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Monday, December 04, 2023

Maybe you’re about to start your first week of college; or maybe you’ll be returning to the same apartment with the same roommates. Regardless of how you’re feeling (dread, excitement, stress or otherwise), it’s important to start the year with your room and your roommates on a good note.

Living with friends and setting guidelines

I’ve lived with one of my roommates since freshman year, and the other one since sophomore year. We’re about to start our senior year, and that did not come without fights, roommate dinners, and my least favorite (but most important), roommate talks. If you’re passive aggressive (cue hostile jokes) like I am, figure out a way to communicate effectively. Talk to your roommates about expectations -- Who’s cleaning the fridge? Is someone cleaning the fridge? -- and about a guest policy. It sounds silly, because you’re friends, but what if they don’t like your boyfriend, girlfriend or new best friend?

There’s no light in the living room?

You might walk into your new apartment and realize there’s no light fixture, which isn’t the end of the world. My roommates and I knew we wouldn’t have one, so I got one at IKEA for less than $50. If it’s something you’re not going to want to keep post graduation, split the cost.

This also goes for miscellaneous things -- like knives, utensil organizers, dish racks and oven mitts. Set the ground rules, split the cost and treat everything well.

“Let’s split groceries to save money”

This is never a good idea. No, really. Someone is going to eat all of the eggs, promise to buy them, and then you’re craving an omelet for breakfast. I don’t care if you all drink the same kind of milk. Save your piece of mind and spend the extra dollar on a smaller container. It’s just not worth it. Although in my apartment, we’ve semi-successfully bought and shared paper towels and toilet paper in bulk, someone always uses more or less.

Unexpected issues will come up, but the best thing to do is sit down and talk about it.

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