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Campus Living: Roommate Rumbling

The key to each and every relationship is communication.

It’s hard to communicate effectively with your roomies when everyone’s hectic schedules keep them out of the apartment for a day or two. Or maybe you see them too much and don’t know how to tell them what they’re doing wrong without hurting their feelings.

Here are HC UF’s tips for how to spark that not-so-easy conversation with your roomies:

1.    Get a Whiteboard
It doesn’t matter if it’s a chalkboard, a dry erase board or your fridge, get something to write on. It has to be something you and all your roomies see each and every day. And actually use it!

Let your roommates know when something goes on sale at Publix or when you’re headed to a party for the night. It’s important that your roommates feel connected and involved in your life, even if they are not your friends.

Plus, it’s pretty helpful if they know (at least generally) where you are some nights. That way when you’re gone without a word they won’t get too worried.

2.    Set Up a Cleaning System
My friend and her roomies use their handy whiteboard to leave little love notes of cleaning to each other. They just write friendly reminders for people to keep up with their chores. It’s a good idea to have some type of chore chart (it may be elementary, but it works) made up, so no one gets stuck doing more of the work. This helps your apartment to stay fresh and fabulous, in addition to avoiding conflicts about people not doing their jobs.

3.    Establish Rules
Just because you don’t have to follow your parents’ rules anymore doesn’t mean you shouldn’t establish some of your own. They may just be little ones like remembering to put away your dishes or wipe off the counter. Others are more important, like no parties on certain nights of the week or who controls the thermostat (you’d be surprised about how much controversy that entails).

GREEN TIP: Agree on a certain temperature and keep it there. Constantly adjusting your thermostat can run up the electricity bill.

4.    COMMUNICATE!
Text, call, email, Skype, leave notes…whatever you have to do to get their attention. We are all busy and all doing a million things a minute, but we also have this great opportunity to live with and learn about our roommates.

Not to mention it will avoid awkward situations, like when you head to the kitchen for a midnight snack and some strange guy is standing there. (Apparently your roommate did not inform you of her new boyfriend).

Roomies are part of the college experience for many reasons, so be sure to maximize your roommate experience by letting them be a part (big or small) of your life. Now go hang with your roomies, seriously.

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