Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Tips For Surviving College Roommates

I currently live with three boys. No estrogen in the house at all, just me and my three favourite boys. Originally there were seven of us (four girls, three boys) one of my roommates moved out, and my other two female roommates rarely ever come by (I can literally count on my hands how many times I've seen one of my roommates). 

At the beginning of the year our house  was hectic. A lot of us didn't respect each other's boundaries which may have caused one of them to move out. Lights were left on, people didn't do their dishes, friends were over too late. Seven of us was way too many. 

Last year I lived in a dorm room with two other girls. One room, three girls. Both my roommates were really clean and I wasn't. I'll be the first to admit I am an extremely messy person. No matter how hard I try I just cannot keep my room organized (I blame it on the amount of stuff I have). My roommates and I still got along but I knew that me be being messy caused a few issues (except for the random times I would clean the entire room and they would check my forehead for a fever). 

My roommates this year and I get along perfectly now (maybe because there is less of us) but if you are having issues with your roommates here are some seven tips you need to set:

1. Cleanliness
This is what has gotten me in trouble with roommates in the past. Although now I have a single room to myself and my messy room doesn't bother anybody I still hate cleaning. I am respectful in the point I don't like doing dishes so I do my dishes as soon as I finish eating (most of the time if I'm not in a rush). In my house we have two kitchens one upstairs and one downstairs. It used to be three people using the upstairs and four of us using the downstairs, now it is an even two and two. I still see my roommate downstairs doing the garbage every Sunday and the upstairs kitchen is still never clean. When I visit my other friend's they always have a schedule for who cleans what and when (mind you these are all female houses I don't know how well it would work with the boys I live with) if you want your house to be clean you need to set a schedule with who cleans what or else your house will be messy. You need to respect the fact you are living with other people and if you're messy (like me) you need to change it.

2. Noise
This has been an issue in my house for sure. Boys are loud. I have two older brothers and I forgot how loud boys are. You really need to set boundaries for when you should make noise. Also you should choose the room you will be sleeping in wisely. I chose a basement bedroom right under the living room (not a good idea). I have had countless of nights without sleep because I can hear the television even when it is at it's lowest volume (I'm an extremely light sleeper). I also have had some of my roommates bring people home during exam time or when I have a test the next day (not fun). I can't even tell you how many times I have been woken up at eight in the morning by the boys being overly excited about something ridiculous. If you want respect in the house you need to be respectful of how loud you are. I can get real cranky when I get woken up. If you need to study I highly suggest just sucking it up and going to the library because sometimes no matter how hard you try your roommates will not be quiet and you need to respect that they also live here they can't be quiet forever. If you need to study go to the library but if it is exam time your roommates should understand you need a good night's rest and should shut up. If you are having this issue with noise try setting up a noise policy in your house. Between 11 PM - 10 AM on weekdays is "quiet hours" where on weekends 2 AM - 11 AM is "quiet hours" (or however you and your roommates decide what quiet hours are) 

3. Boyfriend/Girlfriends
My boyfriend lives a million miles away so I haven't had much of a problem with this (although one of my roommates told me I had to shower with him when he was visiting for a week because he isn't paying for utilities.... no) but there is a difference if your boyfriend is visiting every day and using up all your utilities. Last year I had a boyfriend who my roommates hated and I would be lectured over and over about how I need to break up with him and how they don't want him in the room (he didn't like being in the room anyways). If your roommates don't like your boyfriend they have a reason and you should probably break up with him (wish I had done that sooner) and if your roommates don't like your significant other find a happy medium. If you are living in a dorm room like I was last year say okay well my boyfriend is coming over today is it okay if I have the room for an hour? Or just make arrangements to spend more time at their place than yours. Just make sure that they aren't sleeping over every night because it will cause issues, they aren't paying rent and your roommates shouldn't have to deal with that.

4. Choose Your Battles
You need to understand that not everything is going to go your way, you can't get mad at every little thing that you don't agree with. You need to make sacrifices if you want your house to be happy. One roommate who moved out got mad at everything and I'm not saying they didn't have a reason to be mad but because they never let anything go some of the roommates started to disrespect them which resulted in them leaving. To get respect you need to give respect, you may not agree with everything your roommates do and something may bother you but you really need to choose your battles. For me it's noise, I'm not going to yell at the upstairs kitchen for not cleaning their dishes that have nothing to do with me, but when my roommates are screaming at 4:00 AM the day of an exam I'm going to say something. Your roommates are more likely to change something or understand why you are mad the less you get mad at them. Choose your battles.

5. Spend Time Together
You are living with these people and you want to like them. The people I decided to move in with were my best friends from first year and so we all moved in already close friends. One of our roommates stopped hanging out with us completely and as much as we try and get them to spend time with us they always have an excuse which ultimately makes us feel like they don't like us. If you want to have respect, fun and love in your house you need to spend time together. The better friends that you are the easier it is for you to talk about your issues with one another because they will understand, respect and not be afraid to talk to you.

6. Food
There have been instances where people have taken my food without asking or a roommate is accusing me of taking their food when I haven't. You all buy your own groceries, you know what is yours, don't eat your roommates food it's that simple. If you are out of milk and you are craving some cereal just ask a roommate if you can have some of theirs, they are most likely going to say that it's fine. Don't take things that aren't yours without asking, simple. 

7. Turn Off The Lights
This is one of my biggest issues. As I said before I'm a light sleeper. I need it quiet and dark. Any interruptions and I won't sleep. Also leaving the lights on costs money if you aren't using a room, just turn off the lights! 

I love my roommates to death and I'm sad that next year I won't be living with them but I know I'll still see a lot of them.

Do you have any nightmare roommate stories? How do you deal with your roommates?


  1. "If your roommates don't like your boyfriend they have a reason and you should probably break up with him " - are you seriously saying you should break up with someone cause your roommates dont like them?

    1. Haha no that's why I wrote the second part where you handle it when they don't like your boyfriend. In MY case where my roommates hated my boyfriend I needed to break up with him. But if your roommates don't like your boyfriend they probably have a good reason not to and you should listen to their reasoning

  2. I used to live with 7 guys!!! It was aweful. Sadly, I've had lots of poor roommates and only a couple of really good ones. Living with other people is difficult!

  3. Indeed! I think these are great tips you have listed down. It will really help renters especially first-time renters out there.

  4. Good tips. I once had 7 roommates. 4 guys, 3 girls. I think our biggest issue was with food and dishes. Someone used someone else's pot one day. That person was Jewish and couldn't have any meat cooked in that pot. The roommate cooked meat in it though. No one would fess up to who did it though and, well, things got really messy.

    It's definitely important to respect everyone's stuff!


    1. oh no..... that would be a huge issue. At my house no one really knows who's pot is who's so we kind of just use each other's but no one has any religious foods they cannot eat so that's good for us! But respecting everyone's stuff is so important.

      Summer x

  5. I never had an issue with boyfriend/girlfriend part.And I dont mind my flatmates having their other halfs around. of course it's way different if you're sharing a room with someone, but comon "one of my roommates told me I had to shower with him when he was visiting for a week because he isn't paying for utilities"- this is a bit over the top. I laughed out loud when I read this! :D

    1. That's a good thing you've never had an issue with it! I've never had an issue with it either (I don't really care) but I know a lot of my friends who have had issues with it.

      Summer x