Living far away from the comfort of your family, adjusting to a new place - this might just be the first big scary step into independence. Fret not, we have interviewed some experienced seniors in college on how to find the perfect roommate that will be like your family away from home.
Finding the right roommate means a budding friendship. Do you want her/him to be as outgoing as you are, that you can watch movies, go to parties or play sports/shop together?
If you want a more peaceful environment, an introverted roommate is perfect; someone you can eat take-outs with but be mostly left alone to do you own things such as watching Netflix shows, reading a book or studying. You respect each other's personal boundaries.
Living with someone is not as easy as it sounds. Living with family is easy peasy because they know how messy you eat, or how loud you snore at night, and how you do your laundry. They know your routines.
Having a roommate means adjusting your habits, acknowledging personal boundaries and of course, respecting each other.
“A perfect roommate for me is someone who respects our independent and shared space in a room,” shared Regina Apostol, a college dormer. “Someone who is sensitive to noise and can adjust to our shared way of living by reducing unnecessary disturbance that she may cause.”
One of the most crucial things that need to be considered is your roommate’s schedule. You never know if they’re nocturnal and will disturb your sleep when you are 100% a day person. It could also be the other way round, of course.
Yvette Balita, a college student, lives in an apartment with a Law student. They both experienced minor issues staying together, but the worst conflicts are always about their schedules.
“Sometimes I study when she sleeps and she sleeps while I study. Since we have different schedules and I really value my sleeping time, it can get really annoying to wake up to each other's set alarms.”
If you want some “me time”, choose a roommate who is rarely home or works late at night; or if you want to have someone to hang out with, choose a roommate who is not busy.
To avoid messy situations, it’s important to communicate with your roommate, making sure he/she paid the rent, the water bill, and fixed the laundry. It is better to be direct about this, rather than hinting or avoiding the topics all together.
Be open and honest with each other, appreciate their good points but also suggest gently how some of their actions that have affected you, be it their sleeping pattern, snoring or how they never clean up their bed or table.
“The perfect roommate shares my humor and interests.” says Matthew Alunan, a college student with two other roommates.
“I bond with my roommate by asking her about her day and whether she has eaten already. Sometimes I would ask her to eat out with me or share with me whenever I get food delivered.” shares Regina.
The best type of roommates are almost like good friends. It is rare but it is possible, especially they have compatible temperaments and share the same interests and humor as you.
Since you will be spending a lot of time with them, make the best out of it.