Roommate Nightmare: How you can manage.

Right off the bat, I want to state: I have never had a roommate for more than three months of my entire life. Three of the longest months of my life was spent with two dirty, lazy and broke people who ate ice cream right off the carton. Gross. Plus, we had to house sit a dog who had really bad gastrointestinal issues. The poor pup let it loose every where in the house. Gas and poop. Super gross.

There is very little worse than rooming with people who don't share the same sense of hygiene as you. When choosing a roommate as you go to college, sometimes it is easier to choose someone from the same high school that you atteneded. So, below are a list of habits and choice you will want to make:

  1. Don't allow creepy insects, bugs and mammals. By this I mean, clean well. Shower regularly and take out your trash regularly instead of leaving them lying around. There is no need to feed these pesky little roommates. Beleive me, they will have a party at your expense. 
  2. Avoid Lazy Roomies: Your efforts to keep you living space clean will be sabbotaged by anyone that is lazy. Most often, lazy roomies will help themselves to your food, clothes and money without you knowing. They may replace what they've used but, imagine, you've just finished a tough test in organic chemistry and when you get back to your flat, you are looking forward to rewarding yourself with ice cream from your freezer. But your roomie has already finished it.  Disappointment is not enough a word to describe what you might feel in this state that you find yourself. That leads me to the next step.
  3. Set Clear Expectations/Boundaries: Your roommates are just that roommates. If you are fortunate enough you will room with someone you can call your friend for life. At the very least, you want your rooming arrangement to be functional and practical. Which means you want to discuss with each other what to expect from your living arrangement. Fore example:
    • Who will be in charge of cleaning common area chores like clean the living room, kitchen, bathroom spaces etc...  
    • Talk about rules for entertaining friends. What days of the week should entertainment be allowed. If you want to study, you don't want someone partying above your room.
    • How will you divide the bills?
  4. Avoid Demorazing companions. Find school mates with a shared value for post-secondary school accomplishment. I didn't stay on campus my post secondary years, but I heard many horror stories of students who partied all the time and hated school. Pssst. Have you taked a close look at the boy or girl you are dating in school? Are they serious about their studies or are they just social bugs? Your closest "roomie" is our partner. So, try not to be around someone who HATES college or university.  Their focus is not your focus. What if you live in a busy home with lots happening? How can you keep focus? I lived in a full family home when I attended college. So there was always activity. When I needed to keep focus, I would just jump on the TTC and head to the library or coffee shop. Often, I read on the way to the coffee shops and kept thinking about the solution to that statistics problem on the way to and from my excursion. If you find yourself in this situation inspite of your best efforts to avoid it, then find a local Coffee Shop, Starbucks or public library. Go there to read, study, write and rejuvinate yourself so that you can meet your goals.
  5. Learn to compromise:  If you are a studious roommate and he/she is not you may still be a good fit. You can make a compromise plan on areas where you can. Sometimes, you will be able to learn from your roommate who is a social bug on how to be more social. And he or she will be able to learn from you on how to be more studious. Another example, you are a morning person and they are not. Maybe you can be less noisy in the morning and they will return the favour in the late nights. A good student life is lived through compromise. And it is never too early to practice.
  6. Meet the potential roommate: Sometimes, it is not possible to choose a friend that you went to high school with. So, you are likely being introduced through a mutual friend or have put out an add on your university/college campus, craigslist or kiji. In that case, you want to meet the person(s) first. When you meet, compare a list of living preferences before you select the candidate that best suits your preferences. If possible ask them questions like:
    • What is your relationship status? You want to know if you there will be any awkward boyfriend/girlfriend situations. Sleep overs etc...
    • How often do you cook?
    • Have you ever had a roommate?
    • Do you smoke?
    • Do you have a pet?
    • What time do you go to bed?
    • Do you have a job? : You want to know that they can pay their portion of rent.
    • What is their expectations from a roommate?
    • How long do they plan on staying?
    • Do you have any references?
    • Are you religious?
  7. BE A GOOD ROOMMATEAre YOU a good roommate?

    The answer depends on whether you feed rodents, bugs and mouse due to YOUR poor hygiene habits. 

    All of the above will not work if you have bad habits yourself. Allow you and your roommate some freedom to improvement. You are likely still both young will have to learn these things as you go. Don't stress, take the above list with you, adjust it and be flexible. 

Have a happy student life. :-)

Here is  a little funny roommate video I really enjoyed. It is in english subtitles.