Roommate Dilemma: Who Should I Live With Next Year?

You just settled down living in with your current roommates for the past few months and already, housing for next year is being scheduled. There is nothing more stressful than figuring who to live with next year, especially if everyone has seemingly settled down with their roommates and apartment leases. It might not seem like a big deal now, but there is a huge disadvantage to you if you choose the wrong person to live with next year. Here are 5 things to keep in mind before choosing your roommate next year.

1. What are your major pet peeves? Get them straightened out.

The housemate relationship will only work out when you set your own guidelines and set of rules before even settling down. Really think about this one—what is the thing you absolutely cannot tolerate? Are you very tidy? Are you messy? Do you fall somewhere in between? Are you okay with a lot of guests or do you prefer quiet time? Think about your past experiences with your housemates before. If you are not living with them next year, think about why that is the case.

2. Ask your friends to live with you, and honestly, they don’t have to be your closest friends.

I know this is debatable, but please hear me out. If you have a close friend, but you have certain qualms about his/her living habits, it is very likely that you two will grow apart whether it be roommate disagreements or perpetual passive aggressiveness. People can always stay friends even if they are not roommates and sometimes, it may even just save a relationship. Having someone you know you can get along with is good enough, but you have to make sure your basic needs are satisfied first, hence the first point made earlier. In the end, you might just make another really close friend without all the drama.

3. Is the person you are living with responsible? They should be.

Responsibility is a must when it comes to living away from home, especially if you are leaving on-campus housing. Why, you may ask? There are two things that irresponsible people cause—stress and more stress. Being irresponsible means forgetting to pay the bills, not doing the dishes when asked, basic hygiene, or even being petty about who’s turn it is to do the chores. If your roommate forgets to do any of those things, then it will double the burden for you. However, if your roommate is responsible, then the work AND stress can be easily divided. But, if one fails to do their own job, the other has to make up for it.

4. Similar core values: Late night or early riser? Party-er or studier? Which one are you?

Other than pet peeves, find someone with similar core values. If you like to stay in on Friday nights to catch up on TV shows rather than going out and drinking, then the better option is that you find someone who enjoys doing the same. If you study a lot at home, then maybe you don’t want someone who is always home with you. Take into consideration also if your sleep schedule is the same. If you are one of those people who like getting their full 8 hours of sleep, (like me) then maybe you should find someone who is considerate of your sleep schedule.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask—ask actively until you find a match.

Like many people, we are hesitant to ask friends to be their roommate because of the fear of rejection. It's sometimes really hard to draw the line when it comes to "defining the relationship". Thoughts like, "are we close enough to live together" or "are they already living with so-and-so" tend to get in the way of finding a potential roommate. It hurts to find out that they have already settled down with someone else, but it’s necessary. If they say no, then naturally continue the conversation, no need for that awkward silence. Don’t be afraid to ask. Keep asking until you find someone who is a good match with your living values. Who knows? They may come looking for you if their own current housing plans don't work out. 

With these tools at hand, your housing plans will be perfected soon enough.