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Living off-campus at UGA with roommates, whether that may be with friends or total strangers, can be an exciting and adventurous new experience. You always have someone to talk to, do homework with, and unwind with at the end of an especially stressful week. However, with such closeness, you're also prone to experiencing disagreements and quarrels from time to time. So, here are a few friendly suggestions for what you can do to maintain a harmonious and healthy relationship with your roommates in your new Athens apartment.
Understand Your Compatibility
The first thing to do when trying to find roommates is understanding your compatibility with one another. It's important to choose roommates who share at least a few of your habits and preferences. When you're considering old friends to be your new roommates, it can be easy to identify whether you're compatible because you know the kinds of people they are. But, living with people you know nothing about can be a bit scary since you don't have any prior relationship to them. So, using a roommate matching service may be a great option to consider when looking for someone to live with.
Set Ground Rules
Once you decide on the people you are going to live with for the next year, establish a few common ground rules that all of you agree on. It can be tricky to find a middle ground that everyone is satisfied with but it's important to have those conversations before you start living together. If you prefer your privacy and don't want anyone to barge into your room, let your roommates know respectfully. Discuss whether you're okay with each other inviting friends and hosting gatherings in your apartment. If you prefer a heads-up before other people are invited to your shared apartment, let your roommates know that you'd like for them to ask you beforehand. Sharing your preferences and establishing ground rules is key in creating a comfortable living situation for you and your roommates so make sure to talk through these sorts of things.
Decide What's Being Shared
The kitchen may be the trickiest thing to conquer and the biggest source of disagreement when living in your Athens apartment. With more than one person cooking and using the kitchen, there is a lot of confusion on what to bring and how to divide it all up. Does it make sense to bring four sets of identical pots and pans for all four roommates? It depends. If you're the only vegetarian in your house, maybe you'll want to bring your own utensils and dishes. What about fruits and vegetables; are all of you sharing those? If you have specific brand preferences or if your food items are a little pricier, it's probably best to not share with the rest of your household. But it may be more reasonable to share the generic spices, like salt and pepper, or condiments – ketchup and mustard. This way, you're saving money and storage. Keep a list of who's turn it is to bring an item when it runs out so that everyone is equally responsible for contributing.
Be Considerate in Your Apartment Near UGA
The simplest way to avoid conflict with your housemates is by being considerate. Make sure to clean up after yourself when you do something outside of your room. If you're doing crafts in the living room, don't leave a mess for someone else to clean and, if you're done cooking in the kitchen, wash your dishes as soon as you can so they're not sitting in the sink for someone else to take care of. If you plan on having friends over, keep the noise to a reasonable level so you're not disturbing your roommates who may be studying or sleeping. Being aware of yourself and taking measures not to be rude and inconsiderate are the best ways to continue being friends with your roommates and prevent any potential tension in the future. And, even if you do face problems with your roommate(s), there are many solutions to diffuse the situation, and one of our other FAQs offers a few tactics on how to do so.