10 tips for living with roommates

1. Communicate.

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Being passive aggressive and avoiding an issue will not resolve anything. It is so much easier to have an honest, open conversation to solve any problems.

2. Discuss what food, if any, you want to share.

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Figuring out the food situation ahead of time will save you a lot of trouble and prevent you from hiding granola bars in your room because you don’t want to tell their roommate not to eat them.

3. Be aware of your own habits at all times.

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It’s easy to point out the flaws in others, but it’s important to reflect inwards and recognize the things you do that may be annoying or unkind.

4. Have a “do not” talk with your roommate.

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A lot can be accomplished by simply sitting down and talking about what you will not accept or don't want in your apartment. Small arguments can be avoided a lot more quickly if you do this when you first move in instead of waiting until something happens to tick you both off.

5. Wear headphones.

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Even if your roommate has the same taste in music/TV/movies as you, that doesn’t mean they always want to hear what you have on. Besides, great quality headphones are a lot less expensive than great quality speakers.

6. Let your roommates know when you’re having a hard time or feeling emotional.

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When you’re sensitive to each other’s needs the house stays peaceful and everyone is taken care of.

7. Give each other at least a few hours a week to be in the house alone.

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People need space no matter how well you get along, and it’s nice to be able to relax with no one else around.

8. Your roommate's stuff is your roommate's stuff.

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It seems obvious, but this is probably the most common problem that arises between roommates. Don't just assume he won't mind if you finish off his leftovers; he probably will. Always ask for permission before borrowing or using anything that belongs to your roommate!

9. Be cautious about inviting people over.

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You might be an extroverted socialite who thrives in a group, but that might not be true of your roommate. Your roommate may need some quiet time to study, and bringing a group of friends or classmates into your room may be very irritating. Perhaps you can alternate who gets the room and who goes to the library. Talk to your roommate about this, and make sure you don't overstep any boundaries when inviting others over.

10. Lock up.

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Imagine your roommate steps out for a moment to grab a snack, and forgets to lock the door. You come home to find your laptop and stereo have vanished mysteriously. How do you think you'll feel about your roommate after that? Locking the doors and windows is important for keeping you and your property safe. Remember: it's not just your own stuff that you're protecting, it's your roommate's as well.