Roommates. We’ve all been there. At first, the idea of living together seems great; he or she (or they) are well-mannered, gainfully employed, nice enough and claim to typically keep to themselves, so when they say their pet cat won’t cause any problems, you believe it. But then…they move in and you realize “nice enough” is actually passive aggression and you’re pretty sure the cat is plotting your murder.
You just can’t seem to get in-sync with this person, which makes for a less than ideal living situation. Have no fear; here are five must-knows for making it work with difficult roomies.
Get to Know Each Other
A little effort goes a long way. Plan a fun event for you and your roommate(s) and do your best to really get to know each other. Ask about his or her background, family, interests and make sure to listen and take note to the things you have in common and also what makes them unique. To ease the awkwardness, plan this outing at a wine bar, a painting studio or even go for a hike; just choose an activity you will both enjoy that offers moderate distraction so there’s no pressure to fill every second of silence.
Invest in a Whiteboard
The key to stress-free coexistence is communication. Get a dry erase message board for tracking bills, to-do lists and groceries; maybe even one day you’ll need to write down plans for a night out together! Use the whiteboard to help keep you both on track and to keep lines of communication open. But beware, while whiteboards are great for communication, they can easily turn into passive-aggressive-message boards, so don’t use it to leave notes like, “Sorry I was screaming for no reason and woke you up at 3AM.” In that case, you should definitely offer a sincere, face-to-face apology.
Sharing a space means learning a lot about a person. If you and your roommate aren’t exactly best friends, it’s important to pick up on clues and respect boundaries. Does your roommate roll her eyes at you when you gleefully ask how her day was? Does your roommate spend weekends holed up in his room playing video games? You need to be aware of these habits. Perhaps she likes some space when she gets home from work; maybe he needs that time to clear his head without forcing conversation. Being respectful of one’s boundaries goes a long way in roommate situations and is often met with the same level of respect.
Quality Couch Surfing
When all else fails, summon the power of TV and movies. With streaming becoming the entertainment norm for Millennials rather than traditional cable or even satellite TV, inexpensive streaming devices like the Roku player are growing in popularity. Try turning on last night’s “Scandal” and bond over Olivia Pope and Fitz. Or watch old episodes of “I Love Lucy” and bond over Ricky singing “Babalu.” Or bond over the amazing love story of Pam and Jim from “The Office.” With literally thousands of options of what to watch, there’s no way you won’t find some common ground.
Many of Aspen Square’s student communities offer by-the-bed floor plans. Meaning, you will be renting out a room, as opposed to an entire apartment unit. In some of these communities, we offer roommate matching* where we can place you with roommates OR you can bring in your own! Check out some of our student properties with by-the-bed pricing below:
*roommate matching not available in all locations.