You realize you need some help paying your rent while you go to school. Where do you start?

Inner Circle

To find a college roommate, start off by asking anyone you know if they need a place a to stay, or if they know anyone else that needs a place to stay. It is easier to deal with people who are already a part of your social circle. A social media post prompting interested parties to private message you for details is a great way to get this done- just make sure not to post pictures or your address publically.

Low-key marketing

If noone you know is currently looking for a place to stay, try reaching out to fellow students on your college campus. You can do this by printing out flyers with the necessary information for potential renters, and posting them on cork boards in different buildings. Microsoft Word has a template called “flyer with tear-off tabs” which is perfect for this purpose. Be sure to contact your Campus Activities department to find out where you are allowed to post flyers, otherwise they may be taken down by cleaning staff.

While you’re posting flyers, keep an eye out for other people seeking a new roommate. You may find their flyers on the same cork boards.  People seeking roommates can also post an ad on Craigslist. It is easier to hide your personal information this way, but it also means that your advertisement can be seen by people outside of your campus—it can be seen by anyone.

What To Look For

So, you found someone who is interested in being your roommate. It’s time to vet them and vise versa. Set up an interview to get to know each other more and discuss expectations. When it comes to favorable qualities in a roommate, it is important to find someone who is cooperative, easy for you to get along with and can communicate effectively to avoid misunderstandings.

It is not necessary to find a roommate who is currently attending college, but a fellow student or someone who has been to college will understand the weird schedule you’re dealing with and how you’ll need quiet time to study and do course work.

Get The Logistics Right

Having your roommate sign a leasing agreement with you and your landlord is 100% necessary. This will help you avoid dealing with eviction issues with your landlord in case your roommate is being disruptive and/or not helping pay for their half of the rent. Roommates who are not on a lease are potentially dangerous, because if something goes wrong and your landlord gets dragged into it, everyone could be evicted, instead of just your troublesome roommate.


Becoming Sympatico

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Now that you’ve found a roommate who signed the necessary paperwork, here are three important tips for getting along with them:

  1. Keep shared spaces clean. Try your best to keep your belongings secluded to your space and respect your roommate’s space. This is where that interview discussion comes into play. You should have discussed expectations for cleanliness in your shared spaces- maybe you have mapped out a chore schedule and now it’s all about sticking to it.
  2. If you find yourself having to take an early morning class, make sure you wake up to your alarm and turn it off. Don’t make your roommate suffer through your perpetual hitting of the snooze button.
  3. Don’t stay up with the lights on studying all night. If you absolutely have to pull an all-nighter, there are usually study spaces in the lobbies of dorm halls and there’s a good chance you can access your campus library at any hour of the night with a student ID. Let your roommate sleep in peace.

Resolving Conflict

Try your best to be a shining example of a good roommate at all times. Hopefully, this will encourage your bad roommate into being better.

When it comes to addressing a difficult roommate, it is important to communicate clearly and early. Voice your expectations of behavior and establish boundaries from the very beginning, that way everyone understands what is expected of them and they are not surprised or indignant about any incidents.  Do not assume your roommate already knows what bothers you and what doesn’t- they won’t unless you tell them.

Make sure to explain to your roommate how certain behaviors affect you in order to demonstrate why it is important for them to adhere to your requests—but always be open to compromisation. Never conduct conversations in a passive aggressive manner and always refrain from any form of abuse.


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