Our Mobilizer alumni Meaghen Stock has been our guest blogger over the last few months. A big shout out of thanks to Meaghen for sharing her insights and tips from her Mobilize journey. We hope this series of guest blogs have given young Canadians a glimpse into the Mobilize experience.
This is Meaghen’s fifth and last story, where she shares tips for how to live happily with roommates (we call them pod mates in the Mobilize program). Her first four stories were on getting around the Canadian Rockies, money saving tips while on the road, her personal journey through the Mobilize program and grocery shopping tips for a tight budget.
Written by guest blogger Meaghen Stock:
My 6 tips for living happily with roommates
Living with roommates can be a challenging thing to do, especially if it is something you have never done before. Most people at some point in their lives will have a roommate, whether it is starting in a college dorm, moving into your first apartment with some friends, or if you live in staff accommodations for a job, such as when you work for Mobilize Jobs. Although there are many challenging times, there are also many fun times to be had with roommates. Here are my tips to help you start living happily with roommates!
Tip #1. Set some ground rules right away
When about to live with a stranger or even a friend, make sure you guys have a conversation about what you are and are not comfortable with. An example might be no friends in the bedroom if you share a room. Go over your pet peeves and things that would make you uncomfortable. Even if you are friends with that person, living with someone and just being friends with someone are two totally different things. Having this starting conversation can save a lot of annoyance and fights from happening later down the road.
Tip #2. Consider making a chore list
Chores are a common thing roommates argue over. By making a chore list together, you can each feel like you are doing an equal amount of work and that way you will know who is accountable for what. With a list set, you know everything will be getting cleaned and you can all feel proud. Rotating your chores is also a good idea, that way no one is stuck cleaning the bathrooms forever (yuck)!
Tip #3. Don’t be that person to “ borrow without permission”
Using your roommate’s toothpaste? Using their shampoo and body wash? Think they don’t notice? They notice. Unless you have already come to a previous agreement to share food and household items, don’t just use your roommates things without asking. Emergencies happen and I’m sure if you find out you are out of toothpaste right before going to work and you ask your roommate to use it once, it won’t be a big deal. Just don’t use their toothpaste everyday as it is little annoying things like these that can blow up into big problems over time.
Tip #4. Make time to do things together
Spending time with your roommate, if it is not something you do regularly, can be a great way to have time to discuss any issues or just a great time to have fun together. A great idea when living with a number of roommates is to plan a “family dinner” every couple of weeks. You can either all cook together or rotate turns for who cooks the dinner. It is a great way for everyone to sit down and enjoy one big meal together.
Tip #5. Don’t be so quick with those sticky notes
If you and your roommate work two totally different shifts it can be hard to run into each other if there is something you need to work out with them. Try your best to make a point to see them in person to have a conversation because no one likes passive aggressive notes. Just ask someone if they mind cleaning their dishes that have been sitting there for a couple days instead of leaving a note. It comes off much nicer, and leaves much less room for conflict. Notes should be left in good situations such as “help yourself to some fresh baked cookies”.
Tip #6. The most important of them all
When you finish off the toilet paper, throw out the cardboard roll, and replace it with new toilet paper. This is the one little thing EVERYONE is guilty of. Just replace the toilet paper.
Although living with roommates can sometimes be difficult, it can also be a lot of fun. Take the opportunity to get to know your roommates and you could end up making a new best friend. Keep communication open so you all know when you are bugging each other. Be friendly, be smart, do your part, and you can have a great experience – plus live happily with your roommates!