Living with roommates 101

Sarah Rae


For this blog post, I will be writing about a topic that isn’t necessarily focused on school directly, but still may be a huge part of your experience here at university—roommates! Here’s a few tips and tricks on how to get the best experience out of living with roommates!

Roommates can potentially be friends or sometimes people that you may not even know at the start. Either way, having roommates can be one of the best experiences of your university career or, well… possibly the worst. So, without further ado, here are some tips and tricks that will make your experience with roommates a pleasant one!

1. Respect

I know you may be thinking, do you really need to point this one out? Respect is something that always seems like an obvious thing to give to one another, but sometimes can be forgotten about.

Having respect toward your roommates is crucial for your relationship, and is something that you always need to do. Remember to respect your roommates’ belongings, feelings, habits and quirks.

Gif of Kim Kardashian talking about respect

Through my past experience of having roommates, I try to remember the platinum rule: treat others how they would like to be treated.

If you follow this rule while living with others, you’ll be able to minimize a lot of future problems and have a strong base to build friendships on right from the start!


2. Get to know your roommates

While some of you may be fortunate enough to live with friends that you have met previously, this is for those who move in not knowing anything about their new roommates!

Gif of Harry Potter talking to a strangerIf I had to give one tip to those in this situation, it would be to get to really know who your roommates are. Get to know a bit of their background, where they came from, what they’re studying in school, what their favourite food is, etc.

Getting to know your roommates allows you to understand a bit more about where they’re coming from and the type of person they are. It will also allow you to appreciate and respect the different rituals or habits they may have.


3. Lay down all expectations from the start

Is your beauty sleep extremely important to you and you don’t appreciate being woken up by any loud noises, music, etc.? Let your roommates know in advance! It is crucial to let your roommates know as soon as possible what your preferences are and what bothers you.

Gif of little girl talking about communicationCommunicating with your roommates is key, as it is unfair for you to expect your roommates to know these things before actually telling them.

If you lay down all of your expectations at the start, it will eliminate a lot of issues before they even are issues!


4. You aren't obligated to hang out together all the time

Though you may have become very close to your roommates and love spending time together, just like any relationship, having space is very important to keep the relationship healthy.

You don’t need to spend every waking moment together just because you are living under the same roof. Take time to yourself, whether this be time spent in your room or time spent out of the house.

Gif of Daria having time aloneSpending time away from your roommates will strengthen your relationships and make you appreciate their presence more. Like they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder!


5. Keep an open mind and be open to change

It’s important to remember when living with roommates that not everyone was raised like you. Each of us have our own habits, opinions and way of doing things—it’s what makes us all so unique!

Instead of questioning or secretly judging the way some of your roommates do things, be open-minded and try to see the situation from their point of view. By being open to change, you may actually adopt some of your roommates’ habits, which may end up being a new and very beneficial routine for you!

change is good Lion King gif

I know that change can sometimes be scary and we’re not always quick to change our ways, but is that not what university is all about?!

Well, there you have it, all my tips and tricks that have helped me to have a great experience when living with others. Do you have any other tips about living with roommates? If so, comment below!