Can’t live with them, can’t afford to live without them

Unless you’re an anomaly, at some point in your college life you’re going to have a roommate (and possibly many more than one). If you live in an off-campus apartment, you will get to pick your roommates on your own. If you live in a dorm, you might be assigned one. Either way, it’s important that you put in the effort needed to make sure your relationship with your roommates is a good one.

Good communication is absolutely vital in order for a roommate relationship to work. You should feel comfortable bringing up any problems you may have. When you move in together, try to make a good first impression. Talk about your values, personality and hobbies. Be sure to keep an open mind to what your roommates tell you about themselves.

It’s a good idea to set some ground rules that will keep all of you happy with your living situation. Try to know where your roommates are most of the time so that you can contact them in the event of an emergency. Swap cell phone numbers and post your class and extracurriculars schedules on the wall so that you know when each other will be coming and going. Work out some kind of system for leaving messages for each other (sticky notes on bedroom doors work well; dry-erase boards are even better).

Make the Most of Your Time Together

Since you will be spending so much time together, you may find that you develop a deep bond with your roommates. Many lifelong friendships are formed this way. To cultivate such a relationship, set aside a time each day or week when you can forget about your other responsibilities and just hang out together. Watch a movie, play a video game or just sit and chat over a cup of coffee. Talking and laughing about school, work and relationships is a great way to eliminate stress. If there’s anything you are upset about, bring it up and try to work out a resolution.

Make the most of your time with your roommates. Build memories that will last for a lifetime so that in 40 years, you can get together with your old roomies and reminisce about the crazy adventures you had and the inside jokes you shared.

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