Whether you’re in a dorm or an apartment, it can often be challenging living with others. You and your roommates may get along great and not have any problems, or you might want to pull your hair out because they drive you crazy. Either way, it’s great to set some common rules to live by. Here are three things you should be doing with your roommates that will keep relations between everybody happy and healthy!
1. Write down emergency contact info for each roommate and store it in a safe place. You don’t need to know your roommates’ whereabouts at all hours of the day. However, if you haven’t heard from someone for a few days and haven’t noticed any trace of them in the apartment, it’s a good idea to contact a few people closest to them. Each of you should write down the names and phone numbers of 4-5 people that talk to you or see you enough to know where you are or where you were last. This might sound kind of ominous, but it never hurts to do this!
2. Designate chores. I know we’re not in middle school anymore and we don’t have our parents telling us to clean our rooms; however, if you’re the one always cleaning up the kitchen, unloading the dishwasher, and sweeping the floor, that’s only going to build up your frustration and make you hostile toward them. Set up some kind of system where one roommate is in charge of taking out the trash, another is in charge of cleaning the bathroom, etc. You can even trade chores each week so you don’t get sick of doing the same thing. It only makes sense to evenly divide up chores; if everyone is using the kitchen, you shouldn’t be the only one cleaning it.
3. Outline rules, especially for guests. I have no problem with my roommates having friends or their boyfriends over to the apartment. Nonetheless, I do have a problem with their friends eating all of my food in the fridge, or their boyfriend seeing me walk out of the shower in just a towel. So… set some basic guidelines. Have your roommates tell you when they have guests coming over, especially if they stay the night. There’s nothing wrong with asking your roommates to be quiet if their friends are being loud and you’re trying to get some sleep before a big test the next morning. There’s also nothing wrong with setting quiet hours in your apartment. That might seem a little childish, but if your roommate is running the blender at 3 a.m. and you have to get up for an 8 a.m. lecture class, the last thing you need is a strawberry banana wake up call in the middle of your sleep cycle. If you hold all of these feelings in, you will become passive aggressive toward them and eventually erupt which is no good. Don’t ruin a friendship because of small things. If you can’t speak up about the most basic things that drive you crazy, you’ve got bigger issues to deal with.