Pros and Cons of Having a Roommate

Interacting with people is a fundamental daily part of life; for some, this human contact is what energizes them, while others prefer to recharge on their own. With this in mind, the decision about whether or not to have a roommate can be difficult. There are many pros and cons to having a college roommate, so it is up to you to reflect on who you are as a person, and decide what works best for you!


1. Practice Living with Others

It is likely that at some point in your life, you will have to live with others. Whether it be with family, friends, or significant other, it might be a good idea to practice living cohesively now, so that you are more prepared in the future. When sharing a space with others, especially one as small as a dorm, you will quickly realize the value of having compromise and patience. Having a roommate will help you learn how to function and exist in an environment where you constantly need to be aware of another person’s thoughts and feelings.

2. Learn to Share

While this may not seem like a positive to some people, a major pro of having a roommate is having someone to share things with. If you have the same size and style, you could instantly double your wardrobe. Borrowing clothes and getting ready with a friend can make a party or a night out that much more fun. Having a roommate also really comes in handy if you realize you forgot something at home or want to borrow a snack—but only if you have their permission, of course.

3. Gain Companionship

An obvious upside to having a roommate is the constant companionship. If you are someone who is an extrovert or doesn't like to be alone, having a roommate is definitely for you. Unlike high school, where you needed to say good bye to your friends and head home, having a roommate is basically like having a 24/7 slumber party.

4. Motivation

Having a roommate can also be a great source of motivation. If they're doing homework, heading to the gym, or getting ready for a fun night out, you might be motivated to be more productive or social as well. Sometimes when you're alone, it is easier to fall into the comfort of your bed or procrastinate instead of doing the work or activities you should be doing. When you are surrounded by others doing things, their presence can help to push you to work hard, and take more risks as well.


1. Less Privacy

As you might expect, having a roommate does mean less privacy. If you live in a dorm, you no longer have the luxury of going to your room and shutting the door when you need space from the world. Having a roommate also requires having a lot of trust, since they have easy access to all your belongings when you aren't there. While this is not often an issue, living alone may be the best option for you if you are someone who values their privacy and alone time.

2. Different Schedules and Routines

Another thing to keep in mind is that your roommate may have a very different schedule than you. This could mean that they’ll be waking up much earlier than you, or going to sleep much later. Before choosing to room with someone, it is a good idea to figure out what their daily routine would look like; this helps ensure that it doesn't clash too much with yours.

3. Constant Company

While constant company can be viewed as a pro for having a roommate, some may also see it is a con. Even if you’re someone who loves being social or hanging out with friends, we all have those times when you just really need some alone time. Unfortunately, when you have a roommate there is no guarantee that get that time to refresh and recharge by yourself. This isn’t to say it is impossible to get some peace and quiet, for you can put in headphones or ask your roommate for some silence; however, you might not get the chance to actually be alone.

4. Clashing Personalities and Habits

Finally, if you decide to have a roommate, you are accepting the risk that your personalities and personal habits just might not match. I recommend that instead of just choosing your best friend as your roommate, pick someone with whom you have similar living styles and complementary personalities. Living in close quarters with someone can definitely cause some conflict, and if your roommate’s personalities and traits don’t align with your own, it can cause some serious issues down the line.

All of this being said, the choice about whether or not to live with someone else is entirely individual. For me, my decision to live with a roommate has been extremely rewarding and has given my a wonderful lifelong friend. Whatever you decide, just know that nothing is permanent and any experience you have can be seen as a means of personal growth and development.  


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