Living with a new roommate for the first time is a huge adjustment. Sharing close quarters with non-family members comes with new situations, but also opportunities for friendship and compromise. From blending busy schedules to getting used to one another’s organizational habits, we want to help you have a great fresh start with your new roommate. That’s why we’ve partnered with Brita to share our best advice for prepping you to live with your new roomie!
Here are three ways you can be a great roommate while encountering common living situations:
1. Blend your lifestyle habits
You like to stay up late, and she likes to go to bed early. She leaves her dishes in the sink for a day or two, and you wash yours right away. The reality of dorm life is that you don’t always live with a person whose lifestyle habits match your perfectly, but no matter what, there’s always a way to filter out the negativity and have a great roommate relationship!
If you’re in a situation where you and your roommate have personal habits that are a little bit too different, begin genuine and honest conversation about finding areas of compromise. Brainstorm ways you can respect each other, and solidify them by writing and decorating a fun roommate contract, or creating a colorful calendar of each other’s schedules to put on your wall. For instance, one agreed upon guideline you can create is that when one of you has an 8 a.m. class or an early morning exam, the other person that stays up later should use headphones to watch TV or listen to music instead of playing the volume out loud.
Keeping up practices like this is key for being a great roommate! By communicating with her and working together to create an awesome living experience, the two of you will have the happiest dorm room on your floor.
2. Share some personal items
Some collegiettes see living together as the opportunity to have a giant sleepover every night, swap clothing and basically act like sisters, but that’s not true for everyone. Whether you’re the girl who wants to share everything or the girl who wants to keep her things private, it’s smart to start the new school year together by having a conversation about boundaries.
When you move in, talk about what you’re comfortable sharing and what you want to be yours exclusively. By having this conversation right away, you’re preventing the chance that any drama might occur lately if one of you accidentally misuses the other’s stuff. Great roommates think ahead and always try to keep the other person’s wishes in mind!
In many cases, it’s a great to share items in your dorm to maximize space and make life simple. Bowls, plates, mugs and decorations are items you don’t need to double up on, and the same goes for larger, more significant items like your mini fridge or microwave––no need to have two of those. Finally, get a joint Brita Stream to keep in your fridge, and share it for water that’s cleaner, and better tasting. Plus, since the Stream filters as you pour, no more tension about forgetting to fill up the pitcher. Talk about the best roommate relationship ever!
3. Have dedicated roommate-only time
A new school year means a full social schedule! It’s no surprise that you and your roomie will have friends coming and going regularly for group hangouts and study sessions, but it’s a different situation when that one friend or partner comes over so much that they’re pretty much a “third roommate.”
That extra person sharing your living space can be distracting and take away valuable roommate bonding time, so this is another opportunity for you to open up a candid conversation about maybe reserving some quiet time just for you and your roomie, or having fixed open-door hours for your dorm or apartment.
These are our best tips for roommate success, and we know they will lead to a fun, positive living environment. We hope you love living with your new roomie, and we wish you both the best school year yet!