At times, living with another person can be challenging. PHOTO: JESS TSANG

Roommate survival tips

In Communities /

By Olivia McLeod

1. Make a contract or have a serious conversation before moving in together

Living with someone can be challenging. On second thought, challenging might even be an understatement —annoying and excruciatingly painful seem like more appropriate terms. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck living a sad and miserable life for the entire duration of university. To make things go as smoothly as possible, make sure you and your roommate(s) are on the same page with things like cleaning, visitors, groceries, shared space and most importantly, what you expect out of your relationship. By establishing some “ground rules,” smaller issues can be avoided.

2. Instead of blaming a roommate for something, let them know how you felt about it and how it affected you

I know this one sounds cheesy, but hear me out. Letting someone know how their actions affected you will most likely prompt them to change their ways. If you try to play the blame game (or use other tactics, like screaming or leaving passive aggressive Post-it notes on the fridge) you’ll never make any progress.

3. Learn to compromise

As wonderful as it would be to have your way all the time, life doesn’t work like that. To make living in a shared space comfortable, you need to figure out what works for everyone — not just yourself. This means that you might have to refrain from walking around naked and drinking orange juice out of the carton.

4. Know who you’re moving in with and keep an open mind about people

Keeping an open mind is crucial when choosing a roommate. You never know how things will work out with someone until you get to know him or her, so don’t veto a potential roommate just because they listen to Céline Dion or have poor taste in TV shows.

5. If you don’t have a roommate just yet, Ryerson student housing has a roommate finder on www.spaces4students.com

Are things looking a bit lonely in the roommate department? Have no fear — finding a match can be easy. Spaces4students.com matches users based on which university they go to. To participate, all you have to do is make a profile and post a listing.

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