The First Thing You Should Do With Your Roommate

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Whether you’ve been best friends for years or just met 2 minutes ago, you and your roommate should do one thing above all else, even if it isn’t fun:

Make some rules

I know it can be awkward and uncomfortable, but in order to even attempt to have a smooth and positive relationship, you’re going to want to start on common ground.

If you live on campus your freshman year, you’re typically required to sit down with your roommate and fill out a form together about noise, light, cleaning schedule and expectations, and visitors. You should do something similar at least every time you have a new roommate.

Some things to consider:

  • who will clean the dishes and how often?
  • who will clean the common spaces and how often? take out the trash? etc.
  • when are visitors allowed? are there any limits to who/how many/where they go/what they do/what they eat?
  • how will any utilities/rent be paid?
  • what, if any, animals or plants are allowed?

Be very clear about your expectations and be receptive toward their requests. Try to figure out compromises if there are any areas where you clash - before it actually happens.

Finally, sign and date the paper, however formal or informal, and keep it in a place that’s accessible to all parties.

As you live together and get to know each other better, if you find that you need to have follow-up communication, you can see this post for some tips and strategies to navigate that step.

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Written by Holly Lakin on Mar 08, 2021