Tips on how to keep harmonious relations with your roommate

As an international student from South Korea, living here in the states has been full of ups and downs. Of all the unforgettable moments, the most bittersweet story would be the one with my roommates. We have all had, or know someone who has had less-than-desirable roommates: The guy who doesn’t take a shower, the guy who gets high at all times, the guy whose girlfriend never leaves the house, the guy who insists on keeping the lights on or the blinds closed all day.

Looking back on my past experience with them, I truly believe that I could have dealt with the issues more wisely had I known a few tips in choosing the right types of roommates and resolving the problems with the less-than-awesome ones.

First, rooming with your best friends may appear to be your best choice, and oftentimes it might be. In order to see whether your decision falls into the best place, here are some questions you might want to ask yourself: Do I still want to see this person at my house in addition to other times I am with him/her? What happens if there is an argument between us, or I just need my own space? How alike are our living styles?

Second, focus on your habits. Take a moment to think about how you live. When do you do homework, and what type of environment do you prefer to work in? What hours do you usually sleep? Do you clean on a regular basis or procrastinate it? How often do you have your friends or your significant other over? You need to keep in mind that at the end of day, the chances of getting along with your roommates all stem from your proper decision-making skills based on a wise reflection of yourself.

Third, set some ground rules through effective communication. Some people might find it unnecessary, but it is absolutely needed not only to maintain a good relationship but also to fix issues between roommates.

In my opinion, the most common issues would be the issues associated with visitors and cleanliness. Do your own dishes within 24 hours, alternate who cleans the bathroom and takes out the trash, and make sure visitors are encouraged to leave by midnight on weekdays, for example.

In conclusion, it may be extremely difficult to live with your best mate. It might even be impossible. However, don’t lose your hope. As long as you are ready to understand one another, share different interests and overcome the issues, the right roommate will come along.