As a sophomore at UNR this year, I, like many others, decided to make the big move out of the dorms and into an apartment with some of my friends. After living with them for a couple of weeks, I believe that I have finally cracked the secrets to living with roommates. Whether living in a dorm with one other person or in an apartment with four, these tips are guaranteed to help you make the best of a new living situation.
1. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Whether you are old friends or strangers, try getting to know your roommate(s) better. You don’t have to be best friends with them, but putting yourself out there is the best way to find out if you would like to progress the relationship further than just a roommate. Playing board games are a great way to learn more than what’s on the surface!
2. Set some ground rules. You might be afraid to be the first one to bring up the dreaded topic of “rules,” but in this type of situation it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry. This is the time to talk about boundaries and expectations. Make sure you are being heard and listening to everyone’s concerns.
3. Take time to cool off. The occasional misunderstanding or argument is bound to happen, the best thing you can do is take time to think out your response to it. In times of high tension, try and see things outside your individual perspective–take time to really think about how everyone in the situation is feeling and how best to go about carrying out a reasonable conversation about the issue. Don’t hide from your issues, but don’t rush into them without a thought, either.
4. Treat everyone with the basic respect and kindness that they deserve. Respect means telling the truth, and honoring past agreements and conversations. Kindness can be subtle and may seem small to you, but could mean the world to someone else. If you expect your roommate(s) to treat you with respect and kindness, you must in turn do the same for them.
5. Make the most of it! Whether it’s for one year or four, try to make the most of your living situation. At the end of the day, you should be able to say that you did the best you could. It won’t always be perfect but try to make each day count.