss your needs and wants on the use of the common area, food, quiet hours and different responsibilities.

Be ready to communicate

Remember that clear and open communication is a cornerstone of any relationship and a key for harmonious co-living. Instead of anticipating understanding from your roommate and being passive-aggressive to each other, choose to talk through any issues and preferences as soon as possible. Because most of the time, even if your roommate is willing to be understanding, he or she may not be able to read your mind and intuitively try to adjust an annoying behavior. Share your concerns. Don’t hesitate to speak up and touch upon delicate matters, but also don’t forget to express your gratitude when there’s an opportunity.

Learn how to come to an agreement

Compromising is always an option. A valuable option! When you bring up an issue that bothers you, don’t blame your roommate. It’s not effective to make complaints and dictate terms. Take into account your roommate’s feelings and preferences. Stay flexible and willing to find ways for compromising. Nothing will be worked out unless you will be less stubborn and more compassionate.

Respect each other’s personal space and privacy

It’s particularly important for cohabitation to be able to do your activities in the same room. Give each other some space and respect the need for quiet time. You don’t have to spend all your time doing something together. Learn how to focus on yourself.

Keep the noise down

As you don’t live on your own, you should mind the presence of your roommate and try not to disturb him or her with your loud activities. Your roommate may be concentrating on work tasks and assignments or trying to sleep, so be cautious of the amount of noise you make. Wear headphones when you’re watching or listening to something and leave the room when you’re on the phone.

Discuss what you want to share

Whether it is food, tableware or anything else, remember that your roommate’s stuff belongs only to him or her. Unless you agreed to share, make sure to ask your roommate for permission to use anything to avoid arguments. It’s an important point because your perception of what is appropriate to share may be different from your roommate’s. When in doubt, speak to your roommate, just in case.

Follow the golden rule of relationships

Treat your roommate in a way you would like to be treated. It’s as simple as that. More likely it will pay off in the long term as he or she will treat you accordingly with the same level of respect.

What if I still don’t get along with my roommate?

  • If all else fails and you still struggle to talk some sense into your roommate, try to stay open-minded and acknowledge the difference between you two. Embrace that you may have come from contrasting life backgrounds and that you may get used to different lifestyles. Be open to a new perspective.
  • If you feel that all your efforts to handle the situation have been in vain, you may also review your expectations. What if you were being too demanding on your roommate? Take a moment to think about what you could personally do to improve the relationship. Take a positive lead. You could be a trigger of a positive change.
  • However, if you’re strongly affirmed that you don’t have anything in common and don’t click with your roommate, keep in mind that you don’t have to be best friends. There is no need to force friendship and put a strain on your relationship. Try to accept him or her for who they are. Even if you live with a hard-to-handle roomie, sometimes there’s nothing you can do. Just take a deep breath, let it go and remember that there’s always a lesson in every life experience we go through. View it from the perspective of getting more patient.

Being a good roommate is not easy. And sometimes living with someone can be complicated. But when you are willing to compromise and respect each other’s needs and preferences, it’s doable.

Photo by @bengalmarcel

The upshot is that it’s important to be friendly, polite and respectful so that both of you could feel comfortable living together. Because in the long run, it’s rewarding to put in efforts in the quality roommate relationship and realize that potentially he or she is becoming your life-long friend.

And finally…

Appreciate your roommate! Strive to be a better roommate! Be kind and share positive vibes!