Maybe you’re thinking about using a roommate finder to match you up with someone to live with. Or, perhaps you’re considering living with someone you already know. Either way, before making the big decision of who to share your off-campus apartment1 with, take note of the pros and cons of living with a roommate below.
Pros of living with a roommate
You’ll save money
Probably one of the biggest reasons people opt to share their space with roommates is because it helps save money in college. Usually, having a roommate, as opposed to living alone, means you’ll be able to afford something a little larger and/or nicer than if you were handling the rent all by yourself as well.
Household chores won’t solely fall on you (hopefully)
In the same way you’ll have someone to split the bills with when you choose to live with a roommate, you’ll also have someone to split the chores with. Dishes aren’t your favorite past time? Perhaps pass that chore off to your roommate while you handle mopping instead.
When you live with a roommate (one who does commit to the cleaning with you), you’ll have the benefit of not having to worry about taking care of all the household chores alone.
You could end up with a live-in best friend
With a roommate comes the possibility of a great friendship. If you live with someone you’ve already met in your off-campus student housing, you may already know that you’ll have a best friend down the hall. If you use a roommate finder and chat or meet before moving in together, you could find a brand new best friend in your new roommate.
Pro tip: Having a live-in best friend who also wears the same size as you is a bonus. Double the wardrobes means outfit options are endless!
There’s someone there to prevent you from eating the whole tub of ice cream
Perhaps one of the most overlooked benefits of having a roommate is there’s always someone around to prevent you from doing things like finishing off a whole tub of ice cream, never bathing, or ordering large pizzas every night (hey, no judgment here if that’s you already!).
The freedom of off-campus living is great, but it can also be dangerously freeing. While it can get annoying to have someone constantly there and able to see most every move, it can also keep you on track from doing things you probably shouldn’t and likely would do if you lived alone and had no one there to “judge” you for it.
Cons of living with a roommate
They may miss payments
It’s always nice to have someone to split the bills with…that is if they do in fact split the bills and pay up on time. Unfortunately, when you decide to live with a roommate, you may end up with a forgetful or irresponsible person who misses paying their share of rent and utility bills.
Before jumping into a renting relationship with someone, make sure you can trust that they’ll be ready to pay their share of the monthly rent.
They can be messy
Sharing closets, splitting bills, and having a built-in bestie can make for a fun off-campus living situation. But, what if they’re not up to your clean standards or don’t keep an organized apartment like you do? If you’re a neat freak, try to find a roommate with similar cleaning habits. Nothing can make a friendship or roommate relationship go sour faster than making and leaving messes in the shared space.
You’ll have to share a lot
You’ll end up sharing a lot more than just the bills when it comes to living with a roommate, and that can be tricky for some people to deal with. Areas like the kitchen and bathroom are usually shared, which can lead to some frustration if you’re both constantly trying to use the same things at the same time.
Also, the fridge can get confusing. Especially if you’re living with more than one person, you may want to mark which food is yours so you don’t forget and accidentally eat all your roomies’ beloved bagels.
You can end up with a live-in enemy
Although choosing a roommate with off-campus living could bring you a new bestie (or strengthen a friendship you already have with a friend you choose to live with), things can also go south. Living with someone can bring out their best…and their worst.
So that you don’t end up with a live-in enemy, try to get to know the person you’ll be living with first if you found them using a roommate finder. Or, if you already know the person, make sure you think your friendship can withstand a roomie relationship.