An upperclassman living in off-campus housing faces a number of responsibilities. Between grocery shopping, paying rent, dealing with a landlord and living with multiple roommates, it's a wonder anyone can keep up with classwork.
Living with more than four roommates under the same roof can be a fun college experience, but it also comes with its own set of issues. Here are four tips to ensure you have a drama-free living environment.
1. Avoid passive-aggressive behavior
Communication is key to any relationship, whether it's as friends or roommates. Share your feelings with your roommates -- don't let bad feelings bubble below the surface and blow up in frustration later on.
If one of your roomies is bothering you, have an honest and respectful conversation together to avoid future problems. Don't grumble and make sarcastic remarks -- that won't solve the problem.
2. Establish rules
Each roommate will likely have his own opinion on the way things should run, so it's important to establish some ground rules upon moving in to make sure everyone is on the same page. Set expectations for each roommate regarding various household issues.
For example, decide if there will be assigned roles -- for dish duty, garbage duty or cleanup duty -- in the kitchen. Or agree that each roommate will take care of his own mess.
Setting these rules up front limits confusion and drama.
3. Be understanding
If conflict does arise (which is inevitable), it's important to be as understanding as you can with your roomies. After all, you'd want them to do the same for you.
If they fall short on household tasks they've been assigned or fail to follow the rules of the house, try to understand that they may be having a stressful week. We've all been there, and a little empathy goes a long way.
4. Pick your battles
Living with many people under the same roof means there will be drama, whether it's frivolous or serious. With small issues, decide if they're worth riling everyone up before confronting a roommate.
You want your voice to be heard, but it's important to be flexible and realize you can't control everything. You want to maintain a fun and harmonious living situation -- and partaking in petty drama won't help that.