Now that the holidays are over and the winter semester is in full swing, it’s time to start thinking about who are going to live with next year. If you’re currently living in residence, your lease is likely to be up in the spring or summer. Remember, this isn’t a decision to make lightly. The people you choose to live with are the people that you are going to see every day for the duration of your lease. Here are a few tips on what NOT to do when choosing your roommates:
1. Don’t automatically pick your best friend
This may be your impulse, and I’m not saying you won’t end up living with them in the end, but don’t assume that you should live with your best friend. The sad reality is, living together can sometimes ruin friendships. The important thing is making sure you live with someone compatible and that you are both willing to communicate. Even if you and your best friend have opposite personalities, if you are willing to communicate what you want in a roommate and say when you are feeling disrespected or frustrated, then living with your best friend may work out great!
2. Don’t compromise on things that are important to you
If you are someone that hates the cold and doesn’t want to live more than a 10-minute walk from campus, don’t compromise on this. If you’re someone that loves baking and cooking but your friends want to live in an apartment with no oven and a small kitchen, don’t compromise. Know what you want and don’t back down (within reason). Ultimately, if you agree to live with people in a place that you don’t actually like, you’re going to be unhappy and end up resenting your roommates.
3. Don’t stress about finding a roommate right away
Just because you’ve gotten wind of two people in your dorm that have chosen to live together next year, does not mean you have to jump on it immediately. Choosing your roommates should not be rushed.
4. But don’t assume everything will just magically work out either
That being said, don’t leave choosing your roommates until the last minute. Not only do you run the risk of your friends finding a place without you, but it will also be harder to find a place to live the longer you leave choosing your roommates.
5. Don’t live with too many people
If this is your first time living in a house or apartment on your own, it can be overwhelming to live in a big house with lots of people. You may know that this is something you would love, but if you’re uneasy about the whole living-on-your-own-thing, then I would suggest rooming with 1-3 people. This will be much less chaotic and much more manageable.
6. Don’t promise multiple people that you will live with them
You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but it’s going to be difficult to tell someone you aren’t living with them if you’ve already said you are. If you have a big friend group, try having a discussion all together about the living situation for the next year.
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