Roommates: How to keep everyone happy living off campus

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Erin Cafferty


Finally, you are out of the dorms. This day could not have come soon enough. No more Resident Assistants, no more swipe cards to enter your room, no more communal kitchens that were always left dirty and definitely no more sleeping with someone else in the same room. You are off campus now. And whether you chose Light Side or Dark Side, the choice was good.

There are many upsides to living off campus. You can finally play your music as loud as you want, that is, until the RUPD shows up at your front door. But still, you are on your own. Even just sitting on the couch watching “How I Met Your Mother” and enjoying a cold one can seem more grown up because no one is there to tell you not to. Just remember to not get too sucked up in the freedom you have. Yes, you can now have a party every night if you so please, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. If you live on your own and you can learn to scale back, you might find that you actually enjoy the ragers you have more if you limit them a bit.

As always, with good news comes bad news. There are also unimaginable horrors when you decide to live on your own; fellow roommates. I never knew my best friends could cause me so much stress. Renting (or owning) a house or apartment is a huge responsibility. Make sure you are ready. If your mother has been cooking, cleaning and doing your laundry for you since you were born, I would suggest waiting another year to move off campus so you learn how to do those things on your own. Living off campus is fun, but you have to remember you are not the only one in the house. Other people live there too, and you have to respect them and what they want as well. I highly recommend you choose wisely when you are picking whom you are going to live with.

Cleanliness turns out to be a bigger issue with roommates than you may think. Making a chore list so not just one person is doing all the cleaning is the best way to avoid conflict. The “cleaning up after yourself” suggestion, while sound, does not work. Experience and countless headaches later has taught me that. So make it a point to talk to potential roommates about their cleanliness before you decide to rent with them. It will save you the stress, frustration, resentment and possibly friendships.

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