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How to Live with People You Don’t Know

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Sharing a space and living with anyone can be tough, but what about living with a roommate you don’t know at all or have never met before? We’ve got some tips on how to deal with a situation that can be tough to navigate. 

1. Take the time to meet or communicate with them before moving in

In order to make the idea of living with someone you don’t know very well less intimidating, try to get to know them before you move in. Get coffee with them or send them a simple message on Facebook. Establish boundaries, discuss what the two of you will bring and contribute to the living space, and try to feel out if you can see each other being friends! This way when you’re living together all the hard decisions will already be decided.

2. Go out of your way to spend time together

Once you’re moved in, it’s important to try to establish some sort of friendship with your new roommate or housemate. Go eat dinner with them or even head to a party together. Try meeting their friends and introducing them to yours! This way you both can incorporate each other into your lives and make living together a breeze.

3. Respect one anothers’ space

When you’re living with your best friend, it’s easy not to worry about having a messy living space or forgetting to do the dishes once in a while. But since you don’t know this person very well yet, let them know that you are a good and respectful roommate so that they build a sense of trust for you.

4. Give what you get

If your new roommate wants to have a friend from home sleep over or needs you to wear headphones when they’re trying to study, respect that (unless you truly do not feel comfortable with it). If you are respectful of your roommate’s wishes than they are more likely to be respectful of yours when the time comes.

5. Remember that you don’t have to be best friends

If you end up coming to the conclusion that the two of you are simply different people, that’s okay. A roommate or housemate definitely does not have to be your closest friend. As long as you can be civil and respect each other’s privacy and wishes, you’ll have nothing to worry about.

Images/GIFS: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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Lauren Crociati

U Mass Amherst

Journalism major, alternative music enthusiast, lover of life, lover of food. 
Contributors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst