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Experiences

A guide to finding off-campus roommates

The stress of finding a freshman roommate through various Facebook groups, OU websites, and mutual friends is difficult, but finding off-campus housemates is brutal! It’s hard enough to try to find the perfect house and location, but also finding other people who aren’t gross is unrivaled. As someone who as had to find off-campus housing for two years, I have my fair share of stories, but here is a list of tips for finding the perfect housemate.

Cleanliness

This should be at the top of everyone’s list, but it must be said again. Do not room with someone who isn’t aligned with your idea of what clean is. If you already think that someone is dirty, living with them certainty won’t change anything. And if you’re dirty, make sure that your housemates are ok with your mess.

Food

This is also extremely important, but make sure you have a conversation about groceries. No one wants to come home after a long day of classes to an empty refrigerator and zero food. If your housemates want to share food, make sure that you come up with a system on splitting the bill. If they want to get their own food, make sure that you set boundaries on what food is theirs. This is imperative to the serenity of your house, and it could be a make-or-break situation.

Rent Money

This must be said because I’ve known some people who just forget, but find people who will pay their rent! On time! A late payment or not paying at all may effect you personally, financially, and emotionally! This can also be said on finding people who are accountable and timely.

Noise

Make sure that everyone in the house is on the same page with noise, parties, friends, and get-togethers. You can have a party at your house every night or never have anyone over at all, just make sure everyone is on board with the plan. This will probably be the most relevant when people are trying to study or when it’s your best friend’s birthday.

Vibe

Your housemates don’t have to be your best friends, but I think it is important that everyone gets along in some kind of way. Make sure to find people that make you feel comfortable in your shared space because living in a house is a lot longer than living in a dorm. If something goes wrong, you may be able to sublease, but that may be kind of stressful for the whole group.

Overall, living in a house or off-campus is really fun and it shouldn’t be too stressful if you plan it right. Just make sure that whoever you’re living with are decent human beings and you should be good. Have fun with it by buying some plants and house décor, and get ready for a crazy year with your friends!

Lily Biros is the Vice President Co-Campus Correspondent at Ohio University. She is a third-year student majoring in Strategic Communication at E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She enjoys writing, eating, and rollerblading and is apart of the Women's Ultimate Frisbee team.
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