This article takes me back five years to the best roommate I ever had. No one was quite like Susan: the ultimate roommate, from her laid-back presence to her sense of humor. We met in our freshman dorm and a few years later ended up sharing an apartment. Some of my best memories are from our roomie days!
Susan’s skills as a good roommate can be partially attributed to the fact that she’s just a great person in general. But she made conscious choices that made her fun to live with and took her from being my roommate to being one of my best friends.
Here are five attributes of great roommates you can keep in mind when looking for a Susan of your own!
1. They pull their weight in the home.
A good roommate doesn’t expect everyone else to clean up the dishes, vacuum or wipe down the bathroom mirror. If you all share a space, it’s important to pull your weight. Part of this is communicating who is going to do what, because if this isn’t addressed it very likely won’t get done at all. If one roommate is a neat freak (like me!), a lack of communication in this area can cause resentment. Decide ahead of time who will do what—and then do it.
2. They communicate their feelings.
Passive aggression is the number one enemy of good friendships and roomie relationships. If you have a problem with your roommate, talk to her about it. Don’t talk to the other roommate, your friends or your mom. Talk to HER. If you have a roommate who is passive-aggressive, you’ll probably have to be the one to bring up this conversation. Even if she won’t do it herself, you can be the roomie who is honest about your feelings and encourages communication in your home.
3. They come up with awesome ways to procrastinate on homework.
I’m not endorsing procrastination here, but we all know you can’t work ALL the time! A cardinal rule of roommate relationships is to help one another not do what you need to do…at least once in a while! Whether you’re facilitating a movie night, a coffee run or a dance party, finding ways to have fun as roommates just goes with the territory.
4. They’re always ready for a late-night grocery run.
Those 10 p.m. grocery runs always result in the best snacks, am I right? A roomie who suggests, “Ice cream and Twizzlers?” is the very best kind. Even afternoon grocery shopping with your roomie is a great way to make memories. I loved picking out the week’s meals, packing our fridge full and stuffing our assigned pantry shelves with all our newly bought goodies.
And sometimes stealing one another’s food. (But I recommend keeping this to a minimum.)
5. They’re good listeners.
A good roomie is, above all else, a good listener. Because roommates are often our friends before and/or after living with us, listening is part of continuing a positive relationship. Refusing to listen damages any relationship, but even more so when you live with the person. Communication is absolutely key and the basis of communication is heeding the other person’s input—not just talking over them.
Did you have an awesome roommate? What made her so great? Share in the comments!