Life in the university is typically stressful and overwhelming. Several factors go into creating these feelings and situations, most notably about housing. A student’s living situation either has a positive or negative effect on a student’s comfort and productivity. Depending on which, this can either be beneficial or detrimental to their performance in classes and organizations.
For most first-year students, the non-negotiable on-campus accommodation can be a nightmare. But by two (or three) terms, these students are free to choose between staying in their dorms or looking into other forms of housing. The most popular of which is off-campus housing.
If you’re renting a flat with some of your closest friends, here are a few things you can expect while sharing the space with them.
Absence of Awkward Phases
Rooming with strangers can be a bit cumbersome, especially in the first few weeks or months of living under one roof. It generally entails having to suffer through introductions and icebreakers as well as awkward hangouts. That is followed by tiptoeing around each other as you try to gauge each other’s limits.
This experience is practically non-existent when you live with friends. Regardless of how short or long you’ve fostered the friendship, you and your friend(s) will likely dive into roommate activities from the get-go. Some of these are discussing room arrangements, designing the flat, and buying standard area furniture like end tables and sofas online.
Constant Love and Support
The university, with its benefits, can be stressful even for the best of students. There are classes to take and extracurriculars to explore. It doesn’t help that most times, students are separated from their usual support system.
That does not include you, though, if you’ll be living with one or some of them. It helps to point out that having a friend nearby when things get tough is akin to having a life jacket when you go into the deep end. The friend’s presence itself is support, and there’s a bonus of having someone to talk to about your problems.
It doesn’t only apply during times of hardship. But rooming with a friend also means more opportunities to bond. You can set movie dates, eat meals together, or help each other out with your course work.
A bigger space means more responsibilities. Similar to sharing a dorm, you and your friend are both liable for anything that happens within your flat. Keeping it clean and avoiding dangers are part and parcel of renting a space. Fortunately, it’s much easier to find common ground when you have months or years of experience with the person.
Before moving in, or even in the first few days of staying in the apartment, make sure to establish a fair chore chart. Doing this lets you know your obligations to the household ahead of time and allows you and your friend to discuss penalties if one or the other starts slacking.
Lack of Boundaries
It’s important to note that the best of friends may not automatically equate to the best roommate. There are times when you and your friend may not see eye-to-eye. For example, your friend may be okay with having regular hangouts at the flats during weekdays, while you think the opposite.
It may cause complications, but there’s no reason to fret. It may be awkward to confront a friend regarding these matters, but months or years of friendship can help soften the blow. Remember to do it immediately since ignoring the problem may lead to resentment being harboured.
With these in mind, you can consider how you’ll be living with your friend next to you (maybe, even literally).