For most students, it is their first time living away from home. This means this is also their first time living with roommates. Unless you are able to get a short-term lease, you will be living with these people close to a year. Having roommates is a very different experience than what students are used to at home. You may have to adjust to living habits you’ve never dealt with before. With one bedroom apartments around UGA being so expensive, it is more than likely most students will have one to four roommates. Living with roommates is an important life skill, and this article will help future dawgs navigate new living arrangements. With the right preparation and mindset, any student can adjust to apartment life with roommates.
How to have a positive living environment in a UGA apartment
Living with people you have never lived with before can be a stressful experience. It is important to lay out each student's lifestyle and living habits as early as possible upon move in day. The sooner the better because unknown habits will cause conflict later on if not discussed. These could include being a smoker, a late night partier, being a messy person, etc. A good idea is to set up a written agreement early after move in. The contract should cover common issues that could arise. Common issues that could be included in the contract list include:
● Dividing chores and responsibilities
● Picking up after oneself in the kitchen and shared living space
● Being overly loud
● Disagreements over bills
● Cleaning Schedule
● Varying sleep schedules
How to Deal with Conflict with Roommates
Conflict is almost inevitable between people living in the same place; what is important is handling the problems in a way that will prevent future issues. It is especially important to get along with roommates as a graduate student because you need that peace and quiet. Slamming doors and yelling will not solve anything. It is important to communicate and come to a compromise on living standards. If you have a problem with one of your roommates make sure you keep in mind that they will still be on the lease after the argument. No one likes confronting someone about a difficult subject, so be sensitive to the other person’s feelings. Maybe invite your roommate into the shared living space and get them to go out and get food with you. At this dinner you can discuss the problem. If class and work responsibilities prevent you from bonding with your roommates, use a white board to leave messages for your roommates. This seems much more personable than a text message. Sometimes it is best to agree to disagree. Despite an attempt to have a dialogue, you may not be able to change your roommate’s mind and vice versa. In this situation it is best to agree to disagree because it calls both people to tolerate the opposing position and having valid differences in opinion is ok.
Being a good roommate is one of the best ways to avoid conflict. Some things may be obvious, but it is important to remember common courtesy when living with new people. When in doubt, put yourself in your roommates’ shoes to understand their frustration. It really boils down to the saying, treat others the way you want to be treated.
Some examples of common courtesies between roommates include:
- Do not leave clothes out in washer and dryer
- Take out full trash bags
- Clean your eating space up after a meal
- Be respectful about guests
- Do your dishes, including cookware
- Give personal space
- Have dialogues about issues
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