A couple of weeks ago, RentShare intern Tim brought you the top three concerns students had before moving off campus. They included getting along with roommates, finding food, and staying involved.
Now, I’d like to bring you the top three things I didn’t realize would be major problems when I had finally moved off campus. The concerns Tim brought up are very real, but there were some I didn’t think of until the eight of us were finally settled into our new place.
Right away, us girls made a “chore chart” that we rotated through each week, with one person being “off” each week and getting a break. However, although most people did their chores, I didn’t realized how difficult it would be do get everyone to clean every week.
Some of the girls said that what they had to clean that week “didn’t look dirty.” If they were in charge of dusting, they would say nothing looked dusty. If they were in charge of bathrooms, they’d say that the only thing they had to clean was the showers because everything else looked decent.
However, as the complaints piled up so did the dirt. Even when we missed something one week, it looked completely different a week later and the person in charge that week would get frustrated with whoever didn’t do their job the week before. The moral of the story here is that cleaning like this really only takes five to 10 minutes, so just do it so you don’t have to deal with a really dirty space later down the line.
It’s inevitable that someone’s going to complain that Susie takes showers that are way too long and Jane’s space heater is huge and uses way too much electricity. Because of this, roommates will think that bills should be divided up differently.
However, if you’re really going to look into the specifics, then you’ll learn that one person uses a bit more of something than everyone else. As much as we argued over this (and as much as some roommates complained they didn’t use their window air conditioners as much), splitting bills up evenly was the best way to handle living with eight girls in one house. When you’ve got a lot of people, just divide and conquer. If you’ve only got one other roommate, though, and one of you travels or isn’t in the house a lot, this may be something to look into, as long as both of you are being fair.
3. Walls are Always Paper Thin
You’re going to, at some point, hear roommates talking about another roommate behind his or her back. Even if you’re in a brand new apartment, builders in college towns don’t usually make a point to build thick walls because they know that they’re going to make a ton of money anyway.
That being said, the only advice I can give is to be very careful what you say and where you say it. You wouldn’t want someone to overhear your gossip just as much as you wouldn’t want to hear someone you thought was your best friend saying bad things about you to another friend in the next room. If you’re having serious issues, talk them out within 24 hours of their occurrence. If you nip it in the bud, then you’ll have a lot less hostility to worry about later.
Thankfully, us girls were able to deal with all of these problems ASAP and things worked out OK, but I know living with even just a couple of roommates down the road would mean that I’d encounter these issues all over again. As long as you’re prepared, you’ll be just fine!
– Catherine, RentShare Intern