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uni-life 3 min read

6 tips to help you get along with your roommates

By Kristie 17 Apr 2019
2 McGregor college students chatting at a table.

While living on-college or boarding with others elsewhere is usually a fun-filled, worthwhile experience, there are bound to be times when you just don’t see eye-to-eye with your roommates. To help you avoid or minimise these clashes, here are six things you can do to keep the peace at home:

1. Don’t be loud all the time 

Although it’s exciting to live with your peers, if you’re living with other students, try not to be too loud and distracting while they are trying to study. There’s nothing worse than getting a great idea in your head and then losing it because of sudden background noise! Great ways to avoid this include:

  • Putting up 'Do not Disturb' signs on your door
  • Allocating certain days of the week or visiting hours during the day when family and friends are allowed over
  • Letting your roomies know when you wish to sleep so they keep the noise down
  • Create ground rules that suit everyone for when music can be played out loud and when headphones should be used

2. Give each other some space 

It can be the case that seeing your roommate 24/7 becomes a bit much, even if you are the best of friends. If you start getting annoyed with your roomie about little things, step out for a bit to your favourite spot, go and chill with other friends elsewhere or join a Student Club! This will avoid silly arguments and prevent any extra unwanted tension. Likewise, if your roommate chooses to do this, be respectful of their space and try not to take offence.

3. Keep common areas clean 

One of the most important school rules we ever had that also applies very much to living with roommates is: treat others how you’d like to be treated. Do your dishes, pick up after yourself and generally just keep the areas you share with others clean and tidy. You wouldn’t want to come home to your roommate’s mess, so don’t make others have to deal with yours.

P.S. Don’t be this person …

Dirty kitchen with dishes piled up. Stack all the dirty dishes and wait for roommate to clean it.

4. Communicate 

If something has come to your attention that you don’t like, let your roommate know. This doesn’t have to be done in a rude way. Be positive and friendly, but it’s important you get it off your chest. Communication is also key if you have plans that might disrupt the others you live with. This way, they are aware of what’s going on, can make alternative plans if need be, and they can’t come back at you later about it.   

5. Plan some quality activities with others 

Sometimes we can get caught in a rut doing the same old things, especially during busy times of assessment and exams. Try to include your roommate/s in some of the things you are doing, whether it is going somewhere or attending an event. Letting your hair down allows you to see others in a different light and it’s a great way to build a strong friendship.

6. Discuss rules and come to a compromise 

It’s a good idea to lay out any concerns and preferences you may have, on the table at the very beginning of your shared living arrangement. By doing this, you will each be aware of how everyone would like things to happen and you are less likely to get into silly arguments about the little things.

I hope that my six tips have inspired you if not given you some ideas as to how you can get along better with your roommates, if they aren’t particularly your cuppa tea!

For even more helpful life advice now that you’re adulating, check out Jess’ blog on how to solve common moving out problems!

Author profile image of Kristie