I’ll be living with roommates for the first time when I attend Full Sail University. What are some ways I can acclimate to communal living?

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Living with roommates in apartments near Full Sail for the first time can be an intimidating experience. You've heard the horror stories of evil randomly assigned roommates. You've met people who have friend-dumped their lifelong best friend after moving in with them. If you've lived with your family your whole life, the idea of moving in with strangers or even your friends can seem absolutely absurd. No matter how amiable you are, it's natural to have anxiety about this new experience. 

During my four years of undergrad, I lived with eight different roommates. Although things weren't always easy, and some roommates made it more difficult than others, I was able to adjust to my life with each of them after some time. I found that life with roommates is mainly about one thing: respect. If you respect your roommate's property, space, and time, you shouldn't have a problem. Likewise, you should expect to be respected by your roommates (within reason, of course). Consider these tips to make your roommate experience in your Full Sail apartment more enjoyable.

Consider Community Spaces

Community spaces like the living room and kitchen can be a hotbed of roommate arguments waiting to happen, particularly in apartments with 4 or more bedrooms. Unlike your own bedroom, which can be decorated and maintained to your personal preferences, community spaces need to be used and enjoyed by all occupants. Simple things can help you avoid angry roommates: cleaning up after yourself and consulting with your roommates before making a decorative change. It's generally considered impolite to invite guests over without warning your roommates, so be sure to shoot them a text or have a brief discussion before inviting someone over. 

An often-overlooked aspect of community spaces are communal objects or appliances. Living room TV's, for example, are usually the property of only one occupant. It's usually not necessary to ask before using your roommate's TV if it's in the living room, but it can still be smart to exercise caution in this regard. If you've planned a 12-hour movie marathon, you should probably see if anyone else is planning on using the TV during this time. Even better, ask the owner of the TV if he or she wants to join for some roommate bonding time. Use of simple manners for communal appliances will keep you on your roommate's good side and avoid unwanted hostility. 

Negotiate a "Roommate Contract" 

Roommate contracts are a staple of dorm living for many university students. Although most college freshmen groan at this apparent formality, it can be extremely useful to set a few ground rules to stop arguments before they happen. You don't necessarily have to write it on paper and formally sign it, but if you want to put it in writing, here's a complete list of things you might want to include. 

If you're feeling less formal, it's fine to just have a conversation about the things you expect from them. In addition to more important matters like rent and utility payments, some important topics might be quiet hours, cleaning days, and whether or not you can use each other's personal items. These agreements work to create an understanding between you and your roommates and will likely help you avoid getting on each other's nerves. 

Live with People You'll Get Along With

When it comes to roommates, not everybody is compatible. If you're a cozy homebody who prefers peace and quiet, living with someone who regularly throws parties or plays in a heavy metal band might not be a good choice for you. You and your roommates should be able to enjoy your apartment, so it's important to ensure that you have similar definitions of an enjoyable apartment. Luckily, plenty of Full Sail apartments offer roommate matching. These services ask about your living habits, interests, and other important factors to find you a good match. You don't have to be best friends with your roommates but getting along with them is a good start. 

If you consider these basic rules for respecting and receiving respect amongst your roommates, communal living shouldn't be too difficult. In fact, you may find yourself enjoying time spent with your new roommates in apartments near Full Sail! 

 

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