Your roommate can be the source of fun and support, but can also cause anxiety and frustration. Living successfully with a roommate requires flexibility and the willingness to communicate in an honest, tactful manner.
Before you choose to live with someone, get to know them personally, discuss your living habits, your background and the types of situations that you find stressful. Most roommate problems are caused by a lack of communication and can be avoided by coming to an agreement that is mutually acceptable to each of you in advance of any problems. The following questions can help you and your roommate(s) talk about how to successfully share living quarters:
- Are you a neat and tidy person or do you tend to take a more “lived-in” approach to cleaning responsibilities?
- Do you like to go to bed early or late?
- Do you like to sleep in or wake up early?
- Do you study best with the radio or stereo on or off?
- Do you like to have visitors all the time, or do you prefer that more often than not your space be quiet for study?
- Do you like to loan your belongings? To your roommate only? Your car, clothes, money?
- What do you think is important in a roommate relationship?
Always strive to keep the lines of communication open between you and your roommate. Chances are that if something about the living situation is bothering you, it is also bothering your roommate, so talk about it. Try following these steps in resolving a roommate conflict:
Talk honestly with your roommate, clearly stating problems and expectations.