It is just about that time of year again, when the highschool graduates are about to embark on their first year of college and their first room mate. Your new roommate can be a friend from high school or a total stranger, living with someone is completely different from hanging out at night or on the weekends. Some roommates start off well together end up not-so-friendly living together, because they do not lay the ground work out ahead of time and keep the lines of communication open. If you want to start a living friendship with your room mate, it is a good idea to get everything out on the table right from the beginning.
The idea is to have some place safe to stay away from home while you are away at college, expecting to be best friends or to ‘get along’ all of the time is not sincerely logical. If you room mate is gay or just plain completely different from you, the living arrangement is still ‘do-able’ provided you set up some house rules day one.
Setting Ground Rules
“Ground rules”—rules that you both agree to live by. It becomes awkward conversation only if you let days go by without setting them, do it at the start and you are home free. You are both used to a certain lifestyle, so you will both have different ideas about how things will be done. Just a calm discussion of what you are both okay with and what you would like to avoid.
- Overnight guests
- Guests of the opposite sex
- Cell phone use
- TV use
- Study time
- Borrowing belongings
- Sharing (or not sharing) food
- Alarm settings
- Locking the door
If you want to keep a living friendship with your roomie, it is a good idea to set time once a week, every two weeks or once a month to chat it up about how “living together” is working for you and make repairs or add new changes.
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