From strangers, to roommates, to friends

Roommates bonding while doing homework, eating and enjoying each other’s company. Carlie Gillis | Sun News Daily

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Would you ever pay thousands of dollars to move away from home, room with a handful of strangers, and be forced to share everything?

Sounds crazy, yet this is what a majority of the students at Utah Tech do every year.

Learning how to adapt to roommates can be hard as you also have to strategize how each of you lives in a new space. For college freshmen, this can be new and exciting. However, it does take time to adapt to living with one another.

Some would say it can be intimidating to live on your own, but rooming with friends may make it less so. There may be a challenge trying to figure out how to live with one another no matter the situation. Creating the foundation of the friendship may make dealing with roommates easier. Some may find it better to room with strangers or their close friends.

Mary Anderson, a sophomore general studies from Millcreek, said, “For me I have learned the easiest way to adapt to roommates is patience while learning their living habits.”

Many student housing complex managers will assign people based on their similarities. You may have to take a quiz or tell about yourself when applying to housing. This can create a possibility of rooming with others that are similar to you. Some may find their best friend while rooming with others that were first strangers to each other all because of their similarities they listed.

Sophie Anderson, a junior business major from Pleasant Grove, said one of the most difficult chores to manage was laundry turns.

Anderson said, “Our laundry room seems to always be getting used and I feel that I can never do mine as much as I need.”

Disagreements can be solved before others get angry with one another. Anderson had not communicated her problem therefore, it hadn’t gotten solved. It is common for roommates to create rules, expectations and habits with each other. These all can affect in the rooming situation. Being respectful to your roommates way of living is essential. Solving how everyone’s habits work creates less tension.

When becoming friends instead of acquaintances the living situation may become easier. There could be tension living with brand new people. Being a respectful and helpful roommate can help the tension between each other. Having the sense that you can be there for one another will mean a lot to your roommates.

Cameron Turner, a sophomore nursing major from Ramstein, Germany, said: “Set a common ground and treat them how you want to be treated. You don’t need to be their best friend, but it doesn’t hurt to have a friendly living environment.”

Becoming friends with your roommates doesn’t happen over night. It’s a big step to go from knowing nothing about someone to considering them your friend. It may sound silly, but sometimes the little things are what matters most and can be great building blocks in a new friendship. It can be something as simple as cleaning their dishes they didn’t before class, complimenting their outfit or helping them study for a test you know they are stressed for.

Setting expectations will allow for one another to live in the apartment the way they want to but also agree with one another. When setting expectations, realize that you may not agree on some of the expectations. However, settling with decisions that matter to everyone is important. You may sit down and be altogether while talking about expectations or even going out and having dinner or grocery shopping can help bond your roommates.

Ruby Thorsen, a sophomore business major from Draper, said: “Being with each other doing daily grocery runs or dinner runs have let us talk to one another about our living expectations along with being able to bond with one another.” 

Chores can create a big expectation that may need to be set when first living with one another. Having the rules set on who does the dishes or cleans the bathroom can become a problem easily. Many apartments have cleaning checks that will show how you are taking care of your place. Roommates can either accept the responsibility to clean or not. Think about the responsibly you give and what you want back. Responsibility may create a factor in adapting to living with others you may or may not know.

You can learn a lot by living with roommates and you will learn about yourself the most. It teaches you life lessons that you can take with you in future living situations.