The prospect of having a friend as a roommate can seem like an exciting prospect, but before making that decision, it’s important to examine the consequences that living together might arise.
Whether you’re living on your own for the first time or have spent several years living in the dorms or in an apartment, picking roommates is an important part of the process. If you have a close friend who is going to your same college or is simply in the same area, your instinct might be to room together. On the surface, this might sound like a good idea, but there are several things you should consider before deciding to have a close friend as a roommate.
One unfortunate thing about roommates is that there are going to be roommate conflicts. This is almost guaranteed. Whether you’re having disagreements over cleaning, late-night guests, the level of noise in the apartment, etc. roommate conflicts can become heated. Unfortunately, these arguments can harm even the closest of friendships.
Roommate conflicts can also become an issue when you have to take sides in a disagreement between other roommates. If you feel obligated to take your friend’s side, even when you agree with the other roommate, it may cause you to feel bitter or angry toward your friend. Even if you agree with your friend, it could lead to the other roommate feeling like you are ganging up on them, particularly if you and your friend always take each other’s sides.
Rooming with a close friend may also cause problems with personal space or with your friend taking advantage. For example, your friend could assume borrowing your clothes, eating your food, or leaving a make-up mess in the bathroom is fine.
Issues may also arise concerning the amount of time you spend together. One friend may resent that the other has a crazier social life or may feel the other is spending too much time with school. On the opposite side, if you’re spending all your free time together, you both may miss out on opportunities to meet new people. While these problems may arise even if you do not live together, it can become an even bigger issue if you are living in the same apartment.
Of course, some people find rooming with a good friend works out wonderfully. If you do decide to room with a close friend, be ready to make some adjustments right away if you see conflicts arising. Let us know about your experience living with close friends in the comment section below.