Navigating life with roommates can be a challenge. Sharing a space with someone else, no matter how well you know them, takes effort on everyone’s part. The best way to make sure you have a conflict-free environment is to be open and transparent with expectations. Check out our tips for making your apartment near UCF a positive, peaceful place to call home.
The roommate relationship begins even before you move-in to your new Orlando apartment. It is a great idea to start building a relationship with who you’ll be living with though social media or casual text conversation. This way, all the roommates can get to know one another and discuss things like décor and who is bringing what on move-in day – that way, you won’t end up with three toasters and a million spatulas!
When move-in day in day comes, you all will have built up a repour with one another and can comfortably start sharing a space. Be sure to be friendly and calm even with the stress of the day. Take your time moving in and work with your roommates to figure out how everyone’s items best fit in your apartment. This is a great opportunity to survey the space and voice your opinions and concerns with your roommate(s).
Write up a "Roommate Contract"
Roommate contracts are a set of basic ground rules and expectations that all parties agree to follow. These contracts are typically used when students are living in dorms but can be of service for off-campus living as well. While this may seem rather formal, having everyone write out their standards of living can be beneficial for understanding where your roommate is coming from. If a contract is too much, instead having an open conversation about lifestyle, cleanliness and preferences with your roommate(s) can set up for success. Talk about important topics like quiet hours, cleaning responsibilities, what visitors you’re comfortable having and when, and boundaries regarding personal items. This is the ideal time to set standards for decorating shared spaces, inviting guests over, and the usage of communal objects. Most importantly, keep communication flowing, be open to compromise, and be considerate and kind to others.
Compatibility and Conflict
Despite the best efforts of roommate matching or your Facebook search, not everyone that lives together will be compatible. Someone may be a quiet homebody, while another may be a social night-owl. Not everyone is going to the best of friends with who they live with, but that doesn’t mean you can’t invest and develop those relationships. An activity outside your UCF apartment, like a monthly brunch date, could help to build connection and create a smooth living situation. A courteous and respectful relationship is important, even if you don't always get along.
If conflict does arise, make sure to be clear in your communication and don't make it personal. It can be hard to get out of a signed lease, so getting off on a rocky start will make it uncomfortable for all involved. Make sure you maintain a level of respect. Usually, a way to avoid arguments is to bring up issues in a timely manner. If something really bothers you, bring it up in a constructive manner rather than letting it fester. At the same time, make sure you have had time to cool down and collect yourself before going straight into confrontation. Be aware that your roommates are entitled to a healthy living space just as you are and most often compromise will be necessary.