Keeping you and your roommate civil


Madeline Cancienne, Staff Reporter

Living with a new person can raise annoyances that you never knew existed. Horror stories of awful roommates have been told over the years and it usually give people a good laugh, but it is very different when you are the one living with them.

Some think that a roommate agreement is necessary to establish ground rules for the living space. That way, there will be no issues in the future. Others believe that an agreement is not required for everyone to live in peace.

A roommate agreement is a way to put everything out on the table. By presenting ground rules for everyone, there is accountability for each person living together.

A roommate agreement can give a balance in responsibility. For instance, there can be a rotation for cleaning the bathroom, taking out the trash and purchasing groceries for the week. By establishing this responsibility beforehand, there will be no issues of one roommate taking care of the living space more than the other in the future.

Personal rules can be incorporated into the agreement as well. This may include hours in which people can come over or decide on the air conditioning temperature. Quiet hours can be discussed between roommates based off days of the week or class schedules. These matters are usually discussed with one another. That way, there will be a mutual compromise.

Although these matters should be discussed between roommates, I do not believe a roommate agreement is necessary in all living situations.

There should be a mutual respect for one another. That way, one is not angry with the other. There should be open communication if there is an issue. That way, it will not blow up later on.

I was fortunate enough to know the person I was going to live with. However, this is not the case for many people.

If you do not know the person you are living with well, it can sometimes be difficult to communicate issues with one another. Although it can be an uncomfortable situation, these items need to be discussed. This way, everyone is happy.

A way to discuss these topics with your potential roommate is to meet them before your move-in day. You can grab a cup of coffee, and talk to them to see if you would be a good fit together. This can be a good way to start a new friendship, and it also gives you the opportunity to discuss your interests, living situation and rules.

My roommate and I did not sign a roommate agreement with one another. Although we have been friends since we were young, we have enough respect for one another to keep our items in order.

My roommate and I have discussed whether we were individually messy beforehand so that there would be no issues later on. We take turns cleaning. We each buy our own food but are considerate of the other person. If I buy toilet paper one time, then she usually buys it when we run out.

A good roommate should know that they should pick up after themselves, use their own items, and leave a common space better than they left it.

It is important to focus on how you can improve your lifestyle as a roommate to then better the living situation. By being considerate of one another, very few problems will arise. Although conflicts are inevitable, as long as you communicate these issues in a kind manner, I believe there is no need to draw up a contract.