By: Jennifer Rayman
There are many great reasons to live alone including, but not limited to, you have your own place and you can personalize it all you want, you are free to come and go as you please, it’s a time of personal growth, and it’s FREEDOM and space you didn’t have after living with roommates all through college. Now, all that being said, s**t happens, and there are times where you may not be able to live alone anymore. Maybe you moved to an expensive city or have had a recent set back where it makes sense to share space again. No matter the reason it can be a big adjustment. Here are some do’s and don’ts of going from being on your own to back living with roommates.
Do: Be flexible.
Suddenly there will be other opinions on how to decorate and organize. Waiting to decorate until both you and your roommate are in the apartment is a great way to make sure that you both feel comfortable with they way your apartment/house looks. Also, you can always super personalize your room.
Don’t: Take over common spaces.
Hanging out when you are on your own is easy because it doesn’t matter what you throw where. You can still do this when you have a roommate, but it helps to keep common spaces clean. Too much of your own stuff can make it uncomfortable for your her/him, and depending on the degree your stuff is scattered about, they may feel less inclined to use the common spaces.
Do: Split common groceries.
This is not only a smart thing to do to save fridge space but it also saves you both money! When it comes to food it also helps to set some ground rules. To some people it may seem like common sense that if you didn’t buy it, don’t eat it. However, some people may need to be reminded of that. Just remember the fridge is not longer solomente yours. To avoid any awkwardness or battles down the road, have a conversation ahead of time to establish the expectations around food, bills, etc.
Don’t: Assume that because you are friends before you move in together that everything will be perfect.
It can sound like the best idea in the world: You and your friend are super close and know everything about each other. What could go wrong? Well, sometimes friendships can struggle under the pressure of living together. You are in closer quarters than you’ve ever been before, and you may find your friend getting on your nerves. This is common, but it will only get worse if you bottle up the frustration. You and your friend will need to be able to talk through things. There will be highs and lows and also times where you don’t know what you would do without your friend. Just make sure that the two of you can talk about what you both want in the apartment.
Do: Be courteous if one of you has a boyfriend/girlfriend.
Sometimes it can be annoying when you want to have some alone time with your significant other. It also can be hard if you want some privacy and don’t want to make your roommate feel awkward. The best way to avoid this is to give your roommate a timely warning that your boyfriend/girlfriend is coming over. This prevents any awkward situations from occurring. Also, if you want the apartment to yourself it’s nice to make sure that your roommate knows and has a place to go. And if you and your partner decide to get intimate, it may be wise to invest in something like a fan to turn on to help cover some of the sounds.
Don’t: Feel like you have to spend all your time together.
Sometimes you can feel that because you have roommates that you have to do everything together. Life is not like a sitcom, and you don’t have to spend every moment with the same group of people day in and day out. There are going to be days where you want your space or want to do something by yourself. This is totally normal. If you and your roommate spend everyday together you will get sick of each other pretty quickly. Some people may be fine with this level of interaction but not everyone is. It is healthy to spend time apart and to have your own interests.
Tell us: What other Do’s and Don’ts are there for living with a roommate?!
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Jennifer Rayman is a junior in college. She is an only child and in her spare time she enjoys walking her boyfriend’s dog and reading a good book.