I've recently been inspired to write this article, especially considering how I've just finished my first semester in an actual apartment with actual roommates and actual responsibilities. While living with others can be so fun, it's still important to remember to be respectful and courteous of each other.
My plan is to give you some quick do's and don'ts of being a good roommate. So let's get started.
- Do clean up after yourself
- It's important to clean up after yourself, no matter the mess you make. Whether it's cooking a big meal in the kitchen or sprawling out in the living room to work on finals. Just be courteous and clean up when you're done.
- Don't be loud after established quiet hours
- You shouldn't make a lot of noise after whatever quiet hours you and your roommates have established. If you don't have any quiet hours, take a step back and establish those. Then, be considerate of your roommates' quiet time, and don't disrespect that.
- Do contribute to shared costs
- This could include everything from kitchen supplies and groceries to bills. Make sure you are carrying your weight around the apartment by restocking any shared groceries, and be sure to pay your water/electricity bill on time. Nobody likes having to pick up the slack someone else dropped.
- Don't allow your guests to overstay their welcome
- Here's a big one for you. We all have friends, and we all love spending time with them. By all means, you are allowed to have your friends over at your own apartment. Here's the catch: your friends do not live at your apartment unless they have signed a lease for that apartment. If you want them to stay over, you should be considerate and make sure that's okay with everyone. THEN, be sure they do not overstay their welcome.
- Do respect common spaces
- There are a lot of common spaces in an apartment. Just like keeping them clean, you should make sure you share them. Don't go and hog the kitchen for four hours when everyone else is trying to make their meals as well. Also, don't get an attitude when your roommate tries to use the common space as well. It is not your personal room.
- Don't ignore the little things
- They will build up. If something bothers you, speak up about it. Of course, think through any issues you have with your roommates before bringing them up so you can make sure you're respectful and clear about your concerns. However, don't ignore it if it really does bother you.
- Do be willing to compromise
- This kind of goes with the last one. Be prepared to listen to issues your roommates are having, and be ready to make compromises. This allows you to work out a way for both of you to be as happy and content as possible in the end.
- Don't borrow anything without permission
- Finally, and this should be an obvious one, ask your roommate before borrowing anything of theirs. They should also ask before borrowing anything of yours. It's common courtesy.
These are just a few ways you can be a better roommate and potentially a better friend. Of course, everyone's experiences are different, but these are a few points I'd say to emphasize in your apartment life.