Six steps to roommate bliss
While you may have been accustomed to sharing a space with your sibling at home, sharing with someone who comes from a completely different background to yours can be a ‘thing’ – unless you start out with some solid strategies in place.
Respublica, South Africa’s leading student accommodation provider, has welcomed thousands of first years over the last nine years and has seen just how often strangers sharing a room can become friends for life. Here are their top tips to roommate bliss …
Connect online before you meet offline
Try to obtain your new roomie’s contact details before you move in together and get in touch to learn a little more about them. This is also a great opportunity to plan who is going to bring what into your shared room so that you don’t land up wasting space on duplicated appliances. You could also look out for them on social media, to get more of an idea of how they prefer to spend their time, – it’s a small world and you may have more in common than you realise.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Even if you’re not so comfortable talking to strangers (and there’s good reasons for that), your new roommate is someone you certainly must talk to. Sharing a space means that you have company all the time and you won’t get lonely, but it also means that you need to chat about ground rules like who plays music when (and who chooses the music), how you both feel about keeping things tidy, and agreeing on how to manage visitors.
While you may get on really well, it’s likely that you’ll both want to go your own way sometimes. Keep comms open and be gentle but firm if you want to go somewhere or do something without your new roomie with you.
Balance the budget
While it may make sense to share your grocery bill, your roomie may have a bigger (or smaller) budget than you and may have craft beer tastes to your tap water choices… Agree on how you’re going to spend grocery money and stick to the deal – if either of you wants any luxuries, they’re best kept for your own account.
Space is a good thing
No matter how well you get along, there really is truth in the saying that absence making the heart grow fonder. If your schedules don’t already create it, agree on times where you’ll each have your shared space completely to yourselves.
Keep it clean
While Respublica residences includes a weekly bedroom cleaning service, not all residences do. Even if yours does offer a cleaning service, you’ll avoid around 95% of roommate disagreements if you each clean up after yourselves.
Keeping these tips in mind will make sure your new roommate will be a new friend in no time!
Text courtesy of Respublica
Get It Joburg North Campus September 2016