Living with Roommates for the First Time

Roommates! After living almost 20 years with one set of rules, all of a sudden you are playing with a whole new set of rules. How do you adjust? What’s strategies work best?

As we transition from our parent’s house to our own living space that often requires roommates in order for it to be affordable.   In such cases, after living almost 20 years with one set of rules all of a sudden the game has changed and you are playing with a whole new set of rules.

Get to Know Each Other

First, and most important, it’s key to get to know your roommates.  This includes everything from where they are from to what they like and their pet peeves.   Just as much as you want them to be a good room mate to you, you want to be a good roommate to them.

How do you do this? Spend some quality time together on your first few weeks together.  Go out and have some fun, get to know each other in a variety of settings, and eventually start setting some ground rules.

Ground Rules

In any living situation there are spoken (and unspoken) ground rules.  It’s often easiest to lay out the rules early on so everyone is clear what is expected of each other. Who does what chores and what activities are acceptable and unacceptable.

For example, what are the rules surrounding guests?    What about food-sharing?  Will everyone have their own food space or will food be shared among everyone?  How will bills be paid, such as electricity, rent, etc…  Who will do the dishes and who takes out the garbage?   All great discussions to have early on to avoid pent up frustration later.

Issues Will Arise

It’s important to accept that even the best laid plans (rules) will go awry from time to time.  It’s often a great idea to set up a plan for how to handle disagreements to avoid them boiling over into big arguments?

For example, will you have weekly roommate meetings or will they be more ad hoc as issues arise?  What’s the rules for the discussions (i.e. no name calling)?  What if a resolution can’t be reached?

It Will Be Okay

Above all, know that it will be okay.  Living with someone is one of the closest relationships you can have with someone.  There is bound to be disagreements – this is only natural.  Don’t feel like you’ve failed roommate living 101 if you seem to keep having riffs with your roomie.  It will happen.  And you will grow and learn from them.  You will become a better roommate to this roommate and those down the line.  It will be okay! 😊

What’s your Experience with a Roommate?

Have you lived with roommates?  What has been your experience?  How did you handle riffs within the close living quarters?

26 thoughts on “Living with Roommates for the First Time

  1. I’ve never lived with room mates, I went from living with my paren, to living with my now partner and mother to my children. I don’t think I’d like it, people tend to stress me out 😂

    1. I have lived with roommates back then in school 🚸, its kind of challenging having different mindset among you and different believe but at the same time its fun.

  2. I’ve lived with roommates and it’s one of the most exciting experience I’ve had. Everyone with different backgrounds and different perspectives, it’s challenging but it’s fun. I have no regrets

  3. I currently still live at home with parents and plan to move out with my boyfriend in the next year or two. I don’t think I’d like to live with room mates, I like my own space and I think I’d find it difficult.

  4. I haven’t lived with roommates, but I’ve been stuck at home with my family back in my childhood room and have been sharing it with my sister ever since the pandemic started. This sort of feels like having a roommate, in a way. It can definitely be challenging!

  5. I too had roomies during my collages but all of them were so helpful and i know i am really lucky 😀

  6. I have briefly lived with a few roommates during university when I had a practice placement. I really enjoyed it, even though the NHS /on hospital site accommodation wasn’t the best. I made really great friends with one of the girls, and we are still friends to this day. The other girl tended to keep to herself, and we didn’t really see her that much. Definitely, an experience having roommates! I think you are right, everyone is different and you may have differing opinions…it is all about compromise, isn’t it?

    Aimsy xoxo

  7. I was so lucky when I left for uni, my first set of flatmates all got on really well and we managed the whole year without a single issue. 2nd year was almost as perfect with only one person who ever caused a little friction, I’ve been really lucky! x


  8. Having roommates or people you share communal areas with can be fine if you’re living with people you know or friendly people, but it can be a nightmare with passive aggressive strangers who you only know because you live in the same building

    One of the people I live with use to throw other people’s stuff in the bin if it was left out in the kitchen. He throw one person’s takeaway out, even though they’d only gone to the toilet. The guy can be a right nightmare

  9. i actually have always lived with roommates, save for my parents. mostly because of price, but i have so many stories about roommates, both good and bad, that it’s kind of ludicrous. it’s definitely a learning curve and it can be hard, for some, to make that transition. if you have the opportunity, then i highly advise meeting with them and making sure you vibe well with them.

    currently, i love all my roommates and it’s such a fun atmosphere with all animals and hilariousness.

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