Being a student in college or someone who just graduated college, living alone can be unaffordable and lonely therefore forcing you to live with new people. We would all love to imagine living with roommates to be similar to the show New Girl where everyone gets along and hangs out on a regular basis. However, living with roommates who start off as strangers does not always fit this theatrical image.
When moving in with new people, it is important to not have unrealistically high expectations of the living situation. Everyone lives their life differently, and that can be difficult to adapt to with various people living in one space.
Since the beginning of my college career, I have had numerous roommates. My first roommate was a close friend, and then from there, I have had random roommates who were strangers. I have lived with roommates that never talked to me and some that are now my best friends.
Either way, your twenties is a time when you may be living with different types of people. Below, I am going to give a few tips on what to expect when living with people who are initially strangers.
Talk About Chores
This may be an awkward conversation but can be extremely helpful in the end. From this conversation, everyone can get a sense of what their role will be in keeping a clean and safe environment. For example, one person may not be the best at always making sure the dishes are loaded in the washer, but they will take out the trash every time it gets full. Having these roles set out from the beginning can prevent arguments and frustrations later on.
Set Boundaries for Yourself
Moving in and living with new people can be exhausting. The first few weeks everyone is trying to get used to the way that each person lives and learning their routines. It can be a lot. Give yourself the time to adjust and rest when you need to. You may feel like you need to be socializing with your roommates all day every day, but that is not the case. Rest when you need to. Hang out in your room when you need to. It’s okay!
If you are living with people, communication is very important! So many conflicts can be prevented just by communicating and talking with each other. This does not mean you have to share your deep dark secrets with your roommates, but if one of them is doing something that bothers you or is hurtful, rather than being passive-aggressive or ignoring the problem, it is easier to go ahead and talk about how you are feeling. This can be uncomfortable sometimes but can be worth it in the end.
Check On Each Other and Give Grace
Again, new living situations can feel a little uncomfy, especially if you and your roommates are not the closest. However, it is important to check on each other from time to time. If you notice your roommate is out later than usual on a Tuesday night, it’s not a bad idea to send a quick text. In addition to physical safety, roommates need to check on each other often because college and life are hard and one’s mental health may not be the best. Sending a quick “hey, haven’t talked to you in a while. How are you doing?” does not take long and can go a long way!
Living with new people in your twenties can be a little weird and take a minute to adjust to. But give it some time. Sometimes it takes a month or two for everyone to get used to living amongst each other. Don’t feel discouraged if it is still a little awkward and it has only been a month. Sometimes you have to move on and find new roommates because it doesn’t work out, and that’s okay! Living with new people can teach you some valuable life lessons or lead you to your best friend. But you have to give it a chance first.