You’ll love them. You’ll hate them. You’ll love to hate them.
But most importantly, you just have to tolerate them.
For five months.
Without pulling your hair out.
For real though, I think the relationship forged with your roommates can impact your program a lot more than you may realize. So establish ground rules early and don’t be afraid to tell them that they are hogging the cupboards and to keep their grubby mitts off your ketchup.
Don’t let things fester. If they’re not doing the dishes, hold them accountable. But also be sure, with witnesses if necessary, that you are not guilty of the very thing you are calling them out for. Being passive aggressive won’t do anything but make one of your roommates hoard her baking utensils and toaster (regardless of the fact that she’s the one who left them laying out dirty all the time). If it comes down to making a chore chart for everybody, do it.
Clean up after yourself. There’s nothing more than annoying than knowing who is making a certain mess over and over and over and over again but is too lazy or what-have-you to clean up their own crap.
If you invite friends over, don’t let them pretend that they own the place. It’s obnoxious. If a roommate invites friends over, it’s more than okay to remind them that they are a guest. Introduce your friends to your roommates, that way you can all hang out.
Buy your fair share of apartment supplies. Maybe assign a certain supply to a certain roommate (Kah-Ren always buys toilet paper, Mal always buy paper towels, Jorge-eta always buys dish soap, etc.) to avoid one person buying the majority of the stuff. Don’t be afraid to tell someone that it’s their turn to buy something, especially if you’ve bought it the last three times. And if someone tells you it’s your turn to buy something, don’t be a tool and buy the cheapest/crappiest version of that thing and call it good.
If someone tells you you are not doing your fair share of cleaning, don’t buy the cheapest, crappiest type of dishwasher detergent (AKA – store brand powder detergent), clean absolutely nothing, hoard your toaster, and pretend that you did the apartment a favor.
Don’t burn too many bridges, but burn what’s necessary when necessary. You only have to survive 5 months with these people, but they shouldn’t be an insufferable 5 months. Chances are you’ll become very close to some of your roommates, but one (or two, cough cough) bad eggs can spoil the bunch.
My first roommate experience wasn’t that unusual. I lived in a 3 bedroom, 6 person apartment. One girl I’ve come to love, one girl I tolerated, one girl I was indifferent to, and two of them I hated. The apartment very much became a us-v.-them (4-v.-2) environment by the end of the program. I could go on and on and on and on about the grievances I hold, but more importantly is the fact that I created a good relationships with the others.
When I extended my program, I linked up with one of my former roommates so we are living together again, this time in a 1 bedroom, 3 person apartment. It’s so much nicer than our old apartment and feels huge since there’s only three of us in it.
I guess when it comes down to it, I could have just cleaned up after all my roommates and bought all the toilet paper, but my role isn’t Entertainment and I’m not friends with Cinderella. Overall, I’m glad I had the experience I had with those girls, no matter how much frustration they caused me, because it taught me how to deal with difficult situations and how to confront people in a helpful way when necessary.