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Ten Ways to Avoid Roommate Conflicts

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For many of us, college is the first taste of life away from home. While we finally get to enjoy the freedom we have been waiting for, there may be some aspects of college life that we’re not that well prepared for. We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to help avoid conflicts with your roommates and keep the peace in your oasis away from school.

10. Find roommates with similar interests

You don’t want a game of beer pong interrupting your Netflix binge. Or a jam session interrupting your study session. The best way to avoid it is to get to know someone before you decide to room with them. Try to find people you know. If you’re heading out on your own, make sure to ask a lot of questions to your prospective roomies.

9. Go outside

Those pesky roommates won’t bother you if you’re not around them. Even if you are getting along, it’s always good to make time for yourself. No matter what part of the city, there are always opportunities to break your routine and enjoy the great outdoors.

8. Take advantage of home

If your parents are a bus ride away, take advantage! Perhaps you won’t realize how much you miss home until you visit. Not only that, it could provide a much needed escape from the four walls that enclose you and your roommates. Laundry and home-cooked meals are an added bonus.

7. Keep open communication

This one can be tough, but necessary. Your roommates won’t know what’s up unless you tell them. Maybe they grew up with siblings who tolerated their obnoxious behaviour. Or maybe you have a bizarre pet peeve that is specific to you. In any case, they won’t know about it unless you say something.

6. Make a chore wheel/chart

Keeping a clean house is harder than you might think. Once you discover this difficulty, call your mom and thank her. Next, make a chart with all of your household chores and assign them to your various roommates. To keep things interesting, switch the chores each week; no one wants to be on bathroom clean-up 52 weeks of the year.

5. Go in on groceries

Food is expensive. While it may seem like more effort to plan your meals and grocery outings, you’ll find out quickly that it is very helpful to your wallet. Also, you can avoid buying a mini-fridge to horde your food from the rest of the house. When everybody pitches in evenly, you’ll be able to evade the inevitable resentment brought on by food theft.

4. Don’t get pets

While this one seems obvious, there’s always someone out there who thinks it’s a great idea. Taking care of pets takes time and money – two things you and your roommates have very little of. Besides, who wants to add poop scooping duties to the chore wheel?

3. Don’t get cable

The major cable providers aren’t going to be happy with us for this one. But it’s true. Cable is expensive and unnecessary. When was the last time you asked someone to watch cable and chill? Netflix, YouTube, and various other streaming networks have you covered. News is on your phone. Sports are at the bar.

2. Don’t get cheap internet

Take that cable money you saved and put it towards a good internet provider. No matter what you’re studying, the one golden rule is that you’ll need a solid internet connection. Cheap internet connections are not a good alternative. Imagine being unable to access your Blackboard because your roommate is on Spotify.

1. Break the monotony

Routines are good. In fact, they’re completely necessary in order to keep up with your studies. That said, make sure to take the time to enjoy your experience and switch up your schedule every now and then. You’ll appreciate your roommates more when you don’t have to see them every waking moment of the day.

Jon Lowe