Off Campus Apartment Etiquette
Living with roommates is very different than living with your parents or family. Here are few simple tips to help steer clear of conflict with your roommates and get the most from your off campus apartment living experience.
Everyone Comes From Somewhere Different: Everyone grows up in different households. The way your home was maintained might not be what your roommate is accustomed to. Simple things like turning the lights off, remembering to take laundry out of the dryer, or even locking the door should not be assumed. Early on set a meeting of the roomates at your off campus apartment and decide on basic house rules.
Noise & Music: Chances are you will not all have the same taste in music type or volume. Use headphones until you get to learn your roomates study patterns and likes. Also make a point of choosing an off campus apartment that offers a god mix of personal and shared space.
Eveyone Gets Chores: Decide early on what the "house" vs "peronsal" chores will be and agree that eveyone will chip in on the shared chores in your off campus apartment.
House Costs: Some things are used by everyone. Cleaning supplies, paper towels and dish soap are items everyone will need. No one roommate should be stuck with this cost. Set a monthly contribution that all the roommates can agree to. A jar or an app live Paypal or Venmo works well for this.
Who Ate My Muffin?: Reaching for your favorite pint of ice cream or waking up to find out there is no coffee is a frustrating experience. If not handled properly sharing food can be a source of conflict among roommates. To help keep the peace set a few simple rules. A good starter rule is anything labled is not for sharing. In off campus apartments with modern kitchens you can designated a "community" shelf in the pantry. Anyone can put or take whatever they need from the community shelf. Another great tip is to designate a shelf per roommate in the refridgerator or leave a marker near the fridge so roommates can label their items with their names.
Shared Applicances: Sharing the appliances or electronics can also be tricky especially if you and your roommates enjoy watching different things on the television. An off campus apartment with a new 55" flat screen TV is exciting but deciding what to watch on that TV can be a source of conflict. To avoid contention for prime viewing times use streaming services like Netflix and Hulu to allow the flexiblity to catch your shows on your personal schedule.