How To Transition From Friends To Roommates
Start writing a post
Student Life

How To Transition From Friends To Roommates

My friend group and I have just been approved for our dream apartment (hooray!) and now we're just several thousand dollars and a few signatures away from being roommates.

130
https://images.pexels.com/photos/1054974/pexels-photo-1054974.jpeg?cs=srgb&dl=adult-apartment-carpet-1054974.jpg&fm=jpg

After all the scrambling to get in deposits and paperwork and an agonizing two days waiting to hear back from the landlord, we were pretty relieved to get a text from our realtor sharing the good news. For a split second, it really felt like the hard part was over.

Reality will always swing back around to smack you in the face. The initial financial and legal stuff was hardly the most trying part of this process. Now, we actually have to live together. And with living together comes arguments, annoyances, and aggression.

People always warn you not to live with friends, and with good reason. Living with other people is difficult, no matter how much you love each other or how patient you are. When you are sharing your personal and private living space with someone else, their flaws (and yours!) quickly come to the surface.

Since we want our transition into this new home to go as smoothly as possible, my friends and I have done a few things to prepare ourselves for sharing a living space.

First, and maybe most importantly, set boundaries with your roommates. If you need an hour of alone time in the mornings, be upfront about that. Don't just expect your friends to know that about you, and then get mad when they're trying to have a conversation over your 8 AM coffee. You need to communicate your needs if you expect them to be met.

You also need to learn how to compromise. Maybe you need that alone time in the morning but your roommate needs to make smoothies before they leave early for work. Maybe you both have a show that airs Wednesday nights at 7 and you only have one TV. Compromise: wear headphones in the morning or keep the doors closed, switch off on weekly TV dibs. Learn to be flexible and accommodating of other people and they will do the same for you.

Another key element of a healthy roommate situation is laying down general expectations. You should all have an idea of who is going to handle what responsibilities. Do you want to divide up household chores by type, do you want to rotate them, or do you expect everyone to clean up their own messes in a timely manner? What about shared spaces like the bathroom?

I don't necessarily recommend a strict chore schedule unless that has worked for all of you in the past, only because life is unpredictable, and schedules or personal issues can interfere. Instead, I've found it's most helpful to dictate which common areas are shared responsibilities and to figure out a system of division that works best for you. Whether that means everyone pitching in once a week to scrub down the apartment, or just trusting everyone to take initiative and do a chore that they feel has been neglected, find what works best for you and those you live with.

Another difficult but important thing is sitting down with your roommates to establish guidelines. Again, strict rules aren't usually useful. Instead, try to come to general agreements about noise, guests, and behavior. Common courtesy is a good rule of thumb for these types of expectations. Give your roommates a heads up about guests, turn down your music if you're asked to, be conscious of how long you used shared appliances for (shower, oven, tv). It's really as simple as being considerate of one another.

Finally, try your best to figure out how you want to divvy up bills and expenses before you move in. Are you dividing bills equally each month? If not, on what basis are you splitting them up? Will you be paying rent separately or all together? What about shared goods like toilet paper or paper towels? Settle these things before you move in so you're not scrambling at the end of the month to come up with the money you need.

It would also be helpful to divide up the costs of shared furniture so that no one person is responsible for furnishing the entire living room while everyone else brings a few cups and a wastebasket. It's wise to have everyone buy an equitable amount of bigger pieces (shelving, tables, chairs) so that you're all contributing equally, and so that everyone has their own things to keep once they eventually move out.

The key to living with friends is being honest with one another. Speak up if you are upset by how one of your roommates is acting, and also be open to feedback on your own behavior. Clear, calm, and non-accusatory communication will be key in settling disputes and finding solutions. There will be bumps in the road for sure, but the chance to make great memories living with people you love makes it all worth it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

71651
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

133570
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments