Financial issues are a big problem for most students. That’s why many of us choose to live in a share house with other people (including me). It could be great fun living with various people with different personalities, or it could be a disaster. So, what are the aspects you need to pay attention to, to avoid being an annoying roommate? After talking to a few friends and combining my own experience, here are some tips that might help.
Respect is the first important thing that came to my mind and most of my friends’, and probably the most crucial one. Sharing a house means you will share around a hundred square metres of public space with someone you may never meet before, so giving your roommates the full respect could be a good start.
Though it’s not necessary to become close friends with your roommates, it will be great if you can get familiar with them, so that you have someone for help if you can’t find the key but you need to get in the house.
Communication is another aspect that could affect your relationships with your roommates. If you have any problem with your roommate and you can’t deal with it by yourself, then let your roommate know that you’re unhappy. It’s not a good idea to bear some of their bad habits in silence, which could overstress you and is definitely not good for your health. Just communicate with your roommates. I believe that most people are willing to change for everyone’s sake.
It’s just communicating alone that matters, but how you communicate. Communication is an art and you could gain a great living environment if you apply it well. Some people are pretty shy and keep to themselves, so they might be very ashamed and embarrassed if you tell them that they did something wrong to their faces. In this case, leaving a note with very friendly wording might be the appropriate way. But if your roommate prefers talking face-to-face, it will be alright to talk to them if you have any complaint, but please please please remember to be polite and mannerly. Your opinion won’t be taken if you behave like an arrogant and unpleasant person.
Life habits are a decisive factor in whether you will be a good roommate or not. Cleanliness perhaps outweights all other attributes for me. Nobody wants to see a messy living room or piles of dirty dishes in the sink after a long, tired day, and it’s also very embarrassing if you come along with a friend. If you want to have a party at home, choose a time that won’t bother your roommates too much. I bet they would be driven crazy if they’re preparing for an exam or working on an assignment while you’re playing loud music nonstop till 3am.
Also pay attention to appliances, water taps, and especially the kitchen appliances like stoves. It would be a nightmare if one day you came back home, and found out that your house was burned down because someone left and simply forgot their cooking, or your carpet was ruined as someone left the windows open during a storm…
Some house-keeping rules could help you to build healthy relationships with your roommates: cleaning of public space, rubbish bins, things you will share or buy separately such as shampoo or toilet paper. It seems petty now but you will learn it later. Make sure everyone agrees on the rules and they’re carried out properly.
Afraid of sharing houses now? Well, as long as you want to be a good roommate, there won’t be a big problem. Take a deep breath and get ready for it! Hope you enjoy your house-sharing life! 🙂