Living with roommates can be an incredibly fun and rewarding experiences that everyone should try at least once. After all, it could be the beginning of wonderful friendships and those great stories that you will tell to your grandchildren. But just like all good things in life, it usually takes compromises and patience to make it work. Check out our tips and tricks for turning the stranger that you call roommate into the roommate you call BFF.
1. Set and follow guidelines
Firstly, agree on some guidelines right away. You’ll need to discuss and see eye to eye on the most important everyday activities: cleaning, air conditioning and heat, noise levels, shared meals, allergies, and so on. The more things you can agree on, the sooner roommate bliss will set in.
2. Learn about new countries and cultures
If you and your roommate are from different countries, then enjoy the cultural diversity with all its perks! There might be some cultural differences and language barriers at the start, but you’ll learn so much just from being around each other – including new foods, new music, and new vocabulary.
3. Make time for that beauty sleep
If we don’t sleep enough, our mood, energy level, and performance suffer. In a perfect world, you’d both be morning or night persons, but try to respect each other’s sleeping schedule and habits as much as possible. If you’re up late watching a movie or listening to music, just pop on some headphones and everyone’s happy.
4. Discover that headphones = happiness
About those headphones – they were probably invented by someone who had roommates. You may love blasting show tunes on repeat, but that doesn’t mean your roomie shares that passion.
5. Respect the schedule
Share your schedules with each other to make it easier to be considerate of plans, meetings, or assignments. If your roommate has to study for an important exam, it’s probably not a good idea to invite the floor for a dance party.
6. Make space for personal space
If your roomie is wearing headphones while staring at their phone, they most likely don’t want to talk about their day. And don’t take it personally if they lock the door to their room – even the most social person needs a little space every now and then.
7. Remember that sharing is (usually) caring
Remember, just because you share a space doesn’t mean you share a closet or pantry. But if you’ve got two cookies left in the pack, it’s always a good idea to offer one to your roommate. (A wise person once said that sharing sweets is the first step to friendship.)
8. Clean up after yourself
Your mom isn’t around, but you need to be on your best behavior anyway. You never know when friends, family or landlords come by for a spontaneous visit. Nobody wants to have a reputation as the sloppy roommate, after all.
9. Ask before bringing guests over
Depending on how big your room or apartment is, there’s not much room for visitors. Always ask when you want to bring people over, especially if they stay overnight. If you have the chance, host your friends in your room and tell your guests to respect the rules.
10. Comply with the toilet paper etiquette
Make the world a better place and always refill the toilet paper if you’ve used the last square.
11. Communicate honestly and openly
When you live with other people, you will need to be honest and open with each other. If it annoys you when someone leaves their dishes in the sink or laundry on the chair – then speak up! Letting your opinions be known avoids any potential conflicts and puts you on the fast track to best-roommate-forever status.
12. Embrace the experience
Living with someone new might be a bit scary at first, but there are countless stories of roommates from totally different backgrounds and parts of the world becoming unlikely friends after having shared a room. And cookies.