Getting Along with Roommates

Getting along with roommates can often be a very difficult task.  Especially if this is the first time you are sharing with people you don’t know and haven’t chosen.  Indeed, even if you know the person ahead of time but still are not accustomed to sharing such a confined space, it can be challenging at best.  So what should you do to make this as positive an experience as possible?  Or, some might ask, how do you ensure you don’t kill each other by the end of the first semester?  Here are some tried and tested tips:
1)    Set up some ground rules:  you have to sit down at the start of your time together to establish a few ground rules, such as will you be allowing partners to stay overnight?  How is the cleaning going to be managed?  Who is going to be in charge of buying basic supplies?  In a shared room, is there going to be a time for lights out and quiet time? Etc.
2)    Suggest a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly review:  you might not necessarily know 100% what you want right from the start.  So it could be a good idea to set out some basic ground rules but then come back for a review so that nothing is set in stone.
3)    Prioritize:  ask your roommates what’s the most important thing to her about sharing her space and you tell her the same for you.  Make sure you are on the same page.
4)    Always be considerate:  remember that you have no more right to the space than she does and be careful never to abuse that.
5)    Set up some alone time: if it’s important to you not to be crowded the whole time and to be able to spend some time completely alone, ask her if you could each have one afternoon a week in which the other person vacates the room to allow for alone time.  Try to set something up that is mutually beneficial.
6)    Split the room:  if possible (without seeming petty) try to split the room so that you can still maintain your independence and create your own private space.
These are just some basic tips.  The most important piece of advice however is to ensure that the lines of communication stay open at all times; you make sure you are open to hearing her voice and then hopefully she will accord you the same respect.


Tiffany Brand has a passion for fashion, and has over a decade of experience writing for beauty and fashion magazines. A licensed cosmetician with four children, Tiffany loves to share her insights with fellow mothers. Contact Tiffany at tiffany[at]

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