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How to Have a Good Roommate Experience

Roommates. They can be difficult at times. For me personally, I haven’t had good roommate experiences. My first two years of college I did not have the best roommates...  Except one!

Also I’m living abroad with a family so I have different roommates.  It’s more like living at home with your mom and dad.  But without your mom worrying about you all the time.  However, I would like to give you some advice about co-existing with roommates abroad.  I have many friends who live with roommates and I hear good and bad situations.

 Hanging out at my friends apartment

Rule 1:  is to find roommate(s) with the same interests as you. If you like to go out on the weekend, it’s probably not a good idea to be paired with someone who likes to study on the weekend. Although, with CEA, they have you take a personality test to pair you with someone who has similar interests. This helps avoid unnecessary tension.

Rule 2: when you first meet your new roommate(s), get to know each other. After that you should talk about rules of the house. For example, keeping the kitchen clean, ask before inviting friends, ect. Now setting these rules doesn’t mean they will play out like you thought. For example, your thought of what a clean kitchen looks like could be totally different than what your roommate thinks. If something happens that you’re not okay with, simply tell your roommate.  If you don’t communicate with them, you will most likely not have the experience. For the most part, your roommate doesn’t even know that they did something to upset you. Communication is key, and in the end, you won't have to live with them forever.

Rule 3: you should get to know your roommate(s). It’s always nice to have someone to talk to after a long or great day. Also if you may become the best of friends. I had 2 girlfriends who became great friends through their roommate experience and barley ever fought.  However, caution to this, when you hangout all the time with your roommate sometimes you can get annoyed of each other. If this happens it might be wise to take a pause from hanging out.

 Wishing I lived with my awesome girlfriend!

Living with roommates can be hard at times but it can also be such a great experience.  You can make great friendships rooming abroad with people. Especially with CEA--they do a great job pairing people with similar interests. If you’re also thinking about living with a family, know that it’s like living with your mom and dad. The only thing that is different is that you don’t have your mother breathing down your back. “Did you do your homework?” “Where were you last night?” “Make sure your home before 12!” There’s none of that you’re an adult and you are treated like one. Whether with family or fellow students, living abroad is wonderful.

Brooke Begich is the Spring 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in Aix En Provence, France. She is currently a junior at Iowa State University.

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