How to Be the Best Roommate

One of the hallmarks of becoming an adult is recognizing where we can improve and then taking the necessary steps to make those improvements. As you enter your college years, a big change in your life is going to be living with people who aren’t your family. Here at Junction Cottages & Townhomes, we are proud to offer a diverse array of apartments ranging from two bedrooms to four. This means, however, that if you live here, you most likely have a roommate (or three) and while you don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, having a positive relationship with them is key to enjoying a happy and healthy living environment.

But what does it take to get to a positive relationship? Well, first it means understanding that it may take two to tango but someone has to take the first step to the dance floor. Be that person and foster a better roommate relationship today with the following tips on how to be the best roommate:

Communication is King

Learning how to properly communicate is quite possibly the greatest skill you can ever learn. We are, after all, a social species and understanding how to properly communicate with employers, colleagues, romantic interests, professors, friends, strangers, and, yes, roommates will take you far in this world. Communication is the very foundation upon which you will build your future successes and you can begin honing that skill right now by practicing better communication with your roommate.

If you haven’t yet moved in with your roommate, be proactive and talk to them about the things you’re bringing to the apartment and determine what they are bringing. From the very start, you should see this as building a common space together. Most importantly, you should communicate the expectations each of you have of 1. each other and 2. the apartment. A sit-down conversation on expectations can be done both before and after you’ve moved in together. For example, overnight guests. Are both of you okay with overnight guests? If not or if so, what are the exact boundaries you expect each other to respect?

Be Prepared to Compromise

Communication is a two-way street and you should be prepared for your roommate not to have the same expectations as you do. Thus, you will need to compromise. Communicate with each other what your needs/expectations are out of a positive roommate relationship but be prepared to compromise.

If something that your roommate does irks you, don’t be passive, talk with them. Encourage them to do the same with you. Only once grievances are aired can you make ground for compromises. For example, if you are upset with how your roommate doesn’t take out the trash when needed, sit down, have a conversation and make out a plan or a compromise that works for both of you. Maybe you determine that you’ll take out the trash but they will do other chores like wiping down countertops every evening.

Always keep in mind that nobody’s perfect. Mistakes will happen. Lapses will occur. They might skip dishes before a big date. You might leave clothes on the bathroom floor when running out the door late. Accept these things happen and endeavor to do better tomorrow. Communicate your roommates’ lapses where necessary and have empathy that they will likewise work to be better.

Respect Your Roommate’s Space, Privacy, and Things

When we live at home with our family, many things are shared. Food is shared, games are typically shared, dishes are shared, etc. This isn’t so when you live with a roommate. Typically, they will have their food, their games, their dishes, and more. Even if things exist in the common space (such as their air fryer on the kitchen countertop), you should not expect to have access to their things unless they explicitly tell you you do. Respect those boundaries.

In addition to their things, respect your roommate’s privacy and space. While it can be desirable to be close friends and confidants with a roommate, that doesn’t often happen. In fact, often the best roommate situations are those where roommates get along but aren’t BFFs. That’s because this creates a peaceful, comfortable living environment sans the complexities of friendship relationships. Plus, there will be hard conversations at times like discussing bills and duties. These types of conversations often are easier with roommates that you are friendly with over best friends. So if your roommate doesn’t want to chat about their last date, don’t push it. Respect their privacy and you’ll often find that they’ll afford you the same respect.

In Summary, Be the Roommate You Want to Have

Put together these tips and you’ll see that the best way to be a roommate is to take on the characteristics you’d wish to see in your ideal roommate. If things are perfect now, be patient, communicate, and lay out your expectations for a better tomorrow. And if you need help finding a new roommate or apartment, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly front staff here at Junction Cottages & Townhomes.