How to: Get along with roommates

by Kate Chamberlin

No matter where you’re living this year you’ll soon find out each arrangement comes with its own set of joys and problems. Before you decide for good you can’t continue living where you are, use these tips to help smooth over any of those pesky inconveniences.

Make your space your space. Put pictures and personal items on and around your desk. Not only will it make you feel at home, it will warn your roommates it is your space and to leave it alone. Plus it always helps to have daily reminders of things that make you happy.

Establish ground rules. Is your biggest pet peeve when others eat your food? Or when you come back to an empty room but every light was left on? Discuss these issues with your roommates right away. It will not only get you all on the same page, but it will save you from possible hair pulling later.

Get to know who you are living with. Sure, you may know their favorite food and the music they listen to before going out, but by showing interest in who they are as a person you could start a great friendship.

Don’t try to control them. As much as you might hate what they choose to do on a Friday night, you can’t control them or their actions. You have to let them be who they want to be. Even if you think they’re making a mistake, it will be better in the long run if you let them figure it out themselves. On the other hand, if they’re trying to turn you into something you’re not, kindly point it out to them and move on.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. You would be lying to yourself if you believed there would never be problems with those you live with. There will definitely be times you will wonder how to possibly live one more day in the same room as them. But before you do something drastic, remember that they probably feel the same way about you from time to time. The key is to just let things go. Ask yourself, does drinking your last Sunny D really warrant a screaming match? If you’re honest with yourself you’ll realize you might be overreacting.

If you’re in this situation just take a step back and breathe. On the other hand, if they’re using your toothbrush to scrub gum off the bottom of their tennis shoes, you have my full permission to make a scene.